Thursday, September 23, 2010

Outstanding In The Field

"What is an heirloom tomato;? A thorough answer to this question can be found at (Note: This is an excellent site for information about tomatoes as well as for ordering seeds.) A partial answer, from Tomatofest, is "an heirloom is generally considered to be a variety that has been passed down, through several enerations of a family because of it's valued characteristics." Another aspect of a definition is the notion of open-pollination. "When heirloom gardeners refer to open-pollination, they mean that a particular cultivar can be grown from seed and will come back 'true to type'. In other words, the next generation will look just like its parent. For example, plant a Brandywine tomato, let some of the fruit mature and collect the seed, process it properly, and store it well. The next year, plant the seed and it will grow another Brandywine tomato." ( In comparison, if seeds are saved from a hybrid tomato, or other begetable, when grown the following season, the "young plants will probably not have many of the characteristics that made its parent noteworthy." There are plenty of wonderful hybrid tomatoes to compliment the wonderful bounty of heirlooms. Talk with your local farmer about the various tomatoes that they have. David had 50+ varieties of tomatoes this season, including six varieties of cherry tomatoes. Enjoy.

Originating from California there is a group called Outstanding In The Field. Their mission is to "re-connect diners to the land and the origins of their food, and to honor the local farmers and food artisans who cultivate it." Go to their site to learn more about who they are and what they do.( On Sept. 4 Outstanding In The Field hosted a dinner at Mosefund Farm (, home of the Mangalitsa Pig; a specialty pig known for its exquisite flavor. The invited chef for the event was elements Restuarant's (Princeton, NJ) Scott Anderson. Farmer David was asked by Chef Anderson to provide most of the vegetables for this prestigious event. This was a great opportunity for Chef Anderson to showcase his skills. It was also a great opportunity for Farmer David to gain exposure for his produce. The event also served as a birthday present from David to his mom. What a great way to celebrate mother's birthday.

Things at the farm continue to move along. Though it is now fall, Z Food Farm is still in full operating mode. David and his crew of Gregg, Oscar, and sometimes Mario, continue to put in full days. Weeding, harvesting, and planting continue on a steady basis. Currently, and to come, are kale, arugula, lettuce, salad mix, celery, kolrabi, leeks, celery root, parsnips, brussel sprouts, and more, including many varieties of winter squash. To obtain the bounty Z Food Farm will continue at the Lawrenceville Farmers' Market through the end of October. Produce will continue to be sold at the farm stand on Wednesdays and Fridays, noon to seven for the next few weeks. Any changes will be noted as soon as possible. David will continue at the Rittenhouse Square Farmers' Market at least until the end of October; hopefully until Thanksgiving. The bottom line is that David will sell produce for as long as the weather permits.

By the way, Hule has now accounted for ten ground hogs. Considering that ground hogs have continued to eat various crops, their removal is a matter of great importance. Thanks Hule!!

Eat healthy. Eat local produce. Eat organic. Support local farmers. Support local artisans of meat, cheese, and bread.

The following four pictures show some of the variety of tomatoes that are being grown at Z Food Farm. Without exaggeration, there are thousands of tomatoes that are available- different sizes, shapes, colors, and tastes. Yum!!!
Green zebra, Black zebra, Kellogg's Breakfast, Cherokee Chocolate and Purple, Paul Robeson, Cream Sausage, Roman Candle, and on and on.

Cherry tomatoes- Green Grape, Tomatoberries, Sungolds, Sweetie, Black Cherry, and Dr. Caroline.

Decorative gourds come in various sizes and shapes. They are not edible.

Here are some of the winter squash that is available.

And we'll close with Red Rubin basil.

See you all at the farm, in Phillie, or at the L'ville Market. Peace, good health, and hopefulness to all.

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