Tomatoes started!

Tomato seeds planted March 24. Germinated 4 days later. Picture taken April 2 at 9 days old.

It has begun!

I’m going back to the Santa Fe Farmers Market this summer with my tomatoes! I have a lot of new unusual tomatoes started as well as my stable of wonderful favorites for the public.

Pictured above, the baby tomato seeds are inside the house under lights and keep warm on a germination heat mat set at 85°F. They will be transplanted this week into 2 inch pots and later this month they will be transplanted again into 4 inch pots and then finally transplanted outside in the garden in May. Plus I will take some of the plants to the Farmers Market at end of April/May to sell.

Tomato tapenade

 

tomato tapenade all tomatoes

Being the Tomato Lady I have lots of tomatoes. One of the things I’ve done with my tomatoes, especially my older ones is making tomato tapenade. It’s easy to do and is so yummy you’ll want to make more with any tomatoes you can get your hands on at this time of year. The picture above I have mixed up all kinds of tomatoes.

1. Preheat the oven to 300°F

tapenade beginning

2. Take a cookie sheet and cover it with a big sheet of foil to protect your cookie sheet. Don’t try to piece two pieces together, it won’t work. The tomato juices will leak between the two pieces and what a mess it makes. I first tried it with parchment paper underneath and it was worse so don’t try that either. I learned the hard way and ruined a cookie sheet. Then I spread some olive oil on the sheet so the tomatoes don’t stick and cut my tomatoes in half and put them on the cookie sheet.

3. Put salt and pepper on the tomatoes and crush up some garlic (lots) and put that on top of the tomatoes.

red tomato tapenade

4. Put fresh thyme on top of the tomatoes.

sauteed onions

5. Then (this is optional but so good) Slice an onion or two and saute it in olive oil until soft and carmelized as above. Then spread the onions on top of all of it. Now I have made this both with and without the onions and it is definitely better with the onions but is really good without it too if you want to save more time.

yellow tapenade with garlic and thyme

6. Drizzle some good quality balsamic vinegar and then a little olive oil over it as well.

7. Cook and check often till soft and slightly caramelized. I start with half an hour and then keep checking every 15 minutes till done. Should take between 1-2 hrs if your tomatoes are bigger or juicy. There will be some black on the edges and that’s OK but watch closely as it gets closer to done as it can overcook quickly and the whole thing could burn black. A little black good, a lot of black bad. I scrap off the tomatoes (skin and all) off the foil and viola its done! I don’t puree it as I like it chunky and the skins are soft enough that you don’t even notice them.

8. I make some crostini out of some french bread toasting the slices till slightly crisp on the outside.

9. Then I spread some chevre goat cheese on the crostini and put a spoonful of the tomato tapenade on top. Sometimes I put a Kalamata olive on top, sometimes not. Divine!

Two cookie sheets makes about 2 cups of the tapenade. Refrigerate for immediate use or freeze or preserve it using a canning method for longer storage.

 

 

I’m Baaack-Tomato Lady returned to Farmer’s Market last Saturday

tomato lady2

So last Saturday I returned to the Farmer’s Market here in Santa Fe and plan to be there on Saturdays until the end of the season when it freezes. I saw many friends and old faces there-people who have been waiting for my return and it was good to see them come back. Thank you!

It’s such a short market for an heirloom tomato grower. Our end of season is always dependent on when the first freeze happens. Sometime it happens in late October, once it happened in September (God forbid), and only once in November! Pray for a nice long fall or as we say around here, an Indian summer, so I can get all those wonderful tomatoes that are just coming in on my mini farm to the market.

I have 31 varieties this year and 125 plants. Someone asked me if they are all there at the market at the same time and alas the answer is no as I have early varieties, mid-varieties and late season varieties growing in the garden. What I can tell you is that I grow many unusual varieties of heirloom and open pollinated tomatoes whose seeds come from all over the world. Many of them you will not find here at our market or even be able to get the plants in the garden nurseries. I start them in April inside the house and transfer them to the garden after the last freeze in spring and this year, our last snow was May 16. So as you can see, it takes a long time to get these babies to the market. And after spending so much time with them I do indeed call them my ‘babies’.

