Monday, July 23, 2012

T-Farm at Market in Cross Plains, Wisconsin

T-Farm is now at a Farmer's Market in Cross Plains, Wisconsin on Wednesday from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM.  The new Farmer's Market takes place at Crossroads Coffeehouse, located at 2020 Main Street, Cross Plains.  
Come join us on these warm summer afternoons and buy some of our local tomatoes and other produce that other local farmers and food producers have to offer.

Also, be sure to try some of the excellent coffee or tea that Crossroads has to offer.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tomato Shallot Saffron Tagine Recipe



Tagines are earthenware pots from Northern Africa which can be used on a stove-top at low heat to create amazing dishes.  


Pictured below, you can see that the lids for tagines can be very tall, and the hole in the middle is part of a clever design that keeps it cool enough to handle without use of a hot-pad.


Tomatoes and other fresh vegetables are perfect ingredients to cook in these vessels, and the results can be spectacular!   

This T-Farm recipe is a delicious way to cook some fresh tomatoes in a small tagine.


T-Farm Tagine Saffron-Tomato 
Shallot Recipe (serves 2)

2 Tablespoons Olive oil
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons arborio rice
3 cups large chunks of fresh red tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon lime juice
4 small shallots diced
8 small twigs of saffron

Warm the tagine on low heat for about 5 minutes.  Put the ingredients in the order listed above, and bring pot to boil at a medium heat.  (If you attempt to heat the pot at a higher temperature, you may crack the pot)

Lower to a simmer and let cook for 40 minutes, stirring every 12 to 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and enjoy!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Double-Decker Tomato Sandwich

Now that more fresh tomatoes are coming off the vine, the question for those of us that REALLY love fresh tomatoes is how to possibly work more of them into a meal.

Before the T-Farm tomatoes started ripening this year, I had a very nice sandwich the other day with a local tomato slice on it that was maybe 1/4" thick.  It tasted pretty good, but the flavor was not quite all there in my opinion. (Perhaps it was not picked red)

Anyway,  if you slice open a large tomato, and make the slices that thin, there better be a pretty large group of people ready to eat or you will have to find another use for the rest of the tomato.  In short, sandwiches can be a slow and limited way to eat tomatoes if prepared in this fashion.


And then there is the Double-Decker tomato sandwich, which is truly a lycopene packed innovation that solves the sandwich/tomato dilemma.   The sandwich shown above was created by my friend Mike yesterday with a rye bread I had baked and some T-Farm tomatoes and basil layered with some white cheddar.  If this wasn't Wisconsin I suspect the cheese may not have been doubled!

After copying the design of this structural sandwich, I can tell that you it tastes every bit as good as it looks.  With the Midwest weather as nice as it has been so far this year, many of us may need to find new ways to eat all of the garden bounty, and this is a great way to go!  Enjoy!

Friday, June 15, 2012

First Outdoor T-Farm Tomatoes of 2012

The first outdoor tomatoes of the 2012 are now ripe. What a great flavor after a Midwest winter where good tomatoes are difficult to find. 

 Starting 2012, all T-Farm tomatoes are heirloom varieties (25 different varieties this year!).  One of the very first tomatoes this year is a new trial for T-Farm, an unusual, potato-leaf heirloom from Czechoslovakia (pictured on the right) called "Stupice."  

It is reportedly cold tolerant which makes it a good choice for Wisconsin.  It is also obviously very early.  As you can see by the photo, there are not a lot of branches or leaves, this plant went right to fruit production!  The flavor of the first fruit was tangy with a hint of sweetness, very nice indeed.

 Back again from last year's trials is the wonderful "Italian Tree" tomato shown on the left.  The the first ripe fruit was medium size and delicious and full of deep summery tomato flavor.

If you live in the Madison or Cross Plains area, we plan to have tomatoes available for sale this summer, so stay tuned and we will announce when and where you can try some T-Farm tomatoes.  And good luck to those of you growing your own tomatoes, seems like a great year so far, so long as one has water available for the plants.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Hops 2012 - 2nd year


This is the second year for the T-Farm hops, and the vines are doing very well.  Some of them are over 8 foot long by June 1st!  A new trellis was built and the vines seem to do well with it, and it will provide some shade in the hot months of summer to come.  The hoop house can now be used for tomatoes!