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East End tomatoes

I picked up a loaf of white bread, iceberg lettuce and applewood smoked bacon yesterday in anticipation of scoring a few fat, juicy tomatoes at the nursery this morning for my first BLT of the season. What they had instead were hothouse tomatoes, and I was told that it will be a short tomato season this year. Is this true? Coll, Moto, NofoLady – are there any maters out there on the North Fork?

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  1. I've been getting local medium size at my stand on Mill Rd, and some giants plus luscious yellow cherry ones at Andersons on Sound Ave. The ones in my garden are also coming along nicely, I've picked at least a dozen so the season is here. Maybe not enough yet to export further up the island? But they are here, don't worry. And seem to be abundant, sorry maybe we're hogging them all so far?

    2 Replies
    1. re: coll

      That's a relief!
      This nursery sends a truck out to the NF seven days a week for plants and produce (from Schmitt Farms, I believe) so it's not an export issue. Looks like I'm going to have to make a trip out later this week if I want to get my BLT and Caprese fix on.
      Thanks, Coll!

      1. re: EM23

        Well the places I mentioned definitely have them. They stopped ripening during the heat wave, but that's old news now.

    2. The tomatoes on my vines are just starting to come in. Just picked 4 medium sized juicy red tomatoes.
      Lots of sweet cherries and a plentitude of big green ones.

      1. I can't speak about the farm stands, but everything I've seen has been too "perfect", and looks hothouse to me. But in my own garden in Queens, its been a terrible season. I harvested 5-6 in the past week, and that seems to be it for this year...none coming in on the plants.

        1 Reply
        1. re: EricMM

          Some of the farm stands have medium sized tomatoes that they are calling 4th of July's they do seem a bit too perfect.
          My home grown crop will be plenty for us.

        2. I agree that the tomatoes at most farm stands on the far east end of the NF do not seem tempting. Until I see anything better more locally, I will continue to buy at KK's Farm stand on the Main Road between Greenport and Southold, not far from Port of Egypt on north side of the road. Excellent cherry tomatoes and great-looking heirlooms. (will try this weekend)

          Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

          1 Reply
          1. re: erica

            I was at KK's The Farm in Southold over the weekend and the tomatoes were abundant and glorious: 59945 Main Rd Southold

          2. Thanks everyone! I have saved this thread and will know exactly who to blame for my expected August/ September BLT weight gain. :))

            3 Replies
            1. re: EM23

              Make sure you use that amazing North Fork Bacon!!!

                1. re: EM23

                  It's sold at the butcher shop in Wading River just across from King Kullen.

            2. I have to agree with coll...so far the best I have found are at Anderson's on Sound Ave. Coll had told me she got small orange cherry tomatoes that were as sweet as sugar and she was right, they were awesome. It's hard to tell from the road but I spoke with the owner and they have 30 acres behind them and they also farm other plots east. Most of their stuff goes into the city 6 nights a week but there is plenty at the stand to choose from: incredible fresh herbs, the crispest kirbys with dirt still clinging to them and the corn I got there had the freshest, longest silks I have seen in years and was as good as one could ever expect for L.I. summer corn - and not the big, fat, over-sweet kernels we see way too often these days. I could tell they had never been refrigerated, which is a common thread at some of the larger stands out here (and I hate that, might as well get it at Stop and Shop).

              I haven't been in a week or so but I always find heirloom tomatoes that are great at Briermere, and also at Wells Homestead in Aquebogue, a small but incredible jewel of a farm stand. In my experience, it seems that most heirlooms come from greenhouses these days, I need to ask why, but they are still delicious.

              Good Luck, and keep us posted!

              8 Replies
              1. re: nofolady

                Heirlooms are less productive and more disease-prone than modern hybrid tomatoes. Conditions are easier to control in a hothouse, and customers don't want the ugly, gnarled specimens (which are delicious) that look like the ones I grow in my garden. I only grow heirlooms...I get few and most are ugly...but they have great flavor. I tried a new one (for me) this year- Kellog, a bright orange tomato that tastes better than any I have grown. I think I harvested 2.....

