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588 Juniper Swamp Road
Shushan, NY 12873

Phone 518 854 9564

Wayne & Phyllis Underwood - Owners


July 20, 2009 - update to this article: 

The current blight on locally grown tomatoes in the northeast DOES NOT affect the hydroponically grown tomatoes at Shushan Valley Hydro-Farm.  Good news for tomato lovers - look for the Shushan stand to be back at the Union Square Greenmarket in NYC by mid September, 2009.

What a delightful taste experience it was to read in The New York Times on March 25, 2009 about Shushan Valley Hydro-Farm and the delicious tomatoes and herbs they are growing and then, of course, I immediately hopped on a subway to the Union Square Greenmarket to find their stand. 

It was wonderful to meet Phyllis Underwood (see photo) and learn that they grow tomatoes and herbs hydroponically at their farm to New Yorkers during the barren Fall, Winter and Spring months when locally grown tomatoes are but a dream from last Summer!  Once locally grown tomatoes are available, they don't return to the Union Square Greenmarket until the Fall.

I bought a few pounds of the glorious red orbs, as well as a package of basil - it is sold with the roots on in a cellophane packaging to which you add some water to cover the roots and keep the cellophane bag on the counter.  By now if you've ever bought basil and thought it was okay to put the basil in the refrigerator know how refrigeration reduces basil to blackened leaves.  The only way basil can be stored in the refrigerator is rolled in several layers of paper towel and stored in a freezer baggie - that  storage will keep the basil for a few days at the most.

As I was thinking about how I wanted to use the hydroponically grown tomatoes, I wanted to give them a  real taste test - sliced, lightly sprinkled with a good olive oil, a light sprinkle of salt and eat!  That to me is the true test of how a tomato tastes.  Shushan Valley Hydro-Farm tomatoes passed the test with flying colors!!   Not to be left out, my husband did the same taste test and agreed completely that the tomatoes were delicious!

The next day, I made my most favorite sandwich - BLT - Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato for those readers around the world who may not have heard of this very American sandwich.

Here are the ingredients:  I love a BLT on toasted rye bread, lettuce leaves, mayonnaise, and my favorite bacon from Nueske's Applewood Smoked Meats.

As I had the hydroponic basil, I added a few leaves of basil to the sandwich which took the taste to another level. 

I had two tomatoes left before I could get back to Union Square Greenmarket to buy some more - and I was planning a Saturday night dinner of a marinated and roasted lamb shank served on yukon gold mashed potatoes with roasted garlic.  I though a savory tomato-vinaigrette would be delicious with the roasted lamb shank.  Here are the ingredients:

Extra virgin olive oil, whole grain mustard, white balsamic vinegar, chopped fresh basil, chopped fresh mint and the star ingredient - tomatoes - seeds removed and the flesh cut in to cubes. Blend all of the ingredients together - add a pinch of salt and pepper - taste and adjust seasonings to suit your taste.  It should be a balanced taste of oil, vinegar and mustard. 

Here is the serving of the lamb shank on a bed of Yukon Gold mashed potatoes with roasted garlic and the tomato and herb vinaigrette.  I did sprinkle on some finely chopped parsley to garnish the plate but forgot to take a photo with the parsley!

If you live in NYC and are craving a taste of summer tomatoes, Shushan Valley Hydro-Farm tomatoes will definitely fill that void.  They are also sold at local greenmarkets in Shushan, NY as well as local supermarkets in that area.




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