I love tomatoes. I love the way the plants smell, I love the way they can be acidic and sweet at the same time. I love snacking on a little cherry tomato or slicing open a real big one. I love all the colors they come in.
I don’t always love how difficult they are to transport without squishing them, or how tricky it can be to pick them before they get squishy.
As the weather cools and gets wet again, keeping our tomatoes in beautiful shape gets more challenging. Rain on heirloom tomatoes especially can cause cracking, which another farmer wrote about very well in this linked blog post years ago. Just in general wet weather will make the tomatoes squishier. We do our best to transport the tomatoes carefully, which is part of why we’ve changed to the fiber boxes for packaging this year- plus trying to use less plastic. If you do get a slightly squishy tomato, they are usually still good to eat, if you get a truly rotten, or otherwise unedible, tomato please do let us know as we certainly want you to have the best quality produce we can.
To prevent damage from rain or other weather we’ll sometime pick the tomatoes a little underripe. As long as the fruit has “broken”, or started to turn color, it should ripen off the plant to a really nice flavor. Just leave them out at room temperature for a couple of days until they have softened up. Do note that some of the purple heirloom tomatoes retain green “shoulders” even when fully ripe.
Hopefully this helps you deal with all this late summer tomato goodness. In the meantime, I know my house is starting to resemble some of these photos we took back in our first CSA year