Handling Heirloom Tomatoes

School might be back in session but the days are still sunny and hot. The farm fields are full of summer bounty, which at Quarter Acre means tomatoes. Big ones, small ones, multicolored ones, and they all need to be harvested.  This year I’m growing 15 different varieties and so far I’ve decided they all make for a great tomato sandwich!

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When harvesting the heirloom tomatoes you have to take your time and be gentle as they bruise easily. I go into the tomato rows with a shallow box and my pruners. I carefully cut the tomatoes from their vine making sure not to get overzealous and squeeze them. Then I place them in the box, stem side down as their shoulders tend to be level and this keeps them from rolling around. I never stack too many tomatoes on top of each other, they can’t take the weight without getting damaged.

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I’m enjoying the tomatoes as much as I can because lurking in the field under large green leaves are bright orange almost ripe pumpkins reminding me, that winter is coming.

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