The Tomatoes

My orchardist friends up in Chelan used to marvel at the orchardists in Leavenworth. Growing fruit out here in this mountain weather takes skill.

Skill I ain’t got.

Since moving to Leavenworth, I’ve had a bit of an issue growing tomatoes. My growing site is in a swale on the west facing side of a forested mountain foothill. Tomatoes. Hate. It. Here.

They hate me. They’ve told me as much.

Sure, they’ll grow. They ripen in October.

After several years of saving seed for this site, I have some seed strains that do well enough… but without the sun and the real estate, the tomatoes are more of a convenience for last minute color and flavor.

This year, I am super excited to be working with an heirloom created for this growing region. It was crafted by a farmer that understands genetics, growing conditions, and is patient enough to create an heirloom cultivar. Because these tomatoes are bred to live in the very specific mountain environment, they bloom and set fruit earlier but more important, they ripen with a gorgeous flavor. While I only have a couple of plants for my site, Overwinter Farm will be growing the variety as well.

The best part, these tomatoes are salad worthy, sandwich sized, stewable, sauceable, and can be dehydrated. I can’t wait to serve them – their story is pretty cool and when it is all said and done, I think they will have a home on many tables.