It’s another delicious seasonal moment in Sonoma County. The time of year when we shift our focus from Heirloom Tomatoes grown across the state, to a celebration of these delicious fruits harvested right here in Sonoma County!
This week, we are thrilled to feature Local Organic Heirloom Tomatoes grown by ALLSTAR Organics, Windrift Farms, and Russian River Organics, via F.E.E.D. Sonoma. All three farms are known for their outstanding Heirloom tomatoes, feeding lucky people like us the best in tomato abundance.
Most of us have heard of an Heirloom Tomato by now. In any fruit or vegetable species, these are older breeds that have been consciously collected and preserved instead of disappearing from our food landscape. Seeds are collected and planted each year, so their DNA is not manipulated for mass production. They are not bred to pack and ship well, often at the expense of flavor, unlike their perfectly red and round tomato ‘cousins’.
We love them for their vibrant colors, irregular shapes, thin skin, juicy flesh and a ton of flavor. For those of a certain age, Heirloom Tomato varieties display the flavors, texture and aromas that all tomatoes once had. They are captivating and delicious – a feast for the senses!
All Heirloom Tomatoes are not created equal, however. As with any other opportunity for profit, there are flavorless but colorful tomatoes bred to look like Heirlooms, but they are imposters. Knowing where your tomatoes are grown is key to avoiding disappointment.
All Heirloom Tomatoes carried by Oliver’s are of top quality, but when Heirlooms are coming only a few miles to market during their peak season, we are thrilled to bring our customers the best of the best to enjoy!
- Allstar Organics is a certified organic family farm since 1994, with fields in Marin and Sonoma counties in Northern California. The farm produces a diverse array of heirloom and specialty crops for Bay Area restaurants and groceries, health food stores, curated specialty shops, and farmers’ markets.
- Located outside Petaluma, Windrift Farm is owned and operated by Rian and Elle Gosser. They began their journey in 2016 and are CCOF – Certified Organic, specializing in retail ready Heirloom Tomatoes. It is their Mission to grow the most delicious, mineral rich, Heirloom Tomatoes. They achieve this by connecting 20+ years of organic tomato farming practices, with their fundamental belief in the importance of live soil health. Their Heirloom Tomatoes are grown using organic compost, micro-organism nutrition, with mineral rich soil content. They are harvested at their peak to ensure quality and flavor.
- Based in Healdsburg, Russian River Organics specializes in “ultra-high quality local Sonoma County produce, grown and brought to you with love and meticulous attention to detail”.
Heirloom Tomato Enjoyment
Heirloom tomatoes are best enjoyed with simple enhancements, which allow for their full beauty and flavor to shine. From a simple Caprese Salad, to a Classic Heirloom Tomato BLT Sandwich, or our favorite BLT Panzanella Salad, you cannot go wrong. If that all sounds like too much, or you are growing impatient at the idea of following a recipe, simply slice and serve with Kosher Salt and Cracked Pepper.
When you purchase your Heirlooms, touch them gently to assess ripeness. If you plan to use them the day you purchase, opt for slightly soft selections; if you are keeping them for a day on your counter, you can select slightly firmer tomatoes. Room temperature is best for these beauties, but if you must refrigerate for any reason, allow time for them to return to room temperature before serving.
Local Heirloom Tomato season will come and go before you know it, so make a plan to take advantage of this delicious bounty ASAP!