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.
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!
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!
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.
Saturday I will return to the Santa Fe Farmer’s Market as the ‘Tomato Lady’. I don’t have lots of tomatoes yet but everyday more are ripe so come early to get the best choices like the beauty pictured above from Italy called “Costuluto Genevese”. I have 12 new varieties as well as the ones I grew last year.
Tomorrow, Saturday, August 25, I am returning to the Santa Fe Farmers Market as ‘The Tomato Lady’. At this time I have over 15 varieties of organically grown heirloom tomatoes from luscious black tomatoes like Purple Cherokee, supersweet yellow Virginia Sweets to Italian Red Costoluto Genevese and many, many more . I have over 50 plants and 25 varieties that will ripen as we go through the season. They are beautiful. They are gorgeous! And they taste wonderful! Magnifico!
I also have Shishito peppers, Costata Romanesco zucchini and Fairy eggplants that I will sell as well. Next week I will add some sunflowers out of my sunflower forest and Emerite French filet beans. I’ll be inside the building-look for ‘The Tomato Lady’ sign above my booth. Hours are 7am-noon. Hope to see you there!
Saturday went well for my first time at the Santa Fe Farmers Market for this year. It is actually my third year returning as The Tomato Lady. I had many varieties of tomatoes, much more than I anticipated and sold most of them. I had a few left over which I made into tomato sauce and tomato tapenade today.
Here are some of the tomatoes I’ll be bringing to the Santa Fe Farmers Market
FINALLY, I will arrive at the Farmers market this Saturday, Aug 20 in the SAME LOCATION INSIDE THE BUILDING not outside. (COME INSIDE the BUILDING BY THE 2ND ENTRY WHEN YOU WALK DOWN MAIN OUTSIDE AISLE). I won’t have as many tomatoes YET as I would like so if you want some incredible, organically grown, heirloom tomatoes, you better come EARLY as I anticipate SELLOUT by 9:30am even though the market stays open till 12:30. Of course not all of them ripen at the same time so you will have a variety of tomatoes to pick from each week. Over 25 heirloom tomato varieties on 70 plants this year! This is the beginning-it will only get better as each week more and more tomatoes will ripen. I will also have other heirloom veggies there – Shishito peppers, a few Pepperoncini peppers, incredibly sweet, never bitter Fairy eggplants, fantastic nutty flavored Rattlesnake beans, wonderful thin French filet beans, Emerite, but mostly tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes! Hope to see your happy faces soon!