Heirloom Tomatoes are ready — as featured on WRAL!

July 30, 2014

We were so excited to be featured on WRAL’s website yesterday.  A link to the story is here:


And, details about all those dry farmed tomatoes are below!  Email orders@coonrockfarm.com to order yours today!

Today we picked over 1000 pounds of tomatoes.  That makes this week and/or maybe next the peak of the tomato season.  For every 5 tomatoes we pick, at least one is deemed not good enough to be a slicing/eating tomato and those go into our Scratch and Dent boxes for making sauce.  This weekend we made over 70 pints of sauce for use on-farm.  Nothing is better on a cold winter day than a dish made with home-canned heirloom sauce.  We’ll make about 300 pints before the season is finished, but we can’t eat them all so now’s your chance to preserve some summer goodness for this fall and winter.  We posted lots of pictures on facebook of the process, coonrockfarm-facebook, and Jamie has posted her very own Roasted Heirloom Tomato Sauce Recipe on the farm website: http://coonrockfarm.com/blog/roasted-tomato-sauce/. See the details below and order yours now for delivery this week.  We’ll even deliver the box to your house.

Scratch & Dent Tomato Box:  Our heirlooms are picked fresh and are very tender which means many of them end up with a bruise or dent or are just not cosmetically up to being a good slicing tomato.  We collect these and box them for making sauce.  Its a 25lb box for just $50 but they have to be used right away.  They will not keep for very long.  If you want one, email us and let us know when and where you want it. 

Paste/Roma Tomatoes: The other option for sauce is to use paste (roma) style tomatoes.  They have less juice and more fruit and are traditionally used for making sauce.  A 10lb case is just $25.  Unlike the scratch & dents, these tomatoes will keep for several days if refrigerated so you can plan your sauce making for later in the week.

Dry-Farmed Heirloom Tomatoes: This is what people wait for all year…the first of the new crop of tomatoes.  Heirloom means they are the old varieties that have been passed down for generations and Dry-Farmed means we don’t irrigate them. 

Why Heirlooms? The fact that they are heirlooms means that they have been selected over the years by farmers and gardeners because of their superior taste.  Compare this to factory farmed tomatoes that have been selected for things like “squareness, hardness, shippability, etc”, (almost everything except taste) and you will see and taste the difference. Heirlooms are picked ripe and don’t ship well which is why factory farming has spent so much time creating the plastic-like tomato you find in most grocery stores.  They can also be ugly (some people claim the uglier the tomato the better it tastes).  But seriously, these are not perfect round, red tomatoes.  They come in all shapes and sizes and many of them are mis-shapen or not uniformly one color.  That gives them character as well as incredible taste.  We grow over 50 varieties of heirlooms including medium, paste, and large slicers and they come in all the colors of the rainbow. 

Why Dry-Farmed? The other thing that makes our tomatoes extra special is that we purposely do not irrigate them once they are successfully transplanted.  Irrigating makes for more and larger tomatoes but it also dilutes the sugars that are in the tomato.  Dry-farming gives us fewer, smaller fruits but the sugars are more concentrated and the taste is so much better.  We are able to do this because we plant our tomatoes deep on soil that has tons of organic matter from our pasture raised pigs and chickens.  The rich organic matter holds the moisture in the soil.  We use no black plastic, which is how most tomatoes are farmed (even organic ones), because we don’t believe it is sustainable or healthy for the soil.

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