"Please do not touch the tomatoes," a sign warns. "They bruise easily."
The tomatoes in question are indeed tempting. Vividly colored and exotically striped, Elser's County Farm heirloom tomatoes are presented like gems in a jewelers' case, lined up in orderly, neat rows and feature evocative names such as Sun Sugar, Aunt Ruby German Green, Glory of Moldova, and Box Car Willie.
Unsure what exactly a Glory of Moldova might taste like? Each variety has a card that traces the origins of the seeds and describes the flavors. "The Glory of Moldova is carrot orange in color and tastes mild and sweet," the card explains. "Makes great juice."
Elser's County Farm is passionate about produce. They are a family owned farm, which opened in Yucaipa, California in 2002. In addition to tomatoes, they also grow heirloom sweet peppers, Japanese seedless cucumbers, Maui onions, Italian squash, and pumpkins. Elser's strives for a very high standard in picking, packing and washing and all the produce is picked at the height of ripeness. Although they are not certified organic growers, they try to use organic practices as much as possible.
Although the sun is setting on tomato season, you can find Elser's gorgeous produce at farmers' markets in Big, Bear, Chino, Hollywood, Palos Verdes, Redlands, Torrance and Melrose Place. It's not too late to savor the best summer has to offer. The website even features recipes if you're unsure what to do with your bounty.