Heirloom Tomatoes-#7 of 100 Reasons We Love Living in Sonoma County

via Scientific America

Heirloom Tomatoes are in season here in Sonoma County. Did you know that there are over 600 varieties of heirloom tomatoes grown? What exactly is an heirloom tomato you may ask.

Heirloom plants, both ornamental and edible, are open-pollinated varieties that preserve the past, offer greater disease and insect resistance, come in a wide range of shapes, colors, and tastes, and have much, much hipper names than today’s hybrids and disputed genetically modified seeds. via Huffington Post

An heirloom is generally considered to be a variety that has been passed down, through several generations of a family because of it’s valued characteristics. And here in Sonoma county we are harvesting them by the bushel. And can I say…there is nothing like a vine ripened heirloom tomato!

This week-end, Saturday, September 10th, Kendall Jackson is holding it’s 15th annual Heirloom Tomato Festival! It’s a great way to spend a day…wine fermenting in oak barrels, tasty treats in many forms and mixed with many flavors, live music, the scent of lavender in the air;a great experience of artisan foods mixed with great  Sonoma Wines.

Some of the best chefs in the area will take part in the celebration and will serve these tomato-inspired dishes. The public, as well as critics, vote for their favorite item.

Taste the flavors of some of Sonoma's best heirlooms

Then on the 13th, 14th and 15th, Santa Rosa will be hosting the National Heirloom Exposition to be held at the Sonoma County fairgrounds. There will be over 250 Garden Vendors and Farm Producers sampling their products; plus exhibits, events, speakers and demos.

Our friend Helge Hellburg, host of the radio show An Organic Conversation, along with Alice Waters and a number of other luminaries will be guest speakers at this event.

In the meantime enjoy these very special tomatoes as a soup, salad, spread…or ripe off the vine. There is nothing better.

My new personal favorite is a salad that Irene has been making for us; it includes, Watermelon, Heirloom tomatos, Goat chesse and white onion, It is amazing!