6th Annual Kansas City Tomato Times Tomato Tasting F.A.Q.

porkandtomatoes

It seems like only yesterday that we hosted the first KCTTTT, but has been 6 years of great food, great friends, and great memories!  Some of you have been with us since the very beginning and without you, we couldn’t have continued to support and promote the unique deliciousness of the tomato.  For those of you that are attending your first time, you’re in for a treat!

Every year is a little different as we like to mix things up to keep it interesting. Please review the F.A.Q.’s below to help make your trip to the 6th KCTTTT a memorable success for all of us!

  • Where and when is the KCTTTT?  The tasting is from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, August 2nd at the Local Pig (2618 Guinotte Ave, Kansas City, MO 64120)  Please click the link to get directions as it can be a bit difficult to find if you’re never been there before.
  • How much does it cost?  The KCTTTT has been and always will be a free event.  This year we are asking for a donation of at least 5 non-perishable food items per person to help the St.James Church and the Bishop Sullivan Center’s  food drives.
  • What should I bring?  Please bring labeled varieties of tomatoes if you can for people to enjoy.  We love tomato variety and want to have as many types of tomatoes to taste as possible!  Put your tomatoes in a brown paper lunch sack with the variety labeled on the sack.  Check them in with Jen at the registration table to get your tickets for the prize drawings.  Each variety you bring gets you one ticket for the drawing…bring as many varieties as you can for the best chances to win!

The big hit of every tomato tasting is the creative dishes people bring for others to sample.  Break out your favorite tomato dish  recipes and we look forward to devouring them!

Also,you might want to bring a lawn chair to sit in as seating will be very limited with the large crowd we are expecting.

  • I don’t have any tomatoes to bring this year, what else can I bring?  It’s ok if you don’t have tomatoes to bring, but we would appreciate it if you would bring along something to accompany the spread of food.  Fresh breads, cheeses, sweets, or anything else that you think people would enjoy will definitely be appreciated.
  • What else is there to do at the tomato tasting besides eat and eat and eat?  You will have the opportunity to vote for your 5 favorite tomato varieties, so be sure to bring a pen to write on your voting tickets.  If you’re a gardener, you might also want to bring a pad and paper to write down your favorite varieties so you can grow them in your garden in the future.  You will also be surrounded by like minded foodies and gardeners who are the friendliest people on the planet…I’m sure you’ll have plenty to talk about!  Also, make sure you make a trip inside The Local Pig to buy some of their fantastic sausages, bacon, steaks, and other amazing products!
  • How can I help with this event?  We are always looking for help setting up and taking down the event.  I will arrive around 7:30 in the morning to put down table cloths and start organizing the tables and tomatoes.  Jen will need one person to help with the registration.  Around 8:00 we’ll need a couple of people to help with slicing and labeling tomatoes to put on the tables.  If you would like to help out, please arrive early and we’ll put you to work!

 

 

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Shishito Peppers

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If you are not growing and eating Shishito Peppers you are missing out on a true delicacy of the garden!  Shishito
Peppers are a Japanese variety of flavorful, very mild pepper.  The Japanese aren’t much for super spicy foods, so they grow these peppers for flavor with just a tiny touch of burn.  They are served in some of the finer restaurants such as the American and Gram and Dunn here in Kansas City.

They are very easy to grow and very prolific plants.

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Cooking the peppers is as easy as it gets….add a teeny tiny amount of olive oil to a pan…heat on high and toss in whole Shishito peppers.  They will pop, smoke, and blister as they cook…just keep turning them and let them blister on all sides until they soften up a bit, but not too much.  Then add some salt (flake salt is best) squeeze a the juice from a lemon over them and give them one last toss in the pan.  Serve immediately.  Eat the whole pepper up to the seeds…don”t eat the stem!

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Tomorrow’s Lineup!

Tomorrow from 9-noon is my first ever “Open Garden” !  The garden is looking good and should show you what a backyard garden in peak production looks like.  The tomato plants are loaded with fruit and pretty healthy although I’ve lost a few to the curly top virus, and some are showing some fusarium and verticulum wilt, but are otherwise doing fine.  I have 4 beds that have been harvested and are in the process of preparing for late summer and fall crops.  The sweet potatoes are running rampant, the asparagus plants are ferned out, and the okra’s hibiscus like blooms are beautiful  The cardoon is doing whatever it is supposed to o I guess…I need to get it wrapped up and blanched pretty soon I think.  The bean and squash beds are looking a little rough after major harvesting, but will bounce back soon and begin cranking out more fruit right away.  The star of the show right now has to be the 8 foot tall corn stalks with their towering tassels and two ears of young corn per stalk…not ready to harvest yet, but we’re stocking up on butter for the coming weeks!

In addition to cruising around the garden, I’ll have lots of fresh veggies for you to purchase.  I am trying to keep my prices as low as I can, but they won’t be Price Chopper low, nor will they be Whole Foods high.  I think I’m at about what most true farmer’s markets are selling for…those that actually grow and sell their own produce, not the re-sellers you see at the City Market most of the time.  I think the prices are fair, but if you think I’m off my a lot, please let me know and I’ll be glad to work with you.

I’ll have the following for sale tomorrow:  elephant garlic, Russian Red garlic, candy and superstar onions, three types of kale (Dwarf Siberian, Starbor, and Russian Red), several types of summer squash and zucchini, several types of sweet and hot peppers, Armenian and Ancient Chinese cucumbers, and last, but not least Italian and Asian eggplant,

Here are some pics of the beautiful veggies…hope to see you tomorrow!

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Summer squash, cucumbers, garlic, eggplant, kale and peppers available.

I am having an “Open Garden” this Saturday from 9-noon.  I’ll have the gate open for folks to tour the summer garden and will be available to talk about gardening and will do my best to answer your questions.

I have a lot of squash, eggplant, kale, onions, garlic, peppers, cucumbers, and some other stuff ripe now and available for purchase.  You can pick them up this Saturday from 9-noon if you’d like or let me know if you can’t make it Saturday and we can arrange a time this week for you to stop by to get veggies early.

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Garden is in high gear! Vrrrrrrrroooooooooom!

The superstars of the garden, the tomatoes, have barely started to ripen with only a couple of cherries ripe so far, but the rest of the garden is cranking!

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Good bugs! Okra is doing well!

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Rosa Bianca Eggplant

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Happy hod!

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Carolina Reaper…be afraid!

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Soon!

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Very Soon!

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Tomato tsunami!

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German Giant mega cluster of fruit!

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There will be tomatoes!

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Did I mention we have a LOT of tomatoes?

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Artisan cherries

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Beans beans beans

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Can’t beat the beets!

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Carrots planted in January under double tunnels did surprisingly well!

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40 lbs of onions!

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Zucchini bread needs to be made!

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Beetalicious!

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Peppers and eggplant are flourishing!

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Fengyuan purple eggplant

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Peppers by the wheelbarrow load!

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Armenian cucumber

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Tomato jungle!

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The garden in all its glory!

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Did i mention we have a lot of peppers? 90 plants may be a bit too much!

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Head high sweet corn by the 4th of July?

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Bees galore all over the squash bed

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Cardoon

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The squash bed is alive with all kinds of pollinators!

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Tomato Plant Pruning

Here’s an awesome video my friends Todd and Julie made for me.  Enjoy!

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First Day of Summer 2014

I’v been battling bronchitis the past two weeks and have had no energy/wind to work in the garden much at all.  Despite my neglect, the garden is doing well thanks to the rains, raised beds, and lots of work to get the garden ready this spring.  Here are a couple of videos of the progress so far…try to ignore my heavy breathing!

 

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