Monday, August 29, 2011

Tomatoes for Canning, Freezing, Roasting or Drying

Are now available. Let us know if you are interested. Lots of varieties, even Heirlooms!

Bintje Potatoes

Bintje is the most widely grown yellow-fleshed potato variety in the world. It is an heirloom developed in the early 1900′s by a Dutch botanist and school master who named this potato after his best pupil Miss Bintje (pronounced Benjee) Jansma. The Dutch have more than 150 varieties of potatoes! They lag behind Peru which has ~3,000. Compare that with the US where 90% of our potatoes come from fewer than 12 varieties. It's a waxy potato. Various cooking sites recommend this flavorful high-starch variety for excellent roasted potatoes and oven fries.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Fresh Pickles

A simple recipe:

Printed from COOKS.COM

3 large cucumbers
1 bell pepper (green or red)
1 onion
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons celery seed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup white vinegar

Wash and scrub cucumbers. Slice into a medium sized bowl, leaving peel on, about 1/8" thick. Wash and remove seeds from pepper; remove skin from onion and scrub well under cold running water. Finely chop the onion and pepper; add to cucumbers. Sprinkle with salt and celery seed. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside for 1 hour.

In a small saucepan, bring vinegar to a boil then remove immediately from heat. Stir in sugar, stirring until dissolved. Allow to cool, then pour over cucumbers (after they have been sitting for 1 hour, as above).

Mix well; cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving.

Quick Fresh Pickles

4 large pickling cucumbers
1 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 cup water
1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
3 Tbls. sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt (for the cukes) + 2 Tbls. kosher salt (for the brine)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half
1/4 tsp. dill seed
1/4 tsp. Aleppo chili flakes
1/4 tsp. coriander seed
1/4 tsp. fennel seed
1/4 tsp. mustard seed
1 bunch of fresh dill

Yields 16 pickle spears

Slice and salt the cucumbers
Grab your pickling cukes. Scrub them well under cold water, then dry them off.
Slice each cucumber in half.
Then slice each side in half again, so you wind up with quarters.
Repeat with the other cucumbers. Put the cucumber spears in a medium-sized bowl.
Sprinkle on 1 teaspoon of kosher salt.
Mix the cucumber spears around well to distribute the salt.
Let the cucumber spears sit in the bowl like this, on the counter, for about an hour. Salting the cukes like this helps draw out excess water—which in turn helps keep your pickles crunchy.
After about an hour, your cukes will have let off a fair amount of water. Drain that off and discard.
Make the brine for the pickles
Put the rice wine vinegar, water, and white balsamic vinegar (or white wine vinegar) in a medium-sized pot.
Toss in the sugar and 2 Tbls. of kosher salt.
Set the pot on the stove over high heat. Whisk to combine.
Whisk until the sugar and salt are dissolved.
Bring the mixture up to a boil.
When it starts to bubble, toss in the garlic, coriander seed, fennel seed, dill seed, mustard seed, and Aleppo chili flakes.
Whisk to combine. Take the pot off the heat and let it stand for 5 minutes to help release the flavor of the herbs.
Pour the brine over the cucumbers
In the meantime, pack your cucumber spears into a smallest bowl that will hold them all. You want them to be fairly close together so that they’re all covered by the brine.
Pour the hot brine over the cucumber spears.
Trim your bunch of fresh dill so that it will fit in your bowl. Lay it on top of the pickles.
Let them sit on the counter like this until the brine cools to room temperature.
When it’s cool, push down on the mixture with your hand.
You want to submerge the pickles and douse the dill with brine.
Soak the cucumbers in brine overnight
Wrap the bowl tightly with plastic wrap.
Set it in the fridge overnight to let the brine soak into the cukes.
Serve & enjoy
The next day, unwrap your pickles.
And that’s it!
When you’re ready to serve, fish the pickles out of the brine and heap them up on a platter along with pieces of garlic and a few strands of dill.
Pickles will keep for a few weeks in the fridge if they last that long.

Augusta Potatoes

So far, they are a new favorite! They are a waxy potato, good for boiling, soups, casseroles, potato salad, roasting = same uses as Red Norlands. We are growing them instead of Yukon Golds or the other Gold potatoes we have tried. The yield seems to be much better, quality is good, etc. Enjoy!


