Many of you may have known Miles Slack. Some of you did not. But I bet many of you ate his vegetables and fruit, sold at a small farm stand by the road in Furlong, along Forest Grove Road.
The sign says “The Center Farm,” so don’t be fooled. The farm itself has been in the Slack family for years. Miles’ brother, Fred, farms the land adjacent, and sells some of the best tomatoes in the county come July.
I only met Miles once or twice at the stand. He taught me the easy way of preserving tomatoes one day. I was hesitating over a box of “hurt” tomatoes he was trying to sell me. The thought of standing over a pot of boiling water in August to get the skin off of three dozen tomatoes didn’t appeal to me. “No,” he said, with a smile. “Here’s how you do it.” And he told me to wash and core the fruit, cut off any damaged spots, and lay the tomatoes out on a baking sheet. Place the sheet in the freezer, he explained, and after the tomatoes are fully frozen, pop them in a ziploc bag and throw them in the freezer. “Then, when you want to use them, place the frozen tomatoes in a pot in the morning, and let them defrost all day.” It’s a small thing, but not really. I’ve been using this method for a few years now, and always think of him – gratefully.
My heart goes out to Wanda, Miles’ wife and her family now, since I just learned that Miles passed away in early May at the age of 86. Please read all about him here in his obituary in the Intelligencer. May he rest in peace.