The Best “West Texas” Tomato for Lubbock?

For years my wife and have tried to grow different varieties of tomatoes here in Lubbock. However, as hobby gardeners, we never really did a lot of “reasearch.” We just liked to eat Cherry tomatoes, so we tried to grow cherry tomatoes. We liked to eat Roma tomatoes, so we tried to grow them. What was the end reuslt? Lots of failure and disappointment… until recently.

“West Texas” Celebrity Tomato Plants

For Sale Saturday April 13, 2013

Lubbock Downtown Farmers Market

In fact, last year we went through three successive tomato crops in a single season! What happened?

Tomato Crop 1: The first set we planted suffered from Verticillium wilt. Hence they never  really grew or produced. These were all different varieties we “liked to eat” – but you cannot each a tomato that will not grow.

Tomato Crop 2: The second set had Nematodes. In addition, the fruit had dry rot. Again, these tomato varieties were not ideal for Lubbock.

Tomato Crop 3: Finally, this time we actually asked (at Ivy Gardens in Lubbock, to be specific) which varieties of tomatoes do the best in the Lubbock. We planted several Celebrity tomatoes. They did wonderfully (with water) despite the heat and they produced wonderful fruit up until the first frost.

So why do Celebrity tomatoes do so well in West Texas? In short, Celebrity tomatoes are resistant to most of the diseases we have in Lubbock. They are resistant to Veticillium wilt (which decimated our first crop) and resistant to Nematodes (which decimated our second crop). In addition they are resistant to several other common tomato diseases, making them a good all-around tomato for West Texas. You may see this next to tomato names “VF2NT” – that means resistant to Verticillium, Fusarium, Nematodes, and Tobacco Virus – sounds good.

So this year, we decided to sell Celebrity tomatoes in the early season Downtown Farmers Markets as a fund raiser for the market. I have labelled them as “West Texas” tomatoes because you can grow them with just water, decent soil and some fertilizer (not petrochemicals, fungicides, or pesticides necessary). The idea is that these tomatoes are “easy and fun,” and that is what hobby gardening is all about!

These “West Texas” Celebrity tomatoes were raised from seed by my wife and I. We have used only organic fertilizer and no synthetics or chemicals. They are a West Texas favorite and should be great for your spring garden.

Tomatoes will be available at the Downtown Farmers Markets:

  • April 13, 2013
  • May 11, 2013
  • $5.00 each

You can also contact use via the Contact Us page if you would like to purchase/pick up between market dates.

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Growers Wanted

If you are a local farmer who still takes great delight in gardening, plant a few extra rows and join us as a vendor at the Downtown Farmers Market. We welcome larger growers who have produce season-long and smaller, one-crop producers who will only come for a market or two. And the cost t0 set up and sell is very reasonable (only $15.00 for the booth fee).

Simply email us via the Contact Us page for any inquiries.

See you at the Market!

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Next Farmers Market Saturday July 28th!

Get ready everybody, the next Lubbock Downtown Farmers Market is Saturday, July 28th!

NOTE: Come early! Due to the huge crowd on July 14th, some producers sold out in about an hour. See you at 9:00 am!

It’s time for fresh local food & fine local crafts again! Come down to 19th
& Buddy Holly for the Lubbock Downtown Farmers Market in conjunction with
the Downtown Art Market.

What to Expect at This Week’s Market?

  • fresh local produce
  • free-range eggs
  • fresh-baked bread
  • from-scratch bagels
  • dressed chickens
  • dressed rabbit
  • sausage wraps
  • wood-fired pizza
  • handblown glass
  • homemade soaps

Who Are Some Featured Producers at This Week’s Market?

  • Sunburst Farms
  • Wolf Creek Farms
  • Apple Country Orchards
  • Rudy Garcia
  • Black Bear Bagel Company
  • Simply Decadent
  • Klemkes Sausage Haus

Who Are Some Featured Artists at This Week’s Market?

