Yesterday, we went tomato picking. We went back to Rainbow Farms since they were the first ones in the area to open u-pick tomatoes for the 2011 season. We last visited Rainbow Farms for blackberry picking. Other farms will have tomatoes soon, they are just waiting for more ripening.
We met our friends for picking and it works out well. One of us stays outside with the kids and the other goes into the market. That makes for a lot less unloading and reloading of children since we have 5 between us. For tomatoes, you stop by the shed for 1/2 bushel sized baskets and head to the field.
Since our last visit, everything had great signs. It was so easy to find. For future reference, there is a bathroom with running water in this barn. That turned out to be a good thing for us.
Seems that Nick and Sally liked the dirt more than tomatoes.
At some point, Sally was eating the dirt – yuck! She also ate a tomato or two.
The tomatoes at Rainbow are field grown on the ground. It was picked over, but we managed to pick quite a few tomatoes. I ended up with 2 of the 1/2 bushel baskets – so 1 bushel of tomatoes.
You leave the baskets and transfer the tomatoes to containers that you bring from home or misc. boxes that can be found at the shed. Since we had just picked peaches on Saturday, I had great boxes to use for bringing home my tomatoes.
Each 1/2 bushel was $9. So, I paid $18 for the tomatoes. I’m currently simmering some tomato sauce in the crockpot. I’m going to can all of them, but I am unsure if it will be crushed tomatoes, sauce, paste or a combo. This is my first time with tomatoes, so I’m still in the intimidated stage. It won’t take long to figure out my process.
We’ll probably try out another farm or two for tomatoes while they are still in season. Hmmm… I think I need to buy more canning jars, lids and rings. It’s not even apple season yet!