The farm stand season in the Enfield area has officially kicked off today with the opening of Johnny's Roadside Market Garden on North Maple Street in the Shaker Pines section. In the early spring, Johnny's opens up to sell vegetable plants and bedding flowers before closing again for a few weeks. Then, as early crops start coming in at local farms (and in Johnny's own tomato greenhouses) they open again for the season, carrying a variety of fresh vegetables and fruits from the Connecticut River Valley as well as some other produce more typical of grocery stores.
I stopped in today on my way home from work, and found a big variety of fresh produce waiting: Beet greens, spinach, and early lettuce from Connecticut farms; local peas, sugar snaps, and green beans; Connecticut Valley sweet corn (wicked early!); crispy pickling cukes from New Jersey; and plump gorgeous early tomatoes from Johnny's own hothouses. These are not the crappy hothouse tomatoes of my childhood, pale and hard and wrapped in cellophane. No, these are crimson beauties that bear delicious whispers of the summer tomatoes yet to come.
I have several tomato vines in my own garden, and come late July I'll have all the tomatoes I need right in my own backyard. But until those start to come in, I have Johnny's awesome tomatoes to tide me over.
Johnny's tomatoes are at the heart of The Nearly Perfect BLT:
- Fresh lettuce picked a few minutes ago from my garden
- Bacon from a local smokehouse
- Fresh crusty Viennese bread
- One of Johnny's tomatoes
Why "nearly perfect?" Well, the Truly Perfect BLT would have an heirloom tomato out of my own garden. But all of my toms are still green.
Johnny's Roadside Market Garden
336 North Maple Street
Enfield, CT 06082