Monday, 7 April 2014

The Great Tomato Search

Last week, armed with my new preserving knowledge, I set off to get tomatoes.  I knew it was getting late in the season.  I travelled for an hour to a place full of orchards and tomato growers.

Orchard one - closed.  Orchard two - Heaps of fruit, no tomatoes.

Disheartened, I asked in town.  I got many leads, some of which would have taken me miles out of my way.  I decided to try one lead in the direction of home.  When I arrived in the heart of this tiny town, I saw a lady of about eighty walking down the street.  I stopped to ask her and she pointed me in a very vague direction and assured me I could find tomatoes there.

Off I went again, this time becoming confused as to which road I should be on and even unsure which road I actually was on.  Finally I found some men in a paddock so asked them.  Yes, just up the road on your left.  Yahoo! I pulled up and saw...........  yep, tomatoes!  Heaps of them pouring out of a chute into the back of a truck.  I was so excited.  I had begun to feel like I was searching for the Holy Grail.
All the signs said no cars, so I parked up and walked in.  I could see fork lifts and trucks but nothing that resembled a shop.  My heart dropped as I realised it was a factory, not a tomato outlet.  A man approached and I explained how I had arrived there and the mistake I had made.  He said, "Hang on a sec.   I'll get the boss."
Out whizzed a man on a forklift.  He asked how many boxes I wanted.  "Four ten kilo boxes.", I told him.  He delivered a huge bin near the car, gave me four boxes and left me to it.  I couldn't believe it! My luck was in.  And I only paid five dollars a box.
I went home elated.  Somehow the adventures of the Great Tomato Search made my tomatoes so much more special.  I travelled about two hundred kilometres and spent six hours but I found my tomatoes.  What a shopping day!!!
Next year I will go earlier.  My big preserving day began the following morning.
 Now my shelves are groaning with tomatoes.  Something I have dreamt about for years!
How do you shop?  LOL


Frugal in Derbyshire said...

Great Post! Tenacity wins!
We have a nearly three months to wait here until our tomatoes are ready.

Linda said...

Haha! I like that terminology. Tenacity. Yep. I could be described as tenacious! Was worth it in the end.

Linda said...

Ps. Good luck with your tomatoes Gill. I it's the best thing to pick your own tomatoes!

Kim said...

You were like a detective hunting those tomatoes . What a lovely Winter shelf of preserves you are going to have now!

Cheryl said...

What a great story, and every time you eat some of those preserved tomatoes, you will remember that day, now that's connecting with your food!

Fiona from Arbordale Farm said...

What an exciting trip and the effort invested this year will be paid off in the years to come.

Linda said...

Kim, I'm very excited to have my own winter tomatoes. It look so cosy in the house too, when you have preserved food on display.

I agree Cheryl! I love it when my food has a history. Makes it come alive!

I did have fun Fiona and I've learned a lesson. I didn't go earlier though because I wasn't confident in preserving until I'd done the preserving workshop.