Every year I have some new varieties I try. This year some of them are Black and Brown Boar, Cascade Lava, Artisan Blush Tiger and Purple Bumblebees. I also have my favorites that I grow every year for the market like Costuluto Genevese, Pantano Romanesco, Marmande Garnier Rouge, Juane Flamme, Paul Robeson, Indigo Rose and Pink Berkeley Tie Dye plus many more varieties. Then at the end of the season I evaluate them based on your taste buds and input and some of the new ones make it on my ‘all star’ list and some don’t. So come down to the market and check out what other tomatoes I have going on. I also sell other heirloom veggies like Fairytale eggplant, Shishito peppers, many varieties of beans and other veggies but as you all know tomatoes are my speciality!

Produce for sale from the Tomato Lady-Friday August 21

Jannine's bean tee pee

Hi folks.  I know many of you locals follow my blog. I have 125 tomato plants and 3o heirloom varieties this year.  For some unknown reason my tomatoes are taking their time turning red (or orange or striped or black or purple). This is weird as I would have thought that they would all be kicking ass by now and I would be at the Farmers Market. The weather has been nice and warm, the rain wonderful and the tomatoes look great-just still green. Ah mother nature! Whata ya going do? I’ve learned years ago to just surrender to her. So…

Since I don’t have enough tomatoes ready (I need boxes and boxes of them) for the Farmer’s Market this Saturday, I do have some heirloom tomatoes to sell plus I have LOTS of other heirloom veggies—Shishito peppers, wonderful varieties of french and Italian green beans—Rattlesnake beans, Italian Romano beans, Trionfo Violetto beans, Royal Burgundy beans and some french filets, tasty sweet cucumbers and fantastic huge ruby red chard that melts in your mouth when steamed and drizzled with a fine balsamic vinaigrette.

I will be selling them from 2 -4 pm this Friday August 21 at our studio:

Liquid Light Glass
926 Baca Street #3
Santa Fe, NM
Call me if you have questions. 660-4986

I will be starting at the Santa Fe Farmer’s market Saturday August 29th from 7 am-1 pm. But don’t be late as I will sell out probably by 11 am. You can find me inside the building-just look for my ‘TOMATO LADY’ SIGN above my booth.

So come catch up with me and get some fantastic veggies for yourself this Friday without the parking hassles! Hope to see you here at the studio!

My tomatoes love the sun and warmth!

tomatoes ready for market

Tomatoes ready for the Santa Fe Farmer’s market

Last week was warm and sunny-just what tomatoes need to ripen. Temperatures in the mid 80s. It’s a little cooler this week but still nice. Suddenly I have all kinds of tomatoes ripening-yea!

tomato lady at Santa Fe Farmer's Market

Up till last week I’ve barely had enough ripe ones to go to the Farmer’s Market much less make tomato sauce but now I have plenty to sell-just get there early as I sell out pretty early even with all these tomatoes. Here’s my booth at the Farmer’s Market. It is located inside the big building. Just look up for a big sign that says, ‘Tomato Lady’ to find me.

I noticed the number of ripe tomatoes have been growing here at my little farm and now they are exploding! Yea! I’m hoping for an Indian summer-that means the rest of September will be nice and warm which should keep them coming.

Tomato Lady will return to SF Farmer’s Market this Saturday!

first tomatoes

Here are some of my tomatoes of the 2014 season. I’ll be back at the SF Farmer’s Market this Saturday, August 16th from 7-12 noon inside the building. Just look up high (above my booth) for my Tomato Lady sign to find me. I don’t have a ton of tomatoes yet and so they should go pretty quick and then I’ll be out but have many other items to sell like rhubarb, green and purple beans, Shishito peppers, various eggplants including the infamous fairytale eggplant and maybe some Kale. Hopefully next week I will have more!

But if you want tomatoes-come early!