UC Davis' Russell Ranch announces new fresh-dried tomato product

by Aubrey White — last modified Nov 09, 2011 01:45 PM

Sustainable farming study produces more than research results

Russell Ranch introduced a new UC Davis product today – organically grown dried tomatoes.

Russell Ranch Dried Tomatoes are organically grown at UC Davis’ Russell Ranch Sustainable Agriculture Facility, a 300-acre farm located in the warm Central Valley of California. Adding to a growing list of campus-produced products, the tomatoes are harvested when their sweet, tangy flavor is most intense, and dried within 30 miles of campus.

These organically grown tomatoes are part of a century-long study of agricultural sustainability at Russell Ranch that compares the long-term effects of different ways of farming on crops, soil and water quality, nutrient cycling, pests and profitability.

“We developed this product to help meet a campus desire for more locally grown food. We also wanted to share with those on and off campus what’s happening at Russell Ranch. It is unique for a research farm of this size to be entirely dedicated to a century-long study of agricultural sustainability, and it is the only one of its kind in Mediterranean ecosystems,” said Kate Scow, director of Russell Ranch, which is a program of the Agricultural Sustainability Institute at UC Davis.

After years of selling tomatoes off campus, Russell Ranch staff began working with UC Davis Dining Services. The Dining Services sought more sources of locally grown food in order to reduce the carbon footprint of food served on campus. For the past two years, freshly harvested Russell Ranch tomatoes have been used in the Russell Ranch Roasted Tomato Sauce that accompanies a variety of dishes – from pizza to polenta and ratatouille – served on campus.

This year, Russell Ranch staff developed a new limited-quantity product that can be enjoyed on and off campus.

Russell Ranch Dried Tomatoes allow Dining Services to include the robust flavor of dried tomatoes in dishes all year long, and are also available in prepared dishes at the Memorial Union Coffeehouse and the UC Davis Medical Center. They can be purchased online through the UC Davis Bookstore, and are available at the Memorial Union and downtown Davis bookstore locations.

$4 for 2.75 oz bag
$12 for 9.75 oz bag

Visit the Russell Ranch Dried Tomatoes site and the ASI blog for more information:

Emma Torbert, (530) 752-5208, eetorbert@ucdavis.edu
Eve Hightower, (530) 752-8664, ehightower@ucdavis.edu

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