Every year is an adventure in tomato-growing at Black Cat Farm. Colorado’s tempestuous climate guides the growing season, and ultimately shapes the nature of the harvest. And the weather, too, determines what kinds of tomatoes you see on your plates at Black Cat Bistro and Bramble & Hare.
Unruly springs. Summer weather swinging between hot drought and cool moisture. First frosts that can strike anywhere between late September and mid-October. All of this and more makes the nature of the harvest a mystery when we get plants into the ground in May.
This year has been wonderful. Weeks of rain in April and May led to a slow start, but also strengthened the plants with abundant water. Early summer, too, saw a fair bit of cooler weather, and rain. But things changed dramatically in the middle of July, when the moisture ceased and temperatures began spiking.
August was a parade of dry heat. September, too has followed the same path, although a cool-down is forecast for the next few weeks.
The tomatoes savored the water during the first half of the season. And they are crazy for the heat, which is essential for ripening the fruit.
Some years we barely harvest any larger tomatoes — the only ones that fully ripen are cherry, plum and Roma tomatoes.
Not this year.
Now, we are harvesting all 12 varieties, ranging from cherries the size of marbles to heirlooms as big as softballs.
We are roasting them, turning them into sauce, pickling them, fermenting them and serving them sliced and still warm from the fields in the restaurants.
And we are drying them in our greenhouse, which we turned into an enormous drying facility for the next few months. Boulder County sun-dried tomatoes. They don’t get much better.
In a future newsletter we will explore our preservation techniques. But for now, savor the next month or so of fresh tomatoes. Among other things, we love to make gazpacho, ratatouille and salsa with the bounty.
At The Market
Saturday 8am – 2pm
Weekly Harvest 9/7/2019
Pickling cucumbers · Corn · Eggplant · Beans (green, purple, yellow) · Peppers · Tomatoes · Purple potatoes · Golden potatoes · Beets · Basil: Sweet, Lemon and Purple · Summer squash · Parsnips · Hakurei turnips · Red kale · Mixed salad greens · Radish greens · Osaka purple · Tatsoi · Spicy mustard greens · Celery · Carrots · Parsnips
Sonoran White wheat flour · Khorasan wheat flour · Swiss rye wheat flour
Black Cat Heritage-Breed Pork & Lamb Raised on Organic Pastures
All cuts of lamb · All cuts of pork · Pork skin · Pork jowls
Sheepskins · Tallow candle
Tomatoes so fresh they still hold the sun’s warmth. Corn that perfumes the table. Heritage pork and lamb grilled over plum wood. These represent some of the culinary treasures you will encounter at our weekly farm dinners. Every Thursday through the fall, please join us for hors d’oeuvres on the patio and in our restored, historic farm buildings, followed by tours of our organic- and biodynamic-certified farm. Then we meet back up at the farm dinner space for four courses, each paired with Bookcliff Vineyards wines. Following the meal, guests are free to take in the breathtaking mountain views while they enjoy dessert inside, on the patio, or in front of a bonfire.
We look forward to sharing these weekly celebrations of the pleasures of the table — Colorado-style.
Location: 9889 North 51st St., Longmont.
Time: 5:30 for hors d’oevres and farm tours. Dinner service begins at 6:30.
Dining: hors d’oevres, four courses with wine pairings, dessert.
Cost: $149 per person, includes all wine pairings, taxes and gratuity.
To make reservations, please call Black Cat Bistro at 303-444-5500, or email Maygen at [email protected]. Or click on the link below.