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Jul 16, 2009 05:45 AM

Tomato Season

Does anyone know when we will start seeing heirloom tomatoes at the farmers markets? With all this crappy weather I'm yearning for the taste of summer.

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  1. I got some at the Lex Farmers Market on Tuesday. 2 big ones cost $9 Yikes but OMG they were sooooo good!

    1. Local greenhouse tomatoes are available at farmer's markets - some farmers know people expect tomatoes to be available with early corn in July and grow in greenhouses to meet that demand. Or they get supply from locations farther south. You might start seeing some field-grown cherry and grape tomatoes by month's end, as they tend to set fruit and ripen earlier than larger round tomatoes, but local round field tomatoes don't normally ripen until August. And this seasons is running about 2 weeks later than normal due to the weather.

      But, except in years of exceptional early and sustained warmth (which does happen), one should not expect field tomatoes in New England much before August.

      1. There was one farmer with heirlooms at the Govt Center market yesterday, and perhaps the same one with heirlooms at the Copley market last week. They were $6 a pound the first time I saw them, but I got some - delicious. They were either $5 or $6 yesterday, and there was a small selection, picked over by the time I got there. There was also another farmer with non-heirloom "field tomatoes," but I suppose they could have been from further south. I went with the "award winning" tomatoes (greenhouse?), at another stand, and they were ripe and good in my caprese last night. Not heirloom flavor, but still nice.

        2 Replies
        1. re: magz

          To me, there is no such thing as "heirloom flavor", because Lord knows I've had lots of crappy tomatoes from heirloom varieties, and lots of wonderfully flavorful modern hybrids. The issue is less that of the specific tomato variety and more that of soil, water and, most importantly, sunshine.

          1. re: Karl S

            I will be precise... not as good flavor as the heirlooms I had last week, but nice.

        2. Atlas Farms at the Copley farmer's market has had them for the last couple weeks. They've been $5/lb but they've been quite tasty.

          1. I picked the first tomato of the season this afternoon in my Belmont back yard. Yes it was a Sungold cherry tomato, but a tomato nevertheless. There were a good number queued up for picking very soon. Tomatoes in other nearby towns can't be far away. For what it's worth, my plants went in the ground... err raised bed... on May 17.

            1 Reply
            1. re: PinchOfSalt

              I too have picked my first sungold of the season, and like you have many more on their way to ripe. They are so good!