Friday, September 24, 2010

Late Season Tomato Harvest

Often by this time of the year, we've had a killing frost. But in 2010, we have sailed into the autumn with above average temperatures after a couple of nights in the mid-30s.
On the Metzger Farm, our tomato harvest continues as evidenced by the bounty on the kitchen counter! I've canned and frozen the excess but we still have beautiful tomatoes available for at least a couple more days.
We were seduced by the glossy pictures in the seed catalogs in January and ordered many varieties of heirloom tomato seeds. When I panicked and thought my little plants might not yield the harvests I wanted, I took a trip to Ithaca to find organically-grown plants to add to the stock.
We have many varieties still available - some of which are pictured here. The biggest tomato is Rose. There are also Black Krim, Black From Tula, Green Zebra and Early Girls pictured.
If you'd like to try any of these, or need some more tomatoes for late-season canning, call or e-mail me soon.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Roasted Tomato Sauce

It's tomato time!
I have a new favorite way to made tomato sauce that concentrates the taste of the wonderful variety of tomatoes we've been enjoying this summer. It's a simple process and the kitchen smells wonderful while it's happening.
Roasted Tomato Sauce
Wash and core ripe tomatoes and cut into chunks of a uniform size. (I leave cherry tomatoes whole and cut the others in similar sizes). Spread the tomatoes in a roasting pan that's been coated with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and additional olive oil and stir. I add several cloves of garlic at this point. You may also add fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano. Roast in a 425 degree oven until thickened, stirring now and then. Keep an eye on the sauce because, at the end, the moisture tends to evaporate quickly. It can take a couple of hours depending on the moisture content of the tomatoes and the quantity you put in the pan. Let the sauce cool and then put it through a food mill to remove the seeds and skins. That's all there is to it. I've frozen it thus far but expect it could be jarred and processed in a pressure canner as well.
I plan to experiment with adding additional ingredients - like peppers, onions and other vegetables, and trying a batch with large amounts of garlic!
The Metzger Heritage Farm has tomatoes available - call us at 274-8004 or email to place your order ( Remember that we've grown these beauties without chemical pesticides, using organic methods!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Potato Update

It was in the spring that I first posted a picture of grandson Rowan as his folks planted their first garden in Oregon. Here's Rowan enjoying the first harvest!
Here on Crandall Hill we've poked around the well-mulched mounds to find our own beautiful organic potatoes too! Last weekend Joseph took his grandmother up on the hill to the potato patch where they dug a half-bushel of red and white beauties. Grandma Wanda Metzger is one of those standing behind the heritage in the Metzger Heritage Farm.
We're taking orders for potatoes now and expect to begin harvest in the next couple of weeks. Our potatoes were grown from certified organic seed with no chemical fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides.