Approximately two years ago, Rudy’s Happy Patch Market adopted the tomato as its year-around vegetable of choice. Customer demand and increased availability of different tomato varieties have led to increased on-campus planting and harvesting of the popular crop.
“We have had an increase in the requests for different varieties of tomatoes,” says Phyllis Smith, market manager. “Now that most peers choose to plant and harvest tomatoes in their raised bed, we have increased product.”
With increased production levels, tomatoes are also a topic of education on everything from recipes to canning and freezing techniques. Peer will soon be offered instructional classes in healthy and creative preparation of fresh vegetables.
Safe preservation of tomatoes is also an important training topic. Even with an abundance of tossed salads, winter soups, and other meals prepared with tomatoes in the campus lunchroom, tomatoes overflow the market. Excess tomatoes are prepared, dated, and stored in freezers located throughout the campus.
But the most enjoyable educational topic is surely meal preparation. Says Miss Phyllis, At the market and the instructional classes, we will probably offer more preparation and menus for at-home preparation. We are developing tasty menu recipes for our peers and the new kitchen in Happy Patch Market.” Say tuned for more developments!
In the photo above, Malcolm Johnson transfers bags of recently cleaned, processed, and date-tagged tomatoes for storage in a warehouse freezer.