TOMATO Picking - Stades

TOMATO Picking - Stades

More About TOMATO Picking - Stades

Pick-Your Own tomatoes at Stade’s Farm & Market typically begins late August and continues until the first frost, which is usually in early October. At Stade’s we grow many different varieties of tomatoes in order to have an adequate supply throughout the late summer and into fall. Our tomato plants are staked to keep them off the ground and make them easy to pick. We plant approximately 8,000 tomato plants in May.

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Tomato Pricing

$10 – 1/2 Peck
$15 – Peck
$25 – 1/2 Bushel
Pick-Your-Own Hours

When available, we are open from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM. Please check our website, Facebook, or call (815) 675-6396 for picking conditions and more information. Stade’s reserves the right to close the picking area due to inclement weather (heavy rain, thunder, lightning, and/or severe winds) without advance notice in order to protect their customers and employees.

How to Pick Tomatoes

Tomatoes taste their best when picked at their prime, which means the redder, the better! Most ripe tomatoes are bright red, although different varieties of tomatoes can have different colors. You can pick tomatoes that are still green, and they will ripen off the vine; however, the taste will not be as good as vine-ripened tomatoes. If you want to ripen green tomatoes, place them in a paper bag with the stem up and store them in a cool, dark place.

Tomatoes begin to ripen on the bottom first, so you will want to check the bottom of the tomatoes for the mature ripe color of the variety you are picking. Oftentimes ripe tomatoes have some yellow remaining around the stem, which is perfectly fine. Ripe tomatoes should feel slightly firm when you gently squeeze them. (Note: A hard tomato needs additional time to ripen.) The tomato skin should be smooth and slightly shiny. A tomato that is too soft all over is overripe.

You can also check the ripeness of the tomato by its weight in your hand. A lighter-weight tomato indicates the fruit may not be quite ripe yet. A heavier, denser tomato usually indicates a ripe, ready-to-pick fruit. Ripe tomatoes have a sweet, earthy smell, which usually indicates a very flavorful tomato. It is important to note when picking tomatoes that they do not necessarily need to reach full color since they will continue to ripen once picked.

When picking, simply pluck the tomatoes gently from the plant with your fingers. Be sure to support its weight, so you don’t drop it on the ground. You may want to gently take hold of the stem of the plant and support it before you pick the fruit. Some tomatoes will come off the vine easier than others, so be patient as you pick. Carefully place your tomatoes in your basket and remember not to overfill, or you run the risk of damaging the fruit or losing them on the ground.

Tags: local events

Event Details

Date: September 28, 2021

This event also occurs on 10/12/2021

Stade's Farm & Market
3709 Miller Road
McHenry IL 60051

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