It looks like you’re going to have to wait a little longer and pay a little more for those fresh Jersey tomatoes that you yearn for this time of year.

Jersey Fresh tomatoes (Jersey Fresh via Facebook)

Farmers in the region say their tomato crops will be harvested later and will be smaller than in past years, a problem caused by too much rain and too little sunshine during the past several weeks.

Farmers say it’s too early to predict how much smaller the state’s tomato crop will be this year, or how much more customers may have to pay for a pound of tomatoes. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said consumers paid about $1.50 for a pound of tomatoes this time last year. The per-pound price was about $1.45 in May, the latest month for which statistics were available.

What’s your favorite Jersey tomato recipe? For me, it’s Jersey tomato salad.

  • Take a tray of ice or enough to fill the bottom of the bowl
  • Quarter ripened Jersey tomatoes and put them over the ice with sliced garlic, and fresh basil, sprinkle some Italian spice, pour olive oil over the top.
  • The ice will keep the tomatoes crispier longer and when it melts into the oil, it forms a blend that will bring out the best in any piece of Italian bread that you dunk in it.
  • Salt to taste and enjoy!