Welcome to our blog!

Welcome to our blog! Learn about our farm operation, public programs, and the people behind our work through the Notes from the Field and Education sections. Peruse the Recipes section for some staff favorites.

Waltham Fields Community Farm (incorporated as Community Farms Outreach, Inc.) is a nonprofit farming organization focusing on sustainable food production, fresh food assistance, and on-farm education. For more information about Waltham Fields check out our website!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Notes From The Field: Tomatoes

It's difficult to write about anything but tomatoes these days on the farm. We have faced 200 foot row upon 200 foot row, day after day this week, somehow thinking that each pick might just be a bit smaller than the previous monumental one. Gazing down a row of hundreds of pounds of ripe Taxi tomatoes, sustaining energy and motivation through the harvest becomes a psychological game. We find ourselves talking to the tomato plants, puffing ourselves up, letting them know who's boss and that they can't intimidate us with their pound upon delicate
pound of ripe fruit. I made the naïve mistake of mentioning the possibility of not picking tomatoes for one day and dashed way too many false hopes when we did indeed find our thumbs and index fingers thick with tomato sap later that afternoon.

tomatoesDon't get me wrong, I love the convenience of a tomato in the kitchen. Practically no stovetop or oven is needed this time of year and meals appear almost instantly in my house with a few tomatoes, fresh herbs and a little olive oil. Farmers' lunches during tomato season here tend to be very similar variations on the same convenient tomato-centric idea. Andy has his favorite lettuce, tomato and mayo sandwich, Dan a more classic BLT, and Amanda will often be found happy with a knife, a wedge of gouda and a tomato in hand. Larisa has taken George Foreman grilling (our lunchtime savior) to a new level, throwing a mix of tomato, egg and kale on it for a killer sandwich. So we love tomato season. But we'd also love to feel like we had time to do something other than pick, sort, weigh and organize them.

Speaking of convenience, the onions conveniently decided that they were also ready to come out of the fields this past week. We wanted to be sure to get them out of the ground once their tops had fallen but before all the leaves have dried brown. With the rain predicted for early this week, we knew that the pressure was on to get them out while they were still dry. So we found ourselves racing to get through tomato harvests in order to have a few hours a day by the end of the week to head over to our Lyman fields to pull onions. Then lug them pack to our curing shed (aka greenhouse with a shade cloth over it), and lay out each and every onion across stackable trays and mesh table tops.

kale and squashIn the midst of this bulk harvest frenzy, we still managed to have one of those dreamy farm days on Friday when small crews break off for special projects, tackling and completing multiple tasks simultaneously. There are few things better than this. The weed crew got through a massive hand weeding project, tearing through our West field of fall Brussels sprouts, napa cabbage and collards. Check. After morning harvest and lunch, the last two beds of tomatoes got picked. Check. Andy, Andy and Rachel headed to the Lyman fields to harvest the last of the onions. Check. Dan and Larisa hummed along in tandem on the Super A tractors getting some control over the newest weed flush in our fall cauliflower, broccoli, kale and cabbages. Check. Lauren and I got caught up on greenhouse seeding. Check. To top it all off, Amanda and her family left for a well deserved vacation that day. Double check. A day like that after a week like that wouldn't have been possible without the head-down work ethic of the entire farm crew. As we approach the week ten halfway point of the summer CSA, it feels like an appropriate time to once again thank everyone working so hard on this farm, in recognition of all of the pulling, heaving, lugging, sorting, weighing and stacking and in gratitude for that dreamy Friday.

Enjoy the harvest!

- Erinn, for Amanda, Andy, Dan, Larisa and Lauren

No comments: