I haven't read The Heirloom Tomato, nor do I have a copy to refer to but I did get to see the author Amy Goldman speak yesterday. She's a storyteller.
I nearly didn't go. The event was at lunch time, across Market Street, my shoes were uncomfortable. How interesting could tomatoes be? Ha! Amy Goldman is not a little gardener with a couple of pretty tomatoes. She's Chair of the Board of Seeds Savers, she trialed 1,000 varieties of tomatoes for her book in which she features her favorite 200. And if I understood her correctly she grew all 200 varieties in her garden. She's a heavyweight in the tomato world.
And a heavyweight in the seed world. She calls hybrids and GMO's, "tools of industry," and our ability to save seeds necessary for food security.
Amy Goldman described the taste of tomatoes like someone who knows their wine. She used words I've not associated with tomatoes. I want what she's having, I thought. And she's having some good looking tomatoes with snappy names: Bonny's Best, Reisetomate. Aunt Gerties was one of her favorites. There was White Beauty, Cassady's Folly. Radiator Charlies had a funny story. There were Roman Candles and German Pinks. Not any of which are likely to be found in a grocery store. These are not tools of industry. These are tomatoes to bring from the garden to the table as the title suggests.
The book is a display piece, glossy photos, recipes (that sound good), growing information. It was all I could do to leave without buying a copy. I still want it and I'm not a cookbook or coffee table kind of a girl. But I do like a good tomato and this book has a couple hundred to choose from.
"Keep them alive," she said. "Save the seeds." Check out the book and you'll likely be inspired too. I was.
As anyone else seen this book or heard of Amy Goldman? Are you growing tomatoes with names of old relatives or faraway places?