On Sunday morning, I went looking for tomatoes — and found them in Richmond. Valencia, Indigo Rose … heirloom tomatoes have names as richly varied as their hues. According to a recent Facebook post, by the end of August Bartlett’s had “16 varieties of hybrid tomatoes, 18 varieties of heirlooms, and 6 varieties of cherrys” on offer.
The ones I saw came in sizes and colors from plum-dark golf balls to firm yellow-orange ones I could barely fit in one hand. I know Barlett’s Orchards as a farm shop with No. Six Depot coffee beans and as a source for cider and cider doughnuts — crisp, warm and spiced. But I hadn’t come on their summer harvest before. This weekend they had peppers and eggplant and sweet corn too, and the first of the early apples. They have many facets and seasons.
Bartlett’s Orchard in Richmond had a colorful selection of heirloom tomatoes on Sunday. Photoby Kate Abbott
According to a recent Facebook post, Bartlett’s offers as many as “16 varieties of hybrid tomatoes, 18 varieties of heirlooms, and 6 varieties of cherrys.” Photo by Kate Abbott
Heirloom tomatoes range in size and color. Photo by Kate Abbott
These small yellow tomatoes look almost translucent. Photo by Kate Abbott
All these varieties have richly descriptive names. Photo by Kate Abbott
Different kinds of tomatoes range in size as well as color, from plum-dark golf balls to yellow-orange ones I could barely hold in one hand. Photo by Kate Abbott
To get there: From Route 7 in Pittsfield, turn onto Route 20 just south of the downtown circle). Go through the first immediate light and past Clapp Park, and about 3/4 of a mile down you’ll come to a light with a left-turn lane; turn left onto Barker Road. It’s a winding, quiet back road and a good way into West Stockbridge, if you follow it all the way to the end. It will turn into Swamp Road in Richmond, and at 575 Swamp Road, not far from a marshy stand of cat-tails, you’ll find Bartlett’s Orchard on the left as you head south.