TomatoFest Potluck Supper 2009

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Yesterday’s potluck supper at the Chicago Honey Co-op for Chicago TomatoFest 2009 acted as the closing ceremony for tomato festival. I got an early start on the festivities when I visited the vegetable garden at the Cook County Jail. While photographing the vegetable garden I couldn’t keep myself from eating the cherry tomatoes.

My cherry tomato plundering continued at the Chicago Honey Co-op.

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A sampling of heirloom cherry tomatoes grown by Damien Casten of CandidWines and his family. Somehow I managed to go to a potluck supper where heirloom tomatoes took center stage and forgot to take pictures of tomatoes and the awesome food.

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I did take a photo of this tomato tart made by Sydney Barton of the Chicago Honey Co-op. It was as delicious as it looked, if not more.

Since I was hopped up cold & flu meds I stuck to this AMAZING root beer from Goose Island instead of sampling the wine selection by CandidWines.

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I didn’t take pics of the food and wine because I was busy stalking the honeybees. This was my first visit to the Chicago Honey Co-op and I was losing the light and wanted to make sure I got pics of the bees.

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Some of the beehives at the Chicago Honey Co-op.

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Possibly my favorite beehive there. Love the multiple colors.

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This one bee kept bumping antennae with other bees that arrived at the landing to the entrance. The honeybee version of the “fist bump?”

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While walking around with two of my friends who attended the event we came across three yellowjackets trying to haul away a honeybee carcass. The third yellowjacket flew off while I was crouching down to take the pic. It was unclear if these wasps killed the bee or just happened across the remains. At the urban beekeeping lecture Michael Thompson talked about wasps sometimes raiding beehives, perhaps this was the aftermath of such a raid.

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They had these large tubs filled with water with wine corks floating on the surface. Bees need a lot of water so these tubs are kept filled all the time. The corks give them something to land on and keep from drowning. If you drink a lot of wine or have a lot of corks laying around, I’m sure the honey co-op would take them off your hands.

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My second favorite beehive was this one because of the number 12 printed on the ledge. Notice the honeybee fist bump.

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The sun was setting and the bees having had their last drink of water were getting ready for bed and it was time for the human to eat some great food.

Do honeybees poop?”

That was the question one of my friends had and it turns out that honeybees do indeed poop. Though, they supposedly don’t do it in the hive and during the winter will wait for a warm day to leave the hive to do their business.

The Chicago Honey Co-op has recently started to give guided tours of the apiary, contact them if you have a group of people who would like to visit. While this was the last Chicago TomatoFest event for the year you can still get your heirloom tomato on by eating some Old School BLT’s until September 20th. Damien asked that people submit pics they took at the potluck supper, you can check out the Chicago TomatoFest blog to see what the food looked like.


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  • Ooh, drool, drool, drool over the wonderful colors of the cherry tomatoes!!!!
    P.S. Every animal poops, but humans are the only ones who need to wipe. (Uh, sorry. That was an observation by my 77-year-old mom!)

  • In reply to gardenfaerie:

    They were really good. I think the pink cherry tomatoes were Thai Pink Egg, and they were interesting. After the dark colored ones they were my favorite. LOL at your mom.

  • In reply to gardenfaerie:

    Your photos are phenomenal. I'm envious. The bee on the corks is a prize-winner. I have to admit that I was too distracted by the stunning photos ...skipped the text. Will go back to it now.

  • In reply to Arianika:

    Thanks for the compliment on the photos, I really appreciate it.

  • In reply to gardenfaerie:

    Fantastic photos MBT! I'm amazed at the bee fist-bump! The cherry tomatoes are gorgeous, and that tart. . . yum! I'll be looking for a recipe for one of those - we have tomatoes coming out our ears suddenly. I pruned the growing tips and removed most of the blossoms to encourage more ripening. You know what they say about being careful what you ask for!

  • In reply to ssgardengirl:

    You can probably get the recipe from Sydney if you catch her on Twitter.

  • Holy Cow! That's pretty awesome. I'd never seen that before. Thanks for sharing the links.

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