ArrowDownFill 1arrow-small-lineFill 1Cooking Light - EasyCooking Light - FastCooking Light - So GoodCooking Light - How-ToCooking Light - Staff FaveCooking Light Badge - Wow!GroupClose IconEmailEmpty Star IconLike Cooking Light on FacebookFull Star IconShapePage 1 Copy 3Page 1 Copy 2Grid IconHalf Star IconFollow Cooking Light on InstagramList IconMenu IconPrintSearch IconSpeech BubbleFollow Cooking Light on SnapchatFollow Cooking Light on TwitterWatch Cooking Light on YouTubeplay-iconWatch Cooking Light on Youtube

It’s Tomato Time!

You know that moment where you plan...and wait, calculate on the calendar...and wait, then see encouraging signs of life...and wait? Nine months have passed since we last narrowed down the list of potential names. We’ve patiently watched as they grow plump and rosy. The day has finally arrived. No, we’re not talking about the Kardashian birth, or the royal offspring soon to complete the fairytale with great fanfare. It’s tomato time!

The first tomato basket of the summer.

In our kitchen garden, the first to show color were Golden Nugget and Sungold cherries, Orange Banana paste tomato, Atkinson and Rutgers slicers, and German Red Strawberry. Many more are on the way, but this first harvest moment should get you salivating for your own summer fruits. Once you’ve had your fill of tomato sandwiches (which you must always do with the very first one after waiting those eternally slow nine months), try our Tomato Stack Salad with Corn and Avocado recipe.

Blackberry harvest

The fruits that are ripe for picking now are five varieties of thornless blackberries and several dusty blue blueberries. I’ve shuttled the first pickings to the photo studio and can’t wait to fill more baskets. We would have had more to photograph, but we just had to re-test the Blackberry Margarita recipe that we feature in our Sunday Strategist. Duty called. In other exciting news, our Blue Jade corn has begun tasseling on those shiny, short stalks. An official sign of summer...if 92-degree heat hadn’t already given the hint.

The chickens are just as excited for tomato season as we are. See, they are attracted to anything red and anything edible. Not very discerning, I know. It’s particularly fun to kick off tomato season with a game of chicken soccer: toss a ripe one in the coop for instant chaos and a clucking frenzy. On the other side of the coop, the baby chicks we hatched two weeks ago are feathering out and are in that gawky, squawky stage. It’s hilarious to watch them try out the new wings, zipping around and fluttering mid-air. An action shot caught them enacting a little “kung fu fighting” yesterday.

Tell us your go-to tomato recipe for the first fresh pick of summer.

Baby chicks doing a little "kung fu fighting."

Chicken soccer. Chickens 1, tomato 0. They ate the ball.

Our vegetable and herb trial gardens on June 20, 2013.
Blue Jade corn beginning to tassel.