In years past, we sorted the squash between good keepers and staff eaters, keeping all the immature yet delicious fruit to ourselves. This year, we would like to bring you our non-storage worthy squash, particularly the butternut, because it is delicious. Expect to see some at market, but don’t hold onto it. Eat it straight away.
As you may have noticed, we have a gazillion tomatoes. So many that I cannot eat the requisite number of tomato sandwiches to manage such an abundance. So we took them to Bauman’s farm, a cannery about an hour into Pennsylvania, and they made it into puree! I heard of this place last year when a few farmer friends took their extras over. I couldn’t have imagined how nice the folks would be or how wonderful the puree would be either. (Of course we had to try it!)
I called, and even in this most busy time of year for them, they answered all of my questions with smiles in their voices. A fellow farmer and I arranged a tomato carpool, so a few days after she dropped them off, I headed out to pick them up again in their new form. When I pulled up, I could tell they were making ketchup. A double wide door was open into one of their kitchens and it was filled with steaming vats, neat piles of tomatoes, and people with tall boots and rubber aprons diligently hefting and stirring and pressing and doing what all else, I don’t know! Wizardry is what it looked like and from what I tasted, what it must be.
Their front shop is filled with jams, jellies, and fruit butters, and good smells. They even had a cider slushy machine with an honesty box and a basket of quarters so customers can make their own change. After we settled up and loaded the precious cargo into the truck, I inquired about bringing more tomatoes in this coming Friday. Kathy Bauman (one of the owners as I understand it), flipped through her schedule book, filled with swathes of names and cooking orders, half pages dedicated to a day! After finding Friday, she said that would be fine. I told her I was a little concerned that I wouldn’t have enough and asked if cancelling would mess them up. Kathy was smiling as she looked up from the map of her wild week to come and said the only thing that would mess them up would be if I brought more than I said I was going to. Generally, folks are glad to get done with the day.
I hope our over abundance of tomatoes continues on. We will start bringing puree later in the season. This might be something to plan for next year.
That is all for now! See you at market!