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Growing conditions were 'almost perfect' for tomatoes this season

"Hot days and minimal amounts of rain have made for bumper crops," said Abby Shepler, Rochester Farmers Market manager. No sooner does sweet corn peak than it is time to start enjoying fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes. 

"This year, growing conditions were almost perfect," says Abby Shepler, Rochester Farmers Market manager. "Growers are saying it has been a while since it's been this good. Hot days and minimal amounts of rain have made for bumper crops."

A recent stroll through the market bears this out, with nearly every vendor displaying baskets and trays of gorgeous red, orange and yellow tomatoes of all sizes. Right now, these take center stage for local, seasonal eating.

Actually, these last weeks of August and into the beginning of September, tomatoes — both heirlooms and hybrids — are at their best. Most farmers grow both. The difference? Heirloom seed varieties have been passed down for decades, usually at least 50 years. They are also thin-skinned, so be careful handling them.

"These can be very temperamental," said grower Mark Timm. "They don't particularly like to get wet. "Hybrids are bred for taste, and to grow a more "perfect" tomato, round and flavorful, with a good balance of sweet and acidity. Which have the best flavor? Personal preference."

Read the complete article at Post Bulletin 


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