  • Shape: Oval to long
  • Skin: Smooth Yellow
  • Flesh: Deep Yellow
  • Market Use: Fresh Markets
  • Medium Maturing

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Pickles for Sale

Pickles are a variety of cucumber bred and grown for a smaller size and crispness. They are picked anywhere from gherkin size to dill spear size. We pick them every single day in order to keep up with them.
$15 per half bushel (should make up to 20 quarts). Let me know if you are interested.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The best way to store your celery

Cut the leafy parts off and wash and ziplok bag them. Store the stalks in a separate ziplok, closed, and the celery will stay crisp and fresh longer. Enjoy! The flavor is stronger than store-bought. We dry some for use through the winter.

Tomatoes Tomatoes Tomatoes

These are the varieties we have planted this year, with a little info about each type gleaned from the internet!

Amish Paste
Days: 81 Size: Indeterminate
Very productive red heirloom from Wisconsin that produces up to 12 oz, deep-red oxheart-shaped, meaty fruit. (Probably one of the largest paste tomatoes) Lots of sweet, tomatoey flavors from this coreless meaty fruit. A great slicing and sauce tomato.

Aunt Ruby’s German Green
Days: 79 Size: Indeterminate
Heirloom beefsteak variety from Ruby Arnold of Greeneville, Tennessee who passed away in 1997. Slightly flattened, 1 pound fruit that ripens to a pale greenish-yellow ("lime jello green") with a slight pink blush that extends to the inside. Superb, fruity sweet and slightly spicy taste.

Beefy Boy
Days: 70; Indeterminate
Bred specifically for maximum flavor, the taste is sweet yet meaty, with more solids and less gel than other varieties. The globe-shaped tomatoes are gorgeous, with deep red skin and smooth shoulders (thanks to uniform ripening).

Beliy Naliv (aka Belii Naliv)
Days: 55 Size: Semi-Determinate
Red Heirloom, Means "white ripening", most likely named after popular variety of apples in Russia. A short indeterminate (42") that produces an abundance of early bearing 2", red, round, crack-resistant fruits that are sweet and tangy.

Black Cherry
Days: 64 Size: Indeterminate
The only truly black cherry tomato. Produce large, sprawling, indeterminate, regular-leaf, vigorous tomato plants that yield abundant crops in huge clusters of 1", round, deep purple, mahogany-brown cherry tomatoes. Fruits are irresistibly delicious with sweet, rich, complex, full tomato flavors that burst in your mouth, characteristic of the best flavorful black tomatoes. Beautiful to mix with other colored cherry tomatoes. Unique tomato variety. Disease resistant. Once you try want MORE.

Black Prince
Days: 70 Size: Indeterminate
Purple-Black Heirloom, Originally from Siberia, this is one of the most popular and favored black tomatoes. Originally introduced from Irkutsk, Russia and is regarded as a "true Siberian tomato" that does very well in cooler climates. Until only recently this was considered a rare variety in the United States. However, it's popularity has grown so much in Russia that there is now a company in Volograd that is producing an extract of the Black Prince called "Black Prince Tomato Oil." The Black Prince tomato is said to have considerable health benefits beyond the presence of lycopene. These deep garnet round, 2-inch (2-3 oz.) tomatoes are full of juice and incredibly rich fruity flavors. This is a tomato that chefs I deliver to rave about for it's rich flavors. The small fruits contain deep rich colors on the inside. Perfect for patio gardens. Perfect for eating fresh, and in cooking in tomato sauce or other culinary wonders.

Cherokee Purple
Days: 80 Size: Indeterminate
Purple-black Heirloom from Tennessee cultivated by Native American Cherokee tribe. Very productive plants producing loads of dusky rose to purple colored, 12 oz.-1 lb., beefsteak tomatoes with deep red colors to the interior flesh and dark shoulders. A very popular market variety because of it's rich, complex and sweet flavors. One of the best tasting heirloom tomatoes.

Cosmonaut Volkov Red
Days: 72 Size: Indeterminate
A Ukrainian heirloom variety named after the famous Russian cosmonaut who died while landing. Russians grow this variety for prize-winning, 1-2 pound fruits. Round, slightly flattened fruits have a full, complex flavor and nice acid/sweet balance.

