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Tomato Town organically grows heirloom tomatoes in the greater Kansas City area as well as Johnson County, Leawood, Lenexa, Olathe, Shawnee, Merriam KS, Independence MO and Kansas City Missouri, KCMO. Varieties include: Cherokee Purple, Brandywine, Stupice, Carbon, Black Krim, Black Cherry, Yellow Pear, Absinthe and Aunt Ruby’s German Green. http://tomatotown.org Obsessed with growing heirloom tomatoes of all colors, shapes and sizes. Sun, 07 Aug 2016 17:34:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.20 13324413 A Perfect August Day For The Eighth Annual Tomato Tasting at The Local Pig http://tomatotown.org/eighth-annual-tomato-tasting-at-the-local-pig/ http://tomatotown.org/eighth-annual-tomato-tasting-at-the-local-pig/#respond Sat, 06 Aug 2016 18:18:29 +0000 http://tomatotown.org/?p=2745 Heirloom tomatoes blush (from left) and Brandywine Sudduth at The Local Pig.

Heirloom tomatoes blush (from left) and Brandywine Sudduth at The Local Pig.

The crowd was thick and the weather was mild Saturday morning for the eighth annual Kansas City Tomato Times Tomato Tasting.

A luscious BLT from Pigwich.

A luscious BLT from Pigwich.

It was difficult to keep up with slicing tomatoes for the steady stream of heirloom enthusiasts who arrived to taste the bounty of summer. More than 200 arrived to sample and discuss their plans for growing  next year. With 58 varieties and a colorful palette ranging from from the pale White Tomesol to the deepest dark colors of Black Krim, the diversity of tomato varieties was impressive.

Who can resist a BLT in the early days of August?

Who can resist a BLT in the early days of August?

James Worley and the folks at The Local Pig have announced that next year’s tomato tasting will be held August 5th, 2017, so save the date.

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The Classic Oxheart http://tomatotown.org/the-classic-oxheart/ http://tomatotown.org/the-classic-oxheart/#respond Thu, 06 Aug 2015 18:15:30 +0000 http://tomatotown.org/?p=2740 Upstate Oxheart

Upstate Oxheart

Here at TomatoTown, we’ve always held a special fondness for the the heart-shaped tomato varieties and Upstate Oxheart is no exception. The dense full-flavored pink flesh of these large fruit do not disappoint. We love them as thick slicers for sandwiches as well as sauces.

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2015 Tomato Tasting http://tomatotown.org/2015-tomato-tasting/ http://tomatotown.org/2015-tomato-tasting/#respond Sun, 26 Jul 2015 00:36:03 +0000 http://tomatotown.org/?p=2734 In its seventh year, The KC Tomato Times festival of the heirloom tomato is still going strong. Despite a slow growing season marked by a cool and wet spring, James Worley still managed to round up 48 varieties of tomatoes for garden enthusiasts and passersby to taste and celebrate. James has posted the final results of this years tasty winners. Brad’s Black Heart won by a single vote, with Carbon and Kiss the Sky tying for second place.

Tomato guru James Worley organizes the varieties before the crowds arrive.

Tomato guru James Worley organizes the varieties before the crowds arrive.

The weather was hot and steamy, but a steady stream of tomato pilgrims flowed to The Local Pig to taste the varieties that managed to ripen in time for the annual ritual.

Farmer J competes in a test of strength. (no tomatoes were harmed)

Steadfastly early, Farmer J competes in a test of strength. (no tomatoes were harmed in the making of this photo!)

A few die-hard tomato fans turned up last night at Jasper‘s for the annual tomato dinner on Friday evening. Mark your calendars and make your reservations early because, dear reader, it was an amazing feast not to be missed. Homemade mozzarella made fresh at the table. The highlight of the evening was a delicious tomato cake!

Inspired by the amazing tomato cake at Jasper's Linda made a tomato spice cake of her own. Yum!

Inspired by the amazing tomato cake at Jasper’s the masterful chef and gardener Linda McCay made a tomato spice cake of her own. Yum!

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White-lined Sphinx Moth http://tomatotown.org/white-lined-sphinx/ http://tomatotown.org/white-lined-sphinx/#respond Thu, 16 Jul 2015 14:41:03 +0000 http://tomatotown.org/?p=2727 Hornworm

Tomato or Tobacco? Or something  completely different?

I found this big fellow in the garden on my Missouri Evening Primrose munching away the afternoon. At first, I thought he might be a tomato hornworm, but they are striped not spotted. I found it difficult not to be impressed by the sheer size of him.

