Slow Roasted Tomatoes

Photo by Michael Mees
When tomatoes are in season, it can be hard to eat them fast enough. This simple technique will improve their shelf life, and concentrate the best of their flavor.


Tomatoes. Olive oil. Salt.

Cut larger tomatoes into halves or quarters and place cut side up on a baking dish. Sprinkle lightly with salt. I use kosher salt because I like the large, airy flakes.
Place them in the oven at 200°F and roast for 1-8 hours, depending on the size of the tomato. Cherry tomatoes only need an hour or two; big tomatoes can roast for a whole 8 hours. For those large tomatoes, you can even put them in the oven before you go to sleep, and turn off the oven when you wake up and go to work.
The tomatoes shrivel to a gooey concentrate. Drizzle with olive oil and store in the refrigerator in a container for up to two weeks. Serve on bread, in salads and stews, or by just themselves. Add fresh basil leaves for a great flavor combination.

Free Winter Garden Workshop

Gene in his garden. Photo by Mike Jory—Vallejo Times-Herald

Grow vegetables. In Winter?

Learn how with Master Gardener Gene Ekenstam

Saturday September 20th 10am-noon @ Vallejo People's Garden

Gene will share tips on how to grow food all winter long. The Vallejo People's Garden will provide  seeds and refreshments.


Food to Grow On

It's great to see kids interested in gardening and knowing they will take what they've learned about gardening in their formative years and apply them throughout their lives. The program Food to Grow On developed by Ms. Yakabe and Ms. Edwards from the Vallejo Charter School allow the kids to learn about soil, seed, plant growth, harvest, food production, and everything in between.
At the garden, even the teachers got to learn something about tomatoes, which they in turn will teach their students and others. Here's a post from Organic Gardening Magazine on tomatoes:

May, 2014

So many things happening in the month of May and it's only mid May. First, Vilma Aquino conducted a class on water-wise gardening at the Joseph Room in Vallejo where over 60 attendees showed up to learn about gardening during this time of California drought.

On May 10th, Bay-Friendly Landscape Coalition held a talk at the VPG on 'Lose Your Lawn' where Lori Caldwell and Sarah Sutton taught attendees how to kiss their lawn goodbye and embrace a Bay Friendly landscape. Check out

After the talk, attendees had a fabulous lunch courtesy of Chipotle and Sandra's smoothies using fresh ingredients from the garden like kale, beets, carrots, and celery. It was invigorating!

And afterwards, volunteers from AmeriCorps worked in the garden. What is AmeriCorps you ask? AmeriCorps is a network of local, state, and national service programs that connects over 70,000 Americans each year in intensive service to meet community needs in education, the environment, public safety, health, and homeland security.

Lastly, Sandra Saragoza (dedicated VPG volunteer with three kids) gets a chair massage in the garden from Kim Sturdevant of The Napa Valley School of Massage to promote holistic health. Check out their website at to learn more on how you can become a certified massage therapist from one of the premiere locations in the world: Napa Valley, California. Seriously, we could all use a massage at the end of the day.