Listen to Austin 360 Radio

Rains bring bumper crop of tomatoes, summer produce

Addie Broyles
abroyles@statesman.com

Thanks to all this rain lately, local farmers are experiencing bumper crops of produce, especially those beloved tomatoes you’ve been waiting for all year. The sheer variety and quantity that the farmers and market organizers are sharing on Facebook right now is astonishing. Not just primary reds, yellows, greens and oranges, but every hue in between and, in the case of varieties like Cherokee purple, then some.

As such, Johnson’s Backyard Garden’s sixth annual bulk tomato sale is going on right now, and you can buy 10-pound boxes of a handful of varieties, such as San Marzanos. Full pricing and ordering details at jbgorganic.com/tomatoes.

That’s a lot of tomatoes to can or preserve, and though I’ve enjoyed that ritual of summer, I didn’t enjoy waterbath canning tomatoesenough (or the jam and vinegar-y salsa that got old after the first jar) to continue doing it every year. (I do recommend quick pickles and freezer jams if you’re looking for a happy DIY medium.)

If you just want to buy a pound or two, head to a local market or farmstand, where farmers including Tecolote, Two Happy Children, Bernhardts, Springdale, Green Gate and B5 will be selling more sizes and varieties than you could probably count.

And that’s just the tomatoes.

The summer bounty continues with summer squash, pattypan squash, zucchini, cucumbers, potatoes and some of the first peppers, green beans, eggplant and corn of the year. Okra popped up at Boggy Creek Farm earlier this month, and it will be filling many other stands in a month.

Central Texans are lucky enough to have farmers markets and farmstands nearly every day of the week and in many parts of the area. The weather hasn’t hit triple digits yet, so now is just about the perfect time to give a little extra money to farmers who have a little extra produce on their hands. You can find a full list of local farmers markets at austin360.com/food-drink.