Place your prized not-quite-ripe Cherokee Purple tomato (saved from squirrels by bird netting) on a soft towel on your kitchen table because its skin is quite fragile. Be patient with your Sun Gold cherry tomatoes: they are a little slow to ripen on the vine.
That is what I learned this morning from Larry Butler, one of the owners/farmers of my favorite local organic farm stand, Boggy Creek Farm. Carol Ann Sayle, the other owner/farmer and wife of Larry, has always been eager to share her expertise with me, too, ranging from recipe ideas to growing tips.
My first homegrown Cherokee Purple heirloom tomato
I’ve been a regular weekly customer at the Boggy Creek farm stand, in central east Austin, since 2003, and regret I didn’t know about this gem before then!
Husband Kurt and I had just returned from a great summer trip to France (work for him, fun for me) and were intent on trying to recreate some part of that daily French market experience in our hot, Austin summer lives when we heard about Boggy Creek. Yep—call me a Francophile; I can handle it. (However, I really need to become more proficient in French to truly earn the Francophile label, even in jest.)
Anyway, Boggy Creek is the closest thing we found. We’ve learned so many things from Carol Ann and Larry and Cousin Claire and all their knowledgeable staff, including how to eat in season. Running into local chefs (from Wink, Blue Star Cafeteria, Asti, Barr Mansion, Uchi, and Cissi’s—I’m sure I’ve forgotten someone) on market days and asking what they’re doing with certain produce is always fun, too!
Heirlooms I bought today at Boggy Creek