22/08/14 7:33 AM

Forget everything you think you know about tomatoes when you come to Old Beach Farmers Market this Saturday.  Instead, be open to a glorious variety of delicious, distinctive tomatoes in a staggering array of colors, shapes, sizes and flavors.  Most are heirlooms – wonderful old cultivars that were regional favorites before industrialized agriculture supplanted them with hybrids bred for uniform appearance and extended shelf life.  Lost in the process were the juicy goodness and the wonderfully eccentric names – Eva Purple Ball, Mortgage Lifter, Georgia Streak, Charlie’s Green, Cherokee Purple, Yellow Pear, Matt’s Wild Cherry.

Tap the expertise of mother/daughter duo Carolyn and Kayleigh Felderman, who grow more than 52 varieties of heirloom tomatoes at their Norfolk home. Our other tomato experts – John Cromwell, Rick and Janice Felker, John Wilson and Laura Bergey – have their own favorites and plenty of knowledge to share.

Look for beautiful flowers, melons, cucumbers, squash, peppers, okra and lots of other summer delights at OBFM.

Special Events

Lynnhaven River Now will give away free trees on Saturday. Sign up now for October delivery for native plants not readily available in garden centers and nurseries. Lynnhaven River Now volunteers are also accepting applications for their popular Pearl Homes initiative. Sign up and get the coveted Pearl Homes flag to display in your yard.

Need a new hobby? The Sit and Stitch ladies and the Yarn Club are promoting their upcoming projects and classes as well as yarns grown, spun and dyed in Virginia.


Parmesan Tomatoes

One way to enjoy the bounty of tomatoes is to top with the complimentary flavors of parmesan cheese and basil and broil until the cheese is golden brown and the fruit is soft and warm throughout. You can make these even more delicious by spooning on top some crabmeat sautéed in a bit of butter or topping with a few grilled shrimp.

Turn oven on to broil. Take three large tomatoes, wash, cut in half, and remove seeds with a grapefruit spoon. Place on a foil-lined cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Place a few inches under the broiler for 4-5 minutes then remove.

While the tomatoes are heating, in a medium bowl add 3/4 cups bread crumbs, 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (grate your own; Parmesan cheese from a can has fillers which prevent the cheese from binding), 1 finely chopped garlic clove, 6 basil leaves finely chopped, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Stir to incorporate.

Sprinkle on top of tomatoes when out of the oven and place back under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, watching them to make sure the tops turn brown, but do not burn. Remove from oven, drizzle a little more olive oil on top, and serve while warm. Yields 4-6 servings.

Recipe from Patrick Evans-Hylton

Author of Dishing Up Virginia


Artisan’s Bakery & Cafe

The Bakery at Riverside Farm

Bergey’s Blossoms

The Creative Wedge

Croc’s 19th Street Bistro

Cromwell’s Produce

Fresh Batch Jams


Full Quiver Farm

Give Treat Love

Grace and Gratitude

Hashi Food Truck

Heads Up Hydrogreens

Jubilee Seafood

Mattawoman Creek Farms

My Vegan Sweet Tooth

New Earth Farm

Pasta e Pani

Pelon’s Baja Grill

Pennacock Peppers

Shady Goat Farm

Speedy’s Hot Sauce

Tasha’s Own Goats Milk Soap

Terrapin Restaurant

Three Ships Coffee

Vy’s Pies

Whole-ly Rollers

Zinnia Girls


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