I haven’t always liked tomatoes, I used to flat out dislike them. When I was a kid, of course I liked pizza and spaghetti sauce and salsa, but watching my dad eat sliced tomatoes with salt and pepper baffled me. I think part of my dislike was the texture, part of it was the taste. Growing up we had store bought tomatoes -and maybe it’s a cliché at this point, but the difference between a store bought tomato and one ripe off the vine is amazing.
I didn’t start liking tomatoes so much (I do like them, so so much) until I started working on farms. I quickly became the kind of person who would eat them like apples when I had a free hand or a free minute in the field. Perhaps, this whole time, I had been eating apples like tomatoes?
These late summer days I enjoy seeing the monarchs float around the farm looking for any milk weed that’s still blooming. I say I enjoy seeing them, and I do, but sometimes I also have this sense that someday I might look at my last monarch and not know it. It matches my wonderings of how old I will be when honey is so expensive that only the wealthiest can buy it and all the bee’s wax will be in museum vaults. So I try to appreciate each butterfly and spoonful of honey. I shouldn’t have that appreciation just because I could outlive them but it adds gravitas to every day things.
I feel lucky to live in an city with so many streams and trees running through it. It is nice to feel that wherever you are in town, it is not to far to a place that feels like a forest of sorts. It is like night and day from old pictures (mid/late 1800’s) of Duluth. It is out-right heartbreaking to see the barren hillside – totally cleared for timber to build a growing country.
Maybe night and day isn’t quite the right level of contrast when taking into account how the forests in the area used to be. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to stand in the middle of virgin forest where my house is now. Groves of aspen, birch and maples are beautiful, and I love cedar and rock lined streams. But something is missing. The area used to have a different flavor and who is alive who remembers anyone who remembers how it was?
I love the time I get to spend outside, both at the farm and out in the rest of the world. I feel lucky to have so much space available to me as public land- and I love seeing other animals, human and non-human, enjoying and living in it all. But I feel remorse in a nagging and vague sort of way for the state of the forests and butterflies. I feel like I miss something I never even had. And it’s not as if I don’t love our planet, I do, but it is like a store bought tomato that keeps getting more and more store-bought-ish every time we pass it down to the next generation. And some day, who will remember to even try to imagine what it used to taste like?
For the crew,
P.S. We recommend taking your tomatoes out of the bag right away (always). It was particularly humid this morning as we were bagging them up.
And regarding your green beans and cilantro – we were happy for rain yesterday, but it sure made things dirty! I would consider using your beans and cilantro earlier rather than later. Don’t wash the beans before storing them – and maybe open the bag a bit so they can keep drying for a few hours in the fridge.
In your share this week:
- Green beans
- Greens mix
- Sweet onions
- Sweet Red peppers (long and pointy, not hot)
- Jalapeno peppers (Small, green, and hot)
- Red new potatoes
How to Freeze Tomatoes
- Drop tomatoes into boiling water for 60-90 seconds and, using a slotted spoon, transfer immediately into a bowl of ice water to cool. Skin will slip easily from the flesh.
- Remove stems and core tomatoes. Tomatoes may be left whole, but preparing them in a way that maximizes storage space is recommended. I cut mine into quarters or large cubes. Work over a shallow dish to retain juices.
- After allowing to cool to room temperature, transfer into storage bags. Using a ladle or measuring cup, fill pint or quart sized zipper-bags.
- Seal bags. Make sure to push as much air as possible when sealing to avoid freezer burn.
- Try to store flat. The shape in which they freeze is the shape you’re stuck with until it’s time to thaw.
- 1 head cauliflower
- 2-3 medium garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Chop the cauliflower into florets. Peel and mince the garlic.
- In a large bowl, mix the cauliflower and garlic with the olive oil, cumin, paprika, turmeric, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat, then place the cauliflower in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast for 25-35 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender and browned, stirring once. Serve immediately.