Our friends at Harvest Moon Farms have begun their heirloom tomato harvest, and the city has rallied behind them to help. Join us this week for Draughts for Drought, and check out the many other events around Chicago going on to benefit Harvest Moon Farms. Read their most recent update below or read the full update here.
Greetings from your farm. A HUGE thank you for all of the support pouring in for our Drought Aid campaign. I’ve been saying that we need to change the name from Drought Aid to Drought Fest. It looks like we’re managing to turn the dismal drought situation in to something positive. We have some fun events coming up, details below.
We’re not completely out of the woods but it is Go Time for the heirloom tomatoes. We harvested 1,336 pounds yesterday; our first major harvest day. Heirlooms are a tricky crop to grow. They need just the right amount sun and moisture for optimal flavor. A rule of thumb for growing (whether a home garden of larger scale production) is to withhold water when the plants are close to ripening to produce the sweetest fruit. We can mimic drought conditions since we grow the tomatoes on plastic mulch but Mother Nature took care of that part of the process for us this season. The good news for our customers is that we’re looking at a bumper crop of fabulous, delicious, heirloom tomatoes. As I type, your hard working farm crew is harvesting buckets of tomatoes. You’ll see some in your boxes this week; details on the varieties are below. They’re not your standard grocery store tomatoes; our rule of thumb is that if it’s not round and red we probably grow it. This week we have Japanese Black Trifle, Speckled Roman, and Brandywine varieties. As with all heirlooms, you might see some imperfections like cracks and scars but the taste more than makes up for their lack of uniformity. The Brandywines in particular have very tender skins. Eat them soon as they are at the peak of flavor and DON’T refrigerate, if they get too cold they lose their flavor.