Terry's Debut at Pen Park

T didn't sell out all our tomatoes at the market on Saturday; it was a pretty slow day because it looked like it would rain all morning (although it never actually rained). Then so many more tomatoes ripened on Sunday and Monday that he was very worried about how to sell them all, since they might not keep until next Saturday. He made a few phone calls, and got a surprising number of leads very quickly. He wound up taking a spot in the Charlottesville Market's Pen Park location.

The Charlottesville Market is a marketing juggernaut, a huge organization catering to providing a link between farmers and the community. There is a multi-year waiting list to get a space at the main market in downtown Cville on Saturday mornings, and the Meade Park market is also generally full, but T was able to snag a midseason spot in the Pen Park market, because it is new. It was just started this year, so it is not full. And I suppose since he got in now, he'll have dibs for the same spot next year.

W and I went out to visit him-- again, the market was slow since it was overcast and threatened to rain (although tonight it actually DID start to rain just before the market closed). He made a similar amount of sales as he does in Crozet.

He doesn't have any more public sales lined up until the Saturday market, so T set out to dry a bunch of the tomatoes he thought wouldn't make it. My first batch of dehydrated tomatoes turned out pretty darn tasty, so he's going to try to sell the dried tomatoes at the market. I explained to him the process for making puree (precursor to sauce), so he'll start that while I'm at baby yoga with W tomorrow morning. Then in the afternoon we'll can a few jars of whole small tomatoes.

I have a recipe for making ketchup for canning, and can't wait to try that. T is going to FL for Seth's bachelor party and will thus miss the market that weekend. So before he goes, we will hopefully have the 28 pounds of tomatoes the recipe calls for. This is the first year I've got a gratuitous amount of heirloom tomatoes at my disposal, and I am reveling in making products out of them. They taste so different from your ordinary tomatoes, and at restaurants and stuff they are highlighted in salads, etc. But to have enough of them to make sauce and ketchup! At first I thought it would be a shame to "waste" them this way, but that was only until I tasted the end result. The sauce made with heirlooms was SO GOOD! So I can only imagine that the ketchup will be out-of-this-world. I remember one of our favorite restaurants in Hoboken made its own ketchups, and they were amazingly good. I'm not even a big fan of ketchup, and I could've eaten that stuff by the spoonful, like soup. So that's what I'm aiming for here. It sure will kick up the winter french fries, when I pull my jars of heirloom tomato ketchup from the pantry, won't it?