  • Sandstorm Glassworks
  • Texas Leatherworks
  • Melissa Lee (killer gourds)
  • Rachael Jones (reconstructed jewelry)
  • Winged Piggy
  • Dirty Deeds

When and Where is the Downtown Farmers Market?

  • Depot District, 19th & Buddy Holly; 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. (or sold out).

See you at the Market!

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We made the front page!

well, all we can say is thank you to shoppers & producers & crafters alike! because of you, we made the front page of the AJ with the headline “market sizzles!” if you did not pick-up a sunday paper, you can read it here:

http://lubbockonline.com/local-news/2012-07-14/farmers-and-arts-market-brings-1200-shoppers-downtown#.UAP97sz9VRc

thank you also to patrick for the article & for visiting us at the market!

see you all back on july 28th- laura

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Market Kick-Off was great!

I couldn’t really sleep last night & i was up before my usual 5:30 because i am just so thrilled with the the turn-out of people at the farmers market, both producers & shoppers alike. mother nature couldn’t have given us a more beautiful day- no rain or wind & those big blue skies! by 9AM, there were people lined-up just waiting to buy fresh local food & fine local crafts. without being overly cheesy, it just warmed my heart! (well, maybe the warm weather contributed a bit too! ha!)

at our market booth, we heard over & over, “i am so excited,” “i have been waiting for this,” “lubbock really needs a farmers market,” “i just moved here & am so happy i found this.”

well, all we can say is we are so excited too & have been waiting for it as well! more on the development of the market & the reasons that we are passionate about connecting local food & crafts with lubbock later…

for now, a big thank you to all & an invitation to join us again on july 28th! 19th & buddy holly. 9AM-3PM

laura

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FRESH BAKED bread & goodies TOMORROW!

well, as this day gets closer to the end & tomorrow gets closer to the beginning, i am getting MORE & MORE EXCITED!

i just got off of the phone with Krista of Simply Decadent Bakery & her list of goodies is AMAZING!

dill bread, milk stout beer bread, strawberry rosemary scones, lemon poppyseed poundcake, lemon lavender coffee cake, whole wheat croutons, & their signature “simply decadent cookie” which is gluten free, no egg yolk or butter & only 96 calories of dark chocolate decadence!

so, come on down tomorrow & take some of this fresh local food home to your table! laura

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2012 Kick-off is ALMOST here!

well, it is just a few days from saturday! we are all getting very excited for the kick-off of the farm season at the market. we just keep hearing from more & more people that will be there to sell yummy, local things!

while you are at the market, be sure to stop by the farmers market info table & pick-up a flyer to put on your fridge, a “go texan” bag & just say “hi.” we would love to meet you & hear how you heard about us!

we will also be selling some awesome (homemade) tomato cages, herbs to plant in your garden & cut herbs to use in your kitchen as a fund-raiser for advertising. so, come by & help us get the word out!!!

see you soon-Laura

 


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summer squash gratin

summer squash gratin

Serves 4
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 50 minutes
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Serve Hot

Ingredients

farmers market finds

  • 1 1/4 lb yellow squash (sliced on a mandoline)
  • 1 onion (sliced on mandoline then torn into pieces)

from your pantry

  • 1 tablespoon organic olive oil or butter
  • kosher salt to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cup annie's organic bunny classics buttery rich crackers (crushed)

from your fridge

  • 1/2 cup organic valley raw milk cheddar cheese (grated)
  • 1/2 cup wallaby european style organic sour cream
  • 1/4 cup butter (melted)

Note

a mandoline is a handy tool for slicing food quickly & evenly for this & many other dishes. i recommend a good-quality one from japan (the home of very good knives!)

also, for steaming large quantities, i love this calphalon stock pot with two inserts. it is an investment, but so worth it! does triple duty, which is ideal for a small kitchen.

this dish is great with a side of sliced tomatoes, a salad of any kind, and/or any grilled meat or fish

Directions

Step 1
steam squash over boiling water for about 10 minutes or until very tender
kids in the kitchen
Step 2
slice & tear onion (you may want to eat some too:) then saute in skillet with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil or butter until translucent.
Step 3
place squash, onion, cheese, sour cream, salt & pepper in large bowl & gently stir to combine, being careful with the tender squash
Step 4
let mixture rest for about 10 minutes. this will cause some of the liquid from the squash to thicken.
Step 5
place mixture into two greased 8" x 8" baking dishes. (one is to be frozen, so you might like to place one in an aluminum or other freezer-safe dish)
kids in the kitchen
Step 6
place crackers in ziploc baggie & crush with mallet or smooth-end of a meat tenderizer
Step 7
distribute cracker mixture on top of one casserole & drizzle with remaining 1/4 C melted butter
Step 8
place this casserole in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until bubbly. wrap remaining casserole in foil, label & place in freezer.
Step 9
eat!
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let’s get cooking!

I am excited to share some recipes with you— but before you read them, you should know a few things about me & how i cook…

1. i am one of those “a little of this” & “a lot of that” type cooks & bakers (a big “no no” for baking!) i have tried to add conventional measurements to these recipes, but feel free to add or decrease quantities to suit your taste.

2. i LOVE to use guests as guinea pigs for my experiments in the kitchen (another big “no no”) i grew up with a mom that did this too & she would always say with a laugh as we sat down to eat, “if it’s terrible, we can order pizza!”

3. one of my favorite cooking games to play is, “what do we have?” you play by seeing what great food you already have & try to put it together in a way that pleases your tastebuds! (this is why i LOVE CSA pick-up day! you are never sure what awaits you in your crate, but it always ends in many meals that we call “nature’s bounty!”

4. luckily,  my kitchen antics usually end in clean plates of my almost three-year-old, husband, myself & whoever else might be dining with us that meal. (my almost one-year-old is a different story as her main table foods are fruit, yogurt & cheese, but we are working on that!!!)

5. i believe cooking, baking, and eating should be a group activity, so whenever possible (& i remember to add it) i will indicate great ways to have your kids or guests help.

6. i truly believe that the kitchen is the heart of the home. there is no greater proof for this than the fact that when you have a party, guests congregate in your kitchen (no matter how tiny it is & mine is pretty tiny, i assure you!)

7. lastly, i love my little kitchen & having people in it. i hope that some of these recipes encourage you to get in yours (no matter how big or small) & prepare some of the fresh local food that you pick up at the market, grow in your own garden, get from a friends garden, have in your CSA basket, or pick-up at the local supermarket if none of the other options are available to you.

now go grab your apron! Laura

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tomato, cucumber & onion bread salad

tomato, cucumber & onion bread salad

Serves 4
Prep time 20 minutes
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Cold

Ingredients

farmers market finds

  • 3 tomatoes (roughly chopped or let kids tear by hand)
  • 6 small cucumbers (sliced into coins)
  • 1 onion (roughly chopped or slice & let kids tear by hand)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 Loaf sourdough bread (sliced, toasted then let kids tear by hand)
  • 1 tablespoon basil (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon thyme (chopped)

from your pantry

  • kosher salt to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup organic olive oil
  • 1/2 cup organic apple cider vinegar ((use whatever vinegar you prefer, distilled white, redwine, etc. will all work great!))

Note

this dish is great served alongside anything grilled or atop lettuce of any sort.

Directions

Step 1
place everything EXCEPT THE TORN BREAD pieces in a non-aluminum bowl & toss to coat veggies with oil, vinegar, herbs & spices.
Step 2
cover with lid or plastic wrap & refrigerate.
Step 3
30 minutes prior to serving, remove from fridge & let stand at room temperature. this will allow flavors to mingle.
Step 4
right before spooning onto plates, add torn bread & stir once to coat in dressing. bread should soak-up some of the juice, but not be mushy.
Step 5
enjoy!
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