In early July Laura Luciano, Edible’s What’s in Season columnist, alerted the world, and me, that Invincible Summer Farms, run by nightshade ninja Steph Gaylor, would have their first heirloom tomato CSA, ever, starting in the beginning of August. Anyone willing to shell over $450 in advance would get 10 pounds of tomatoes delivered to her door for 10 weeks. Wow, I love tomatoes. Hmm, delivered. I live in Quogue and ISF is in Southold. $450? Well, I’ll be getting 100 pounds of tomatoes in total. That means I’m spending $4.50 a pound. That’s not too bad, right? And these aren’t just any tomatoes. They are heirloom tomatoes grown from seeds saved by Steph—who organized a monster seed swap over the winter; they are tomatoes from plants that have been bred to be successful on the East End of Long Island; they are tomatoes that are helping to save the world from monoculture; they are at the peak of the biodiversity pyramid!
I was sold at delivered, and there’s not much I won’t do to help local farmers, so I sent in my check, told the story a few times to incredulous family members and awaited my first box.
Which arrived last Thursday. I found it on the porch when I got home after dinner and was surprised. What is this? A present? I don’t remember ordering anything. But there in the dim light, when I opened the box I saw what 10 pounds of tomatoes looks like. (No matter that I was kind of expecting six tomatoes at about three pounds each.) Steph had labeled the box like a Whitman Sampler, so I’d know what I was getting. And I was off.
So far I’ve stood in the kitchen to eat them out of the box. I’ve sliced them for egg sandwiches. I’ve diced them for omelets. Some were eaten with fresh mozzarella. None have been tainted with basil. (It’s a phase I’m going through, a hangover from the great pesto malaise of the early 21st century.) And most have been diced and eaten with plain Greek yogurt, topped with olive oil and salt and pepper for breakfast. I got this idea from Kevin Penner, the retired chef from Della Femina and 1770 House restaurants in East Hampton. He put in on Facebook. (I can’t believe I never thought of this. I like tomatoes and cottage cheese; kind of the same thing.)
Getting information from farmers in the summer is tough. I’ll be waiting for updates from Steph and her partner Cheryl as I post pics of the tomatoes on Instagram. So far I’ve gotten info about the Helsing Junction Blue. Click through to read the back story.
The summer of #tomatoes10lbs10weeks continues.