I love this place!
It’s stunning how the North Fork of Long Island has gripped Sandy and me. You would think by making such a claim that we were in love with all of the same things…but not really. Sure…we can appreciate the same things. For me, however it is simply the food and wine…and in all seasons.
For Sandy, it’s a lot more. As I just said, she can appreciate the food and wine…but it’s the flowers, the gardens, the vintage and antiques (although nowadays it’s quite hard to find a real bargain), and, of course, the horse community that draw us constantly to this part of our Long Island.
Getting back to “I love this place!” It’s the end of August and peak tomato time…a highlight every year in my life for as long as I can remember. I just can’t get enough of the selection available from all of my tomato girls.
In 2010 I wrote about Cheryl’s on River Road in Calverton and her fabulous cherry tomatoes …in 2011 I wrote about Joanne Zelnicki on Sound Avenue and her brilliant “Champion” tomatoes. For 2012, even though I want her all for myself, I have to share with all of you Flora The Santorini Tomato Maven.
The selection here is astounding!
If you travel too fast on Route 48, you will miss her. Take a look at the pictures I post and they will be your guide as it sits on the south side of the road heading east. Look for the buoy…that’s all I can say.
Flora, with the help of her son Tony, stands ready to guide you through a hearty selection of tomatoes….and many planted with the seeds from her homeland in Santorini, Greece. They grow and sell their peppers, zucchini, squash, eggplants and other veggies…but the stars here are Flora’s tomatoes.
Flora…someway…somehow…I’m wondering if it’s possible to make you a stop along the North Fork Foodie Tour. We shall see…We shall see.
Oh yes!…One more important tidbit. If we really and truly love our tomatoes, we save the seeds and plant them in our garden (I’m still waiting for Joanne’s Champions to ripen on the vine as we speak) and perpetuate the crop.
Saving the seeds is easy to do…and for the home grower here’s how!
Squeeze approximately 30-40 seeds from any tomato that you LOVE…place in a cup with two tablespoons of water…cover with plastic wrap and punch a hole in the top. Stir daily for 3 days. After that time, the seeds will have separated from the gelatinous goop that surrounded it as it came out of the tomato.
Place the seeds on paper towels or a coffee filter and let dry in an airy space for at least another 3 days…depending on humidity levels (rainy or dry days). Move the seeds around after a couple of days to insure they don’t stick to the paper.
Store the seeds in your own home made seed package.
All you have to do is go to: www.countryliving.com/seedpacket
“Sharing your garden bounty can mean more than handing out juicy tomatoes. Why not also pass along homegrown vegetable seeds? Learn how to harvest them at seedsave.org—then package those future plans in our sweet little DIY envelopes. Simply download the free PDF (plus instructions), then print on earthy paper, fold, and give the gift of gardening for mere pennies”.
Country Living Magazine
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