FOR MANY, NOTHING shouts summer more than a fresh, farm-grown tomato. What you find in supermarkets just can’t compare. Oh, the tender flesh warmed by the sun. The savory delight of the tangy juice drizzling down one’s chin. Homegrown tomatoes bring us to our knees with their juicy flavors! BLT, anyone?
Just in time for the turn of the season, Hope Farms is boasting 40 varieties of the popular “love apple” in its fields. The urban farm, located minutes from Downtown Houston, has begun to harvest the dazzling variety of heirloom and cherry tomatoes, which are on offer at Saturday markets and through subscription farm shares. Proceeds from produce sales benefit Recipe for Success Foundation, which founded the farm in 2016.
“I L.O.V.E. tomatoes,” gushes Recipe for Success founder Gracie Cavnar. “They are the ultimate umami flavor to me. We usually grow about two dozen kinds, but this year, we are experimenting with some new varietals as well as offering our classics. From home cooks to our top chefs, everyone is waiting to get their hands on these lovelies, and they sell out early on Saturdays.”
Ever tried a Lemon Boy, Sunrise Sauce or Mr. Stripey? How about a Red Torch or Ella Bella tomato? The Hope Farms Tomato Tasting and Farm Walk on June 1 is your chance to learn about all the flavor and texture nuances and find your preference. Other varieties that Hope Farms has planted include Chefs Choice Bi-color; Celebrity, Sunny Boy, Big Beef and more. This crop was planted after Houston’s last winter freeze, a season which is typically ready for harvest in the late spring.
Donors to the Recipe for Success Annual Fund are rewarded with an invitation to the event, where guests can sample dozens of varieties and pick their favorite. (Here’s a link to becoming a donor and securing an invite!) Alternatively, from now until the heat knocks them down, tomato lovers can get their fill at one of the Hope Farms Market Days (9am-1pm on Saturdays; 4-7pm on the first Wednesday of each month) or through a Seasonal Farm Share, which is delivered weekly to subscriber’s homes. Don’t miss out on the short but sweet Texas tomato season.
Sungold tomatoes are one of 40 varietals grown at Hope Farms (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Sungold tomatoes on the vine
Saturday Market at Hope Farms