Well, the weather has changed from deep winter to summer in just a day, like a light switch turning from off to on, as it always seems to do every year at about this time in Northern California. So now you can be confident that it’s time to plant all of your summer crops!
We are releasing our limited supply of
Tomatoes & Basil – starting April 27th
Cucumbers, Pumpkins, Summer & Winter Squash – starting May 4th
Oh, tomatoes, how do we love thee?
Let us count the ways! We have narrowed down our tomato varieties to our absolute favorites – ones you can likely not easily find anywhere else and ones you have told us you have fallen in love with over the years – we can’t help but wax poetic about just a few of them…
For those of you who live in marginal cool tomato growing areas, we have Alan Chadwick’s favorite, the Scottish red slicer Ailsa Craig, and the rare Indian River that we got from the Seed Saver’s Exchange in 1990, both of which can practically ripen in the dark. Also one of the earliest tomatoes ever – the Tiger from the Czech Republic which has virtually disappeared from the seed trade.
If you’re looking for red slicers with old-fashioned tomato taste, of course we have our local Sonoma County heirloom conjured by Sebastopol’s very own plant wizard Luther Burbank, the Burbank Red. We are also featuring some spectacular new varieties created by local tomato breeder magician Brad Gates, the Large Barred Boar and Berkeley Tie-dye,the perfect mascot tomato for the Grateful Dead if they had ever had such a thing.
For cherry tomatoes we have: the new favorite of many, Green Doctors which along with Green Grape are two of the richest flavored and creamy textured cherries you will ever taste. You can also try the singular ivory white Coyote, that two of our devoted customers drive great distances every year to come fetch -this little white pearl has the full flavor of a large red beefsteak tomato! We also have several tiny drying tomatoes, Punta Banda, an indigenous tomato from the American Southwest, and Principe Borghese commonly strung in Italy to dry like cranberries on strings for Christmas trees. In order to complete the rainbow of cherries for roasting in your oven to ladle on pasta or put fresh in salads we have the Red Jewel, the Alan Chadwick Cherry, the fruity Snow White, the iridescent purple Chocolate Cherry and sun bright Yellow Chellowhich is another tomato that has virtually disappeared from seed catalogs.
We’ll have our two favorite black tomatoes, the incredibly productive and early rusty brown burnished Brazilian Beauty and Japanese Black Trifele which when ripe is positively pregnant with deep tomato flavor. Some of our select orange tomatoes Caro Rich, containing as much carotene as carrots, Farallon’s Orange Beefsteak, a tomato that volunteered itself into our palettes by appearing as a promising seedling in one of our compost piles back in 1982. We also will have the signature Ruby Gold which was the first tomato we ever saved seed on back in the early 80s. And of course, there is the succulent Andy’s Polish Pink whose seed was given to us by a friend whose father had brought over from Poland during WW2. Our top pick for the most gorgeous full-flavored yellow variety is the Golden King of Siberia, a name which suitably crowns it as royalty in the tomato pantheon. And so many more! Where are we to stop?
More summer goodies…
In addition, this weekend we will be releasing tomatillos and an interesting assortment of basils, including a significant collection Tulsi basils. We also will be putting out on the tables 4 rare parsleys, fenugreek, as well as Day of the Dead marigolds and Kennikura cosmos, an edible flower used like saffron in Indonesia.
And don’t forget the perennials!