Monday, August 24, 2009

Annual Tomato Festival

Every year a local farm hosts a tomato festival. This farm used to be just a tomato farm but the new owners have spent the last few years expanding to lots of different veggies, chickens, ducks and baked goods. The farm is all organic which is so nice - I love knowing my food is well grown! Every spring we visit the farm to buy heirloom tomato plants for our own garden. We love having a wide variety of tomatoes to choose from and our local farm produces 150 varieties!!! Every year I find a new favourite tomato! This year it is the Sungold breed.

Yesterday we went to their annual tomato festival and it is so nice to see it grow each year!

This year several restaurants took part by using ingredients from the farm to create wonderful treats! This is a great way for local restaurants to get exposure but also a great way for everyone to see new ways to use their farm fresh ingredients!

We started with farm baked artisan rye bread spread with chevre mixed with chives and lemon thyme topped with slices of tomato. The piece de resistance was the smoked sea salt I chose to sprinkle on top of my sandwich.

Then we had puff pastry baked with roasted tomatoes, feta and capers. YUM!

The next booth had a selection of balsamic vinegars and olive oils for us to try. Tasting different brands really makes me appreciate how different they all are! I managed to get a bottle of a beautiful balsamic and I cant wait to use it in a salad!

At this point the Suburban Prince and I decided we needed something to wash down our snacks to we headed to the wine booth. One of the local wineries was there with 2 of their very nice wines. They had teamed up with a local cheese company so we had the chance to try some lovely organic local cheeses! Cheddars with jalapenos, black peppers and other herbs. Their 5 year old white cheddar is just wonderful! I have tried a lot of aged cheeses and this really is the best one I have ever had! (Sorry Vermont! But you still have Ben & Jerry's!).

We moved onto the tasting booth. This is where you can try dozens of tomatoes side by side. It is absolutely amazing how different all of these tomatoes taste! The grocery store tomatoes cant even try to compare! And tasting them side by side really gives everyone the chance to experience the subtleties and nuances of each breed.

Next we tried some gazpacho made by another local restaurant. There is nothing like an ice cold soup on a hot day! It was served in tortilla bowls which meant there was no garbage to dispose of when we finished our soup!

The last booth served bruschetta and Greek salad. This restaurant uses ingredients from within 100 miles so it was very interesting to read their menu and see they have lots of very yummy sounding dishes! I did notice he had orange juice on the menu so I will have to find out where in southern Canada he is able to find oranges!

I saw a sign for grilled tomato sandwiches but since no one was manning the grill I think they had finished that portion of the festival before we got there. I have had one of the sandwiches in the past and I know what I missed out on this year!

The farm had set up some tables so their visitors could sit down and relax with their snacks and wine. There was also a lovely musician and a singer there creating a wonderful atmosphere!

It was a really enjoyable way to spend some time and I cant wait to see what they do next summer!

In the meantime I keep hoping my own tomatoes will gather some strength and produce some fruit! I am looking forward to making lots of soup and salsa!

Have a fabulous day!


Headbands and Hand Bags said...

You have gotten all of the Licopine you need! Sounds like a fun festival!

Beth Dunn said...

I love Tomatoes--that festival sounds wonderful. xoxo

Princess Freckles said...

That sounds like a really fun way to spend the day! I've also been trying to grow tomatoes. We have some but are still waiting for the romas to turn red.

Sherrie said...

That sounds fabulous. Our garden is overflowing with several different types of tomatoes.

Gwen said...

Oh I love home grown tomatoes!!! I wish there was a festival around her but the only thing close is the little farmers market up the street on Tuesdays that 3 people sell fruits & veggies out of their truck beds. But I find the best tomatoes there(and cantaloupe too). XOXO

the Preppy Princess said...

This just sounds like an enormously good time Miss Princess, absolutely fabulous. We're crossing our fingers for your crop to come in, it will be soon, to be sure.

Have a delightful weekend!