                1. re: nofolady

                  Thanks NFLady. I googled Anderson's and the listings that I found give one location as Rt. 58 (Old Country Rd.) and another at 1890 Roanoke Ave. What is the nearest cross street to the Sound Ave. Anderson's?

                  1. re: EM23

                    I hate to admit that I don't know if the one I went to on Sound is part of the one on Rte. 58, I plan to ask when I go back there later today. But it is almost at the corner of Hulse Landing Rd., just feet west of it, which is the road to Wildwood State Park, if that rings a bell. They are in Wading River.

                    Some of the listings for farm stands can be confusing...for instance, I don't know of any other on Roanoke (I live just off Roanoke north of Sound Ave.) other than Schmitt's, which is at the corner of Roanoke and Sound Ave. and that street number sounds about right for them. They usually have good tomatoes but rarely have heirlooms, tho.

                    1. re: EM23

                      Sorry, Anderson's on Sound in wading river is just EAST of Hulse Landing Rd., not west like I just posted!

                      1. re: nofolady

                        The Anderson family is a very large native North Fork Family. They are everywhere!!! Sort of like the Schmitt's and Schmidt's and Schmid's!!!

                      2. re: EM23

                        Just wanted to let you know that the Anderson's on 58 is not affiliated with the one on Sound in Wading River....just as motosport said, Anderson is a familiar farming name out here, like all the Schmitts And I never noticed til yesterday that the u-pick strawberry field on Roanoke is also Anderson's but they don't have a true farm stand operation there that I ever noticed, no idea if they are connected to any other Andersons or not.

                        However, I decided to go to Rottkamp's in Baiting Hollow to get their corn on the recommendation of both motorsport and coll and they had gorgeous tomatoes in various sizes from small to jumbo. I hand-picked about a dozen from the baskets since I prefer that to buying a basket they put together so I can see what I'm getting. They have a sign next to the baskets that reads: "Please don't rearrange the tomatoes!" They are just a wee bit odd there and not the warmest people you'll ever meet but fine by me. They also don't have an adding machine (they just use the old hand-addition method) and they only take cash. And in looking at quite a few tomatoes I can say that they are not cookie-cutter perfect and many have the typical splits at the stem that come from growing on the vine. We had some this morning and they are divine! I told the owner that friends had told me about their corn and she asked me where I usually got mine - I told her Schmitt's on Sound because they are just so close to me. She kind of made a face and said "our corn is a different breed than Schimitt's". I just tasted some to see if it was going to be good for the fresh Asian corn salad I am making and they are also delicious, I'm sure they'd be delicious cooked as well but my recipe doesn't call for that. They had nice kirbys but no herbs so it was back to Schmitt's on the way home for those.
                        P.S....that NoFo bacon will ruin you for any other bacon for life :-)

                        1. re: nofolady

                          As I have said before: It's a challenge to get the RottKamp's to smile!! Ask them where they have the pumpkin trees and you will see.
                          Then again, maybe they are grumpy because you rearranged the tomatoes!! Darned tourist!!
                          NoFo Bacon!!! What can't it do!!

                          1. re: Motosport

                            And you were right, lol! But, nooooo, I did not touch those arranged tomato baskets - you had already warned me about their attitude so I didn't dare! I just picked out from the bushel baskets you ARE allowed to pick what you want from.
                            Amen on the bacon, so good! It ain't cheap either but it is well worth it. That happens to be a great butcher shop and deli - we have gotten quite a few things from them since we started going for the bacon. They also make all their own salads and they are always fresh and delicious.

                    2. You North Fork people rock! I’m excited to try all the new (to me) recommendations that everyone has offered on this thread. I now have my Schmitts and Andersons in order, and will report back with my finds later this week. Thanks!!!