Tree & Twig - A Tomato Tour

Isn't it great when you fit in with strangers?

Last Sunday, my husband and I drove out to Wellandport to visit Tree & Twig Heirloom Vegetable Farm for a Tomato Tour.  That's right... a TOMATO TOUR!  Imagine my bliss.  It seems I'm not the only one enraptured with the charms of the tomato, because the farm was packed with like-minded folks, smiling, sipping wine and chatting despite the grim weather. 

The afternoon began with a walk through the gardens of our gracious host and inspirational farmer, Linda.  Donning an 'I heart Tomatoes' tee (which I now passionately covet) and ankle-deep in the sticky clay of her land, Linda guided us along, providing candid stories of her growing season and her favourite (and less-than-favourite) varieties. Here are a few highlights from the garden...

Linda in her element.
Fantastic peppers! Gorgeous!
Blooming eggplant.
Cool pepper!  I'm sorry, I can't remember any variety names!
Amazing marigolds (above) and zinnias (below) from Linda's 'Organic Gardening' magazine trial gardens.
Beautiful basil.

We escaped the mud, and stomped back into the grassy yard to start the main event - time to taste the tomatoes!  I was shocked at the depth of variety - with so many types and sizes and colours to taste, it was impossible to choose where to begin.  I decided that my best bet was to work systematically and try them all.  After all, it's a unique experience to have so many beautiful flavours together at once!

Just 1 of 2 tasting tables.  Wow!
Linda talking tomatoes.
Some of these beauties came home with me.
The culinary delights didn't stop at the tomato tasting.  The group was also treated to some seriously creative and unexpected treats.  Delectable tomato cake, savoury tomato muffins and, if you can imagine it, tomato-basil-mascarpone ice cream were available for sampling too.  Mmmmmm! 
Tomato, basil & mascarpone combine to make a creamy, dreamy treat.

Local Chef Mark Picone created sweet, fresh sips of delight using tomatoes, watermelon, honey, sunberries and basil that danced over our tongues with a bouquet of summer flavours.

Chef Mark Picone
Tomato shooters.  So delish!
 With soaked clothes and arms laden with quarts of purchased tomato favourites, we said farewell to the farm for the day.  I've seldom been so inspired and satisfied while so wretchedly uncomfortable! 

Thanks for the great afternoon, Linda.  We'll definitely be back!

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