Tomatoes!

May 13, 2014 by Melissa Streng - No Comments

Dancing Roots Farm can be a very windy place. During the winter, fall, and spring when we get atypical clear or hot weather, it tends to be coupled with strong gusty winds. We like the wind in the springtime, as not only does it dry out our damp soils, but it can be quite refreshing, when the temperature would otherwise be nearly 90 degrees (!) like two weeks ago. Despite its benefits, it almost certainly throws your balance off, and can stress out our recently transplanted plant babies.

Lucky for us, the wind calmed down, and we were able to transplant our summer squash, cucumbers, lettuce, and more broccoli. This is the earliest that we have been able to get our summer squash into the ground in years. Hopefully that means an earlier and longer summer squash season. Bring on the zucchini bread!

It keeps on getting better… the dry warm weather of early last week , meant that we were able to put all of our 1800 tomato plants in the ground. Again, this is the earliest we have put our tomato crop into the ground in years, but the tomato plants were so big and healthy, they were practically begging us to put them in the ground. Can’t you almost taste the incredible sweetness of the first tomatoes of the season? We are planting a great diversity of tomatoes this year, including quite a few old favorites, such as Taxi, Stupiche, Prudence Purple, and Persimmon, along with a bunch of new varieties, such as Napoli Roma and Sheboygan. Many of these new trials are from Adaptive Seeds, a local seed company that is doing great work to bring back open-pollinated varieties that are delicious and well suited for our climate.

Our crew leader, Melissa, planted her own patch of sauce tomatoes on the farm, in a project she is calling Sunlove Sauce. She will be turning the tomatoes into delicious small-batch sauces and ketchups that CSA members will be able to purchase alongside their share come October.

Jess puts tomatoes  in the ground on a lovely blue-sky May day

Jess puts tomatoes in the ground on a lovely blue-sky May day

Here is some poetry to help you dream of the delicious delights to come from the Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda.

“Ode to Tomatoes” by Pablo Neruda

The street
filled with tomatoes,
midday,
summer,
light is
halved
like
a
tomato,
its juice
runs
through the streets.
In December,
unabated,
the tomato
invades
the kitchen,
it enters at lunchtime,
takes
its ease
on countertops,
among glasses,
butter dishes,
blue saltcellars.
It sheds
its own light,
benign majesty.
Unfortunately, we must
murder it:
the knife
sinks
into living flesh,
red
viscera
a cool
sun,
profound,
inexhaustible,
populates the salads
of Chile,
happily, it is wed
to the clear onion,
and to celebrate the union
we
pour
oil,
essential
child of the olive,
onto its halved hemispheres,
pepper
adds
its fragrance,
salt, its magnetism;
it is the wedding
of the day,
parsley
hoists
its flag,
potatoes
bubble vigorously,
the aroma
of the roast
knocks
at the door,
it’s time!
come on!
and, on
the table, at the midpoint
of summer,
the tomato,
star of earth, recurrent
and fertile
star,
displays
its convolutions,
its canals,
its remarkable amplitude
and abundance,
no pit,
no husk,
no leaves or thorns,
the tomato offers
its gift
of fiery color
and cool completeness.