Turns out he is Hyles lineata, commonly known as the hummingbird moth. They do list tomatoes as a host plant for this particular moth, but I love watching this amazing birdlike moths fluttering around my flowers.

While I was on the hunt, I found this interesting video on identifying tomato and tobacco hornworms.

The hungry caterpillar had at work.

The hungry caterpillar had at work.

Not all hornworms are alike.

Not all hornworms are alike.

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First Blush http://tomatotown.org/first-blush/ http://tomatotown.org/first-blush/#respond Sun, 21 Jun 2015 20:03:20 +0000 http://tomatotown.org/?p=2722 Stupice

Stupice is the first ripe tomato in 2015

Farmer T was out in the garden tying up tomato plants when he shouted, “We have a ripe tomato!” The first tomato of the season is also the tastiest, so the Czech variety Stupice has long been a favorite here at TomatoTown.

Our excitement over Stupice’s smallish red globes may wane as the season progresses , but this variety can always be counted upon to be reliable producers throughout the summer.

Let the season begin!!!

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Evening Visitors http://tomatotown.org/evening-visitors/ http://tomatotown.org/evening-visitors/#respond Mon, 01 Jun 2015 23:23:33 +0000 http://tomatotown.org/?p=2716 Hello again.

Grape Jelly bandit peeking through the chives.

For weeks we’d been finding muddy paw prints on our grape jelly bowls. Turns out a local raccoon was making his rounds to munch the tasty jam that we’d set out for the Baltimore Orioles. He was back in the neighborhood looking for more tasty sweets.

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Ground Control To Major Tomato http://tomatotown.org/ground-control-to-major-tomato/ http://tomatotown.org/ground-control-to-major-tomato/#respond Fri, 29 May 2015 00:58:33 +0000 http://tomatotown.org/?p=2708 Zero gravity bites.

Zero gravity bites.

Silver reflective mulch has such a  space age look and feel that we put Matt Mason Spaceman on the case. Matt reports that he needed shades as he gently floated over our freshly-planted tomato plants — despite the overcast day. Finding a few dry hours has proven challenging. But we’ve been disciplined and avoided the temptation of planting between rain showers.

Silver mulch zaps the insects that thrive on tomato plants — namely aphids and the dread hornworm. We are excited to return to the silver mulch fold this year.

 

 

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A Late Start! http://tomatotown.org/a-late-start/ http://tomatotown.org/a-late-start/#respond Mon, 18 May 2015 14:43:30 +0000 http://tomatotown.org/?p=2697 Todd_Till_web

Farmer T mixes it up in the garden.

A moist spring and a busy work schedule conspired to delay our planting plans. Once the soil dried out enough to till, we zipped out to churn up the weeds that had taken over our beds.

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Orioles Blaze Through Town http://tomatotown.org/orioles-blaze-through-town/ http://tomatotown.org/orioles-blaze-through-town/#respond Mon, 18 May 2015 14:33:00 +0000 http://tomatotown.org/?p=2690 On the prowl for grape jelly.

On the prowl for grape jelly.

It does not feel like spring until we’ve had a visit from our migrating friends, the Baltimore Orioles. Once we hear their song in the trees, out comes the grape jelly and the show begins!

Another bold neighborhood bird with a more muted plumage is the mewing Catbird. A taste for jam brings him to the feeder. We enjoy visitors one and all.

A curious Catbird looks for an opening at the feeder.

A curious Catbird looks for an opening at the feeder.

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Pollinators On The Prairie http://tomatotown.org/pollinators-on-the-prairie/ http://tomatotown.org/pollinators-on-the-prairie/#respond Mon, 01 Sep 2014 20:22:56 +0000 http://tomatotown.org/?p=2681 Honeybee on Snow on the Mountain.

Honeybee on Snow on the Mountain.

Inspired by visits to the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, we’ve been adding prairie plants to attract pollinators and sustain our dwindling Monarch populations. We’ve been especially impressed with a bonus plant that must have been included in a package of milkweed seed.

Snow on the Mountain, also known as Bishop’s Weed is a statuesque plant that, at least at first, I hadn’t seen any of our honeybees working on the blossoms.

But a visit outside in the heat of the morning revealed a healthy number of bees  lumbering over the white petals.

A Monarch caterpillar on milkweed.

A Monarch caterpillar on milkweed.

Nearby, the milkweed had been looking impressive and a Monarch caterpillar was discovered munching his way up the plant.

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