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News from the Lincoln Fields

It’s official folks. Our beloved Baker Bridge Farm is experiencing a drought. For the past few weeks we have watered fields that really need it while waiting for the rain, but no matter what the forecast says no rain comes. Last week, when Boston and other areas were hit with torrential rains, not a drop of rain was felt in our Lincoln farm. We usually save irrigating fields as a last resort as we truly believe in conserving our water as much as possible.

Currently, we are at near emergency levels and so we have instituted a watering regime, which means that we work through our weekends and come to the farm every three hours to switch the water and keep our crops healthy and growing. Despite these measures, we are feeling the lack of some of our staple crops like beets, carrots, and salad mix. The good news (and there is good news!) is that we are almost out of the worst of it. The next round of staple crops is almost ready, and our melons and tomatoes are really starting. There is, of course, no better cure for a tired and thirsty heart than a cold and juicy watermelon. Cheers and lets hope for some rain!

Meet Your Farmers

each week two of our Lincoln youth interns will introduce themselves

My name is Jason Porter. I’m 18 years old and from Sudbury. Working at TFP for 2 years has inspired me to become more aware of the problems in our food system. Outside of the Food Project I am a Boy Scout and a part of my school’s oceanography team. In my spare time I run cross-country and play the violin. My favorite vegetables on the farm are sungold tomatoes.

Hi, my name is Phillip Nguyen. I am 15 years old and from Dorchester, and this is my second summer at The Food Project. When I am not working, I am either playing a sport or getting ready for one. Even during the summer I have basketball practice right after work. I am going to continue playing football in the fall for Boston Latin School. Watermelons have been my favorite produce through the summer.

Tomatoes

One of the best things about summer is that moment when we can grab a ripe Massachusetts tomato, close our eyes, and dig in. For me, the feelings of anticipation and excitement are worth the winter spent waiting for this season. The taste of the 1st, 2nd, and even the 13th tomato of the season reminds me that there is no better place to be than here, now.

This year we are growing 4 different varieties of field tomatoes, which are typical in size and shape to most supermarket standards, as well as 12 heirloom varieties for your picking pleasure. Such new varieties include the Green Zebra, which is ripe when the lines are yellow and the Jollies, which are an oversized cherry tomato with a delicious Brandywine like taste. In addition we are growing Cherokee Purple, an heirloom variety that was rediscovered by tomato enthusiast and seed saver extraordinaire Craig LeHoullier of Raleigh, NC. These dark beauties waiver between brown, red, purple and green when ripe and have an extremely sweet, slightly smoky flavor. Heirlooms are bred for taste rather than looks so be sure to give this more interesting looking tomatoes a try, but beware you might stop giving “pretty” slicing tomatoes a glance anymore.

Chilled Summer Tomato Soup

Try this fast and effortless soup during a hot day with some crusty bread and a fine bottle of olive oil. If you enjoy gazpacho then this recipe should bring a welcome twist to your repertoire of chilled summer soups. A fine example of the wonderful flavors that a few simple farm ingredients can bring to the table.

1 ½ Lbs. Tomatoes. Ripe, unpeeled, cored and quartered.
½ Cup tomato paste
1 Tbl Celery Salt
1 Tsp Ground mild chili powder
2 Tbl Sherry Vinegar
3 Tbl Virgin olive oil
20 Basil leaves
1 Cup water

Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Adjust seasonings and serve immediately or chill and let the flavors become acquainted.

Simply Tomatoes

My favorite way of enjoying heirloom tomatoes are those simple combinations in which I can really taste the fruit. I love to eat them with some basil, olive oil and just a few drops of balsamic (I find that balsamic can really overpower the tomato), or on some bread with goat cheese.

Watermelon Iced Tea

Combine one part of your favorite iced tea and one part watermelon puree.
Serve chilled. Add a few mint leaves if desired.

Watermelon Popsicles

Watermelon & chunks of other fruit (grapes, peaches, strawberries)
Puree watermelon and pour into popsicle molds. Drop in chunks of fruit. Serve when frozen.

 

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