Last Chance for South Dakota Grown Tomatoes
As the weather shifts and temperatures begin to drop, one of our summer favorites, tomatoes, will soon be gone. However, street corner markets, farm stands, and grocery stores across the state still have this ripe, delicious specialty crop available.
The Sioux Falls Food Co-op offers several different local tomato options from area growers including Happy Hydros, Chamberlain, Mary’s Kitchen and Garden, Beresford, and Caselli’s Market Garden, Sioux Falls. Shoppers can find cherry tomatoes, heirlooms, slicers and yellow tomatoes on their store’s shelves.
This local, community owned grocery store has been in operation since 1973. The newly expanded store offers a large variety of local foods, organic options, and a full kitchen serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
When tomatoes are not in season they are shipped in from other locations, and this affects their flavor. These varieties are selected for their appearance and shipping quality, and flavor can be lost along the way. Tomatoes from local markets can be harvested closer to maturity, when flavor is at its best, and local farmers have the ability to offer a more diverse selection known for great taste and color.
SDSU Extension suggests choosing tomatoes that are smooth, slightly soft and free of bruises. They should be stored at room temperature away from sunlight, and not in the refrigerator as the flavor and texture will degrade. For tomato preparation ideas and preservation techniques visit SDSU Extension’s website.
Sioux Falls Food Co-op works with over 70 local producers to bring fresh food to more people while supporting local farmers, suppliers, and economies. They offer a wide variety of specialty crops in addition to tomatoes, including apples, aronia, dried beans, berries, flowers, honey, mushrooms and vegetables. In addition, they offer other products including local bread, butter, cheese, eggs, flax, meats, personal care items and more.
Their $5 dinners every Wednesday night are popular, serving 300-400 people every week. These modest dinner selections are all made at the Co-op. Some offerings include pulled pork with kale slaw, bratwurst with spring mix salad, taverns, and greens and sausage pasta. There is always a vegetarian option, and sometimes vegan or gluten-free options. They use local and organic ingredients when possible.
Sioux Falls Food Coop is one of eight retailers involved in the Fresher is Fun! Campaign, organized by the S.D. Specialty Producers Association (SDSPA) through a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant. The participating retailers all offer specialty crops sourced from multiple producers, increasing variety, access and convenience for customers. The campaign hopes to increase awareness and sales of South Dakota grown specialty crops.
To find a retailer selling local tomatoes visit SDSPA’s retailer website, featuring farm stands, grocers and retailers carrying local produce. Or visit SDSPA’s local food directory to find a tomato producer near you.
This program will also support two Black Hills area events this fall showcasing honey and mushrooms. Events will continue in 2024. For more information contact SDSPA at 605-681-6793 or via email. Specialty producers and local foods enthusiasts can also stay up-to-date on events and educational opportunities by visiting our website at or by following SDSPA on Facebook or Instagram.