Costoluto Genovese
Days: 78 Size: Indeterminate
Italian, heat-loving, heirloom tomato that has been enjoyed for many generations along the Mediterranean. Large, deep-red fruits have a singularly fluted profile, are deeply ridged, and heavily lobed. Meaty, full-flavored, slightly tart, and delicious. Because of its scalloped edges, perfect for use in an arrangement of different colored sliced tomatoes. Makes a rich and pungent pasta sauce.

Days: 65 Size: Determinate
Heirloom. An early, short-season, open-pollinated, potato-leaf variety that flowers when it is only 4-inches tall then sets loads of very flavorful 2 to 3-ounce, round, red tomatoes. Good flavor.

Golden Jubilee
80 Day Indeterminate
Orange 8 oz fruit, sweet and mild.

90 Day Indeterminate
Open-pollinated heirloom. Deep orange beefsteak average 16-20 oz. Don’t harvest it till it has a rosy blush on the bottom.

Grandma Mary
Days: 70 Size: Indeterminate
An extremely productive red paste variety producing 1 1/2 oz., 3-inch long red fruit.

Green Zebra
Days: 75 Size: Indeterminate
Developed in 1985 by tomato breeder Tom Wagner, this is an unusual and exquisite green tomato chosen by Alice Waters for her restaurant, Chez Panisse, in Berkeley, California. The 2-inch round fruit ripens to a yellow-gold with dark-green zebra-like stripes. The flesh is lime-emerald in color that has an invigorating lemon-lime flavor. A great green tomato for brightening up salads and other tomato dishes.
Heinz 2653 Paste
68 Day Determinate
Open-pollinated amazingly early red plum type 2.5-3 oz fruits.

72 Day Compact Indeterminate Hybrid; Dependable 7-8 oz globes of premium quality.

60 day Indeterminate Hybrid; 1-2 oz grapes, red, good flavor

Days: 79 Size: Indeterminate.
Cherry, disease-resistant, big, bushy, regular-leaf plants with wispy foliage that yield huge amounts of 1-1/4 inch, almost translucent, creamy, yellow cherry tomatoes in clusters of 6-10, that hang on the plants like lollipops and have unique, fruity-sweet, lemony flavors unlike other cherry tomatoes. Produces fruit continuously, even under high temps. This is an excellent cherry tomato suitable for farmer's markets. Also great as a salad tomato, or as a snacking tomato, or for adding to culinary creations.

Mountain Fresh Plus
75 Day Determinate Hybrid
Able to tolerate cool and wet conditions, this big red tomato produces attractive, 8-16 oz. slicers with good taste. Developed by Dr. Randy Gardner at NC State University. Vigorous plants provide plenty of leaf cover. Nematode tolerant and resistant to V1, F1, and F2.

Old German
Days: 85 Size: Indeterminate
A Mennonite family heirloom from the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Big regular leaf plant yields 1-2 lb. beautiful fruits. Fruit color is yellow with red mottling and striping on the outside and throughout the flesh. Best color of several strains of this heirloom. Not a heavy producer, but fruit harvested is deliciously sweet and very decorative.

Days: 78 Size: Indeterminate
An heirloom originally from Poland. (aka Polish Torpedo) Vigorous vines produce some of the best tasting red paste tomatoes with 5-inch long fruit shaped like a banana pepper with a pronounced tip on the bottom. Fruit has very few seeds, is extremely meaty and loaded with rich sweet flavors lending to its’ sauce appeal.

Principe Borghese
Days: 78 Size: Determinate
Red Italian heirloom tomato. short determinate plants that prolifically yield big clusters of 1-2 oz. red, plum shaped, crack-resistant paste tomatoes that are a great substitute for Roma tomatoes. Tomatoes are prized for drying because they retain more flavor than most other drying varieties. Italians are known for hanging the whole plant, loaded with fruit, up to dry..A great sauce tomato or eating fresh in salads or canning. Also prized for reconstituting in olive oil or crushing dried fruit into flakes to add to a sauce for quick thickening.

Pruden's Purple
Days: 75 Size: Indeterminate
Many folks find this tomato variety comparable in every way to the favorite Brandywine. It has even ranked higher at times in my taste trials. Great for hot day and cool night climate. Large potato leaf vine produces lots of 1-lb., slightly flattened, pretty, blemish-free, purple-pink fruits with few tomato seeds and excellent flavor.

Days: 105 Size: Indeterminate
Good producer of 2 x 3-inch, 1 lb., plum-shaped, red ,paste tomatoes. Sweet, tangy, meaty fruit. One of the best flavored sauce tomatoes.

Rose de Berne
80 day Indeterminate
Open-pollinated medium-sized pink tomato with robust flavor

Rutgers Tomato
Days: 75 Size: Indeterminate
Rutgers was developed by the Campbell Soup Company in 1928 from a cross of Marglobe and J.T.D. The variety was later refined by Rutgers University in 1943.] Yield 4-6 oz., dark-red tomatoes with thick walls that are loaded with delicious flavors. Excellent canning tomato. Disease Resistant.

Days: 52 Size: Determinate
Developed by Dr. James Baggett of Oregon State University. Plants do very well in cooler climates producing deep-red, excellently flavored round, slicing tomatoes 8-10 oz. Very good flavor considering how early a tomato it is.

Sophie's Choice
Days: 55 Size: Determinate
An heirloom from Edmonton, Canada and introduced by Carolyn Male in 1997. Considered to be the "best choice" for an extra early tomato. This is the earliest variety to ripen for me. Strong disease resistant short determinate (24") produces an abundance of 8 to 10 oz. globes. fruit is a red-orange outside and deep red inside. Best production in cooler climates.

57 Day
Indeterminate Hybrid, cherry tomatoes, deep sweetness, rich apricot color. Splits in rain.

Supersweet 100
78 day Indeterminate Hybrid
1” round, ripens in clusters. Splits in rain.

Days: 68 Size: Determinate
Color: Yellow-Orange
The best tomato variety for an early, lemon-yellow tomato. Very popular. produce compact, bushy, determinate, regular-leaf tomato plants that yield 4-6 ounce, meaty, uniformly-round, delicious, bright-yellow tomatoes that are very sweet (almost seem acid-free). A wonderful choice to add a zesty spark to tomato salads. or a splash of bright yellow color to your favorite salsas. Tomatoes hold up well to slicing as they are very suitable for sandwiches. Taxi can be grown well in most areas. They even hold up well in hot, humid growing regions.

Heirloom Tomatoes


An heirloom is generally considered to be a variety that has been passed down, through several generations of a family because of it's valued characteristics.

Heirlooms can be four categories:
  • Commercial Heirlooms: Open-pollinated varieties introduced before 1940, or tomato varieties more than 50 years in circulation.
  • Family Heirlooms: Seeds that have been passed down for several generations through a family.
  • Created Heirlooms: Crossing two known parents (either two heirlooms or an heirloom and a hybrid) and dehybridizing the resulting seeds for how ever many years/generations it takes to eliminate the undesirable characteristics and stabilize the desired characteristics, perhaps as many as 8 years or more.
  • Mystery Heirlooms: Varieties that are a product of natural cross-pollination of other heirloom varieties.

(Note: All heirloom varieties are open-pollinated but not all open-pollinated varieties are heirloom varieties.)

The Importance of "Heirloom" Tomatoes.

In the past 40 years, we've lost many of our heirloom varieties, along with the many smaller family farms that supported heirlooms. The multitude of heirlooms that had adapted to survive well for hundreds of years were lost or replaced by fewer hybrid tomatoes, bred for their commercially attractive characteristics.

Remember they will not be pretty - they split when ripe, they crack, they are misshapen. Tomatoes have been bred to be picked green and shipped, handled roughly. We pick ours ripe and are gentle with them! Enjoy!

Monday, August 1, 2011


We have peppers coming on very well now. Any pepper in your box loose will be a sweet pepper - no matter the color or shape. This week's peppers are mostly New Ace (green), plus Lilac and Feherezon (small yellow). There's no sign of red peppers yet, but they are coming, plus we have a few large yellow and orange peppers.

Hot peppers are always in a ziplock bag. If you do not like hot peppers, please let us know, or pass them on to someone else. Our hot peppers are also multi-colored and shaped, with various degrees of hotness. We find that the same type of pepper will vary in hotness from plant to plant, and supposedly the amount of sun and water also affects it.