Growing up in the San Joaquin Valley, I never heard of dry farmed tomatoes. With 100+ degree weather for days on end, growing vegetables and other crops was only possible with irrigation. Dry farmed tomatoes wouldn't be possible with this intense heat. The tomatoes my parents grew were sweet, big and flavorful because of the intense heat and proper watering. Too much water and the tomatoes' flavor would be diluted and the tomatoes could also split.
Dry farmed tomatoes are perfect for the Bay Area's cooler marine climate. Dry farming means there is no irrigation after the tomatoes are transplanted and this forces the roots to extend deep into the soil to search for water. Tomatoes farmed with this technique are small but the flavor is intense. 2011 has been a cool year for Northern California and tomato afficionados have been lamenting the effect of this year's weather. I sometimes check the Two Dog Farm's website to see when the tomatoes will be harvested. I just checked and as of August 16, 2011, they still are not ready for market. Usually they will show up near the end of July. The ones at Bi-Rite Market I bought last week were only ok. Anything good is worth waiting for!
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