We also visited Durst Organic Growers in Esparto, Calif., during the trip to G&S Farms in Brentwood, Calif., that I described in last week’s blog.
Our Produce Market managers, myself and a
few others walked through seemingly endless rows of cherry tomato plants. What I remember most vividly about that farm visit is that it was HOT, and as we each picked a few pints of cherry tomatoes we all gained a profound appreciation for the folks who are in those fields harvesting all day, every day through the summer. We weren’t alone.
“To us, it’s simple: We believe growing food should not come at the cost of hurting our workers or the ecological systems around us.”
– (from Durst website)
Durst organic variety cherry tomatoes are one of our customers’ favorite summer harvests because they’re just about as perfect as a cherry tomato can be in terms of flavor, texture and variety.
But another reason to love these little gems is the people behind them.
The Durst family has been farming in California since the late 1800s, focusing primarily on large-scale commodity farming until Jim and Deborah Durst transitioned to market-fresh organic crops in the ‘80s. They worked hard to build an ecologically and socially conscious business, treating both the planet and people with respect and care.
I was particularly impressed with the Dursts’ commitment to their farmworkers’ well-being, which isn’t always the case on commercial farms. And having myself experienced picking little tiny tomatoes in a hot field in Southern California, they taste even sweeter knowing that the folks who picked them are treated well and paid fairly.
You can read more about their operation on their gorgeous website.
This Could Last a While (We Hope)!
We’ll have at least half a dozen varieties of Durst cherry tomatoes through the rest of the summer, so of course you should try them all! And if you’re likely to eat them like grapes on the way home from the market (as I tend to do), it might be a good idea to pick up an extra pint.
Aside from snacking and salads, add them to a frittata, top a homemade pizza, toss with mozzarella balls and pesto, or try one of these recipes:
Cherry Tomato Relish to serve with grilled fish or meat.
Our very own cheese whiz, Shauna Howell, offers up a cheese worth discovering.
MARIN FRENCH PETITE BREAKFAST CHEESE: Let me introduce you to Marin French Breakfast Cheese, a California original made in Petaluma since Lincoln was president.
This petite disc of un-ripened brie is enriched with a hint of cream, giving it perfect tang and texture. Its size makes it the perfect choice for a cheese plate, a hike or a breakfast side.
If you have friends who cut the rind off their brie they'll love this sweet petite since it’s packaged young and has no rind. Sometimes I think it’s like getting a package of just-the-cream Oreos!
Marketing Manager Sue Transeaux joined Town & Country Markets more than 23 years ago, working in Bulk Foods at the market on Bainbridge Island. She’s always watching for what’s fresh, delicious and inspiring in our markets.