AT BLUE HERON ORGANIC FARM in Lincoln, tomatoes are a specialty. The farm grows 33 varieties, in all shades, shapes, and sizes. The sweetest may be the smallest — the aptly named Sun Gold cherry tomatoes, little orange spheres that are low in acid. “They’re amazing,” says farm manager Ellery Kimball. “It’s rare to have a vegetable that tastes like candy.”
This year’s tomato season started out picture-perfect, with healthy, fast-growing plants and plenty of gorgeous fruit. It was hot, with the right amount of rain. Then blight struck, and about half of Blue Heron’s crops were hit hard. Many other organic farms have also encountered the problem. “We’re still getting a really good harvest,” Kimball says. “If I felt like I was the only farm with blight, I would have destroyed them at first sight.” But don’t worry. The season is still looking good, and there are plenty of tomatoes to go around.
Blue Heron provides produce to restaurants in Boston and Cambridge as well as to establishments closer to the farm. Here’s what the chefs are doing with their sweet Sun Golds.
AKA BISTRO executive sous-chef Shawn Cameron uses Sun Gold tomatoes in a salad that the French-Japanese restaurant in Lincoln runs as a special. He combines mizuna, cucumber ribbons, and Great Hill blue cheese with the cherry tomatoes and red wine vinaigrette. Specials are a good way to test new dishes, he says, and a version of this salad could move onto the regular menu at some point, adjusted according to what ingredients are in season. AKA Bistro initially used the Sun Gold tomatoes in a cod dish. “Sometimes we just get things in and play with them and see what works,” Cameron says.
> Distance traveled: 1 mile
145 Lincoln Road, Lincoln, 781-259-9920, akabistrolincoln.com
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