October 2, 2011

Tomatoland: Intro.

I became nerdy-excited when I got this book in the mail. It promises to expose the way we grow tomatoes, to bring light to the practices of conventional farming, and to explain why grocery store tomatoes taste awful. I was fully expecting a book on par with the writings of Michael Pollan, and such works fit perfