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The first workday for the 2008 season will be on April 19th from 8 A.M. to 12 Noon (raindate April 20th).  

  • You will be able to sign your contract and pay your dues at this time.   

    • Please come to help clean up the garden as well as your personal plots.  Also, if you're not a member, come meet your neighbors and fellow gardeners!  

      • Bring any ideas and input that you feel might improve our garden in any way...we're always looking for good ideas to improve our community and gardening in Providence, in general. 

      • If possible, please bring at least one large brown bag for landscape debris.  You can purchase these at Benny's or Home Depot.  

 

 We raised over $1200 at our 2007 community social!  Thank you to everyone who came, cooked, or donated!

 




 

GardenNewsletter.pdf

 

How to Dry Tomatoes

By James Crowley

1. Pick smaller tomatoes…big cherries are the best…little grape tomatoes are
hard to dry, varieties like any Plum tomato, 4th of July, Cherry Grande and
Butcher Boy do well.

2. Larger tomatoes dry well but u need to cut them at least 1⁄4 inch
thick….thicker if they are watery, the overall dimension should be about 3⁄4-1
inch square and 1⁄4 to 1/3 inch thick.  Meaty varieties like Brandywine or Big
Boy dry better than more juicy varieties.

3. While its possible to dry tomatoes on a very hot roof in Providence in
the middle of summer….basically its impossible at any other time.  They will
just get moldy being left out. Don’t even think of it. To dry, heat oven to
230F.  Prepare cookie tins by spraying with olive oil along edges for about
two inches all around lightly, then put aluminum wrap down covering sides of
tin as well, shiny side down….this makes clean up later a breeze. Spray the
aluminum lightly with olive oil.  If u don’t use the aluminum wrap clean up
is a bear and getting the dried tomatoes off is difficult so use aluminum
but be sure to recycle it.

4. Chop the tomatoes in the appropriate sizes…try to leave the largest side
being the skin when you have to cut irregularly….a chopping board about the
same size as the cookie tins is convenient for estimating one batch at a
time accurately.

5. Put the filled chopping board across from u on ur countertop and push the
cookie tin next to it aligning the long edge, then simply drag all the cut
tomatoes onto the tin, then turn those tomatoes that did not land on their
skin over so the skin side is down if possible, move them around so they
cover surface evenly, if u have too many return some to the cutting board.
Sprinkle with dry Italian herbs, then a very light olive oil spray. Dry
Italian herbs cost 99cents at CVS.  They flavor the tomatoes and also help
to preserve them.

6. I find it best to start this project around 6 or 7pm. Heat the tomato
slices for two to three hrs in the preheated oven at 230F, then turn it down
to anywhere between 140-160F and leave them overnight, they should be done
by morning. Most will be like slightly bendable potato chips but if they are
like raisins or even a little moister that’s ok. Don’t forget to turn the
temp down or u will have only burned unedible dried tomatoes the next day.
You need to stick a wooden spoon in the oven door to keep it open a bit so
steam escapes. U may have to experiment a bit at first with temps and times.

7. Since batches vary its best to store them all in a plastic bag in the
refrigerator until uve dried all ur going to dry, mix them by turning now
and again….this “cures” them and makes them  more uniform for cooking.  When
u have all u want…you  put them in a baggie with a good seal, gently press
the air out as u seal the bag…store in the refrigerator until needed….for
lesser amounts and for gifts save ur mayonnaise and jam jars and pickle jars
etc. They store indefinitely like this but can also be frozen.

8. The're good in salads anytime,on pizza, on pasta with grated cheese or
with pesto, with seafood like mussels, clams and shrimp…..lots of dishes are
transformed from routine to special when u sprinkle in some dried tomatoes!
Some people like to soak the tomatoes in olive oil for a few days before
using in pasta dishes but don’t store them longer in olive oil…they will go
rancid.


lbs of food donated

100!