the $3.99 mid-winter tomato


I don’t usually eat tomatoes in the winter. But by mid-feb I’m REALLY hungry for one. I saw a pretty “heirloom” tomato at Whole Foods. A 16 oz tomato at $3.99/lb. (Wow! Multiply that by the number of tomatoes you grow in the summer!)

Oh well – it did have a brief tomato smell as I sliced it. And looked (ahhh…) …nice. I don’t have the best report on its flavor though. After a preview of the taste I added lots of garlic and capers, etc… It was … mealy and, well, … flavorless. Maybe just not the variety I like? Also probably was picked green, artificially ripened, and traveled forever. Who knows wherefrom.

OK. I’ll wait ’til July. My first tomatoes usually ripen late July. My schedule says to plant seeds on March 19 and April 5 (six weeks before my last frosts). (Two dates since I have two gardens with different frost dates. Not sure yet if I’ll do both dates or split the difference.)

(PS. No onion sprouts yet, but I’m watching….)

Calculate your planting dates here
tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum)

8 Comments. Leave new

  • Yes, I did the same thing. Couldn’t resist. I bought a beautiful expensive heirloom tomato form whole foods…blech mealy and flavorless. I’ll wait!

  • I’m not the only one! That’s SO much to pay for a tomato.

  • If mealy, flavorless tomatoes you seek, head to Haymarket. $0.66 per pound. Eat ’em quick!

  • Kathy,

    Oh, please not Whole Foods………… My friend used to sell to them before they were Whole Foods, then Whole Foods told them they would buy from them only if the produce was not in season in California. Well this never bothered me until the day I stopped at the Carrboro Farmers Market and a lot of farmers had loads Cherokee Purple tomatoes selling for around $3 a pound. We stopped at Whole Foods for coffee and they had Cherokee Purples for $5.99 a pound from California nearly 2000 miles away. I’ve never step foot in there again, especially where I think of all our local farmers composting their beautiful locally grown tomatoes, while down the street they are selling California Produce.

    You can find me shopping at Weaver Street Market where the veggies have signs telling what local farm the produce is from. BTW tomatoes at Weaver Street today were $1.69 a pound.

  • I like Formaggio’s in Cambridge, but don’t get by there often enough. Always good produce. Maybe tomorrow…

  • It is the worst when tom’s are mealy. I eat cherry tomatoes for most of the winter, grown in Mexico for the most part I believe. They seem to be the best tasting tomato I can find in the winter.

    I have been reading in some heirloom books about long keeper tomatoes. You pick them in the fall, store them in a cold place and ripen them on the window sill as needed. I guess if you are lucky you can have ripe tomatoes from the garden on new years day.

  • Kathy … I have all kinds of thoughts about out of season stuff and out of season markets that I’ll keep to my cranky self-righteous self. I really wrote to say that my onions took about a week at 75 or so to sprout.

  • I once saw heirlooms for $4.99 a pound at a Farmer’s Market. I felt like setting up a stand of my own!


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