Good crop, signature taste: Slocomb tomato farmers feel good about season

Tomato season in full swing in Slocomb

SLOCOMB, Ala. (WSFA) - You know it’s good when they cross state lines to get a box full.

Jerry Commander was one of the dozens who stopped by Hendrix Farm Produce to get a box - or a bag - of the famous Slocomb tomatoes Friday.

“Westville, Florida - about 25 miles,” Commander said.

The draw to the Slocomb tomato is that acidic taste. Donnie Hendrix, Hendrix Farm Produce co-owner, says the dry weather - especially in May - may have enhanced that taste even more.

“The reason the tomato so good is that there is limited water in it because there was limited water for it to have. We were giving it everything it needed through irrigation, but not getting a deluge of water through rainfall,” Hendrix said.

Less water is not just good for the taste, but farmers say it will help the tomatoes stay fresh longer.

Although a dry May helped boost flavor, Hendrix says the weather may mean a slightly smaller yield.

“You just don’t have those temperatures in May. That’s something you deal with in late July, August. So the tomato vine was sitting there trying to produce fruit and work extra hard to cool off through transpiration,” said Hendrix.

Hendrix doesn’t expect the smaller yield to translate into a shortage for customers.

Prices are averaging about $25 a box and $5 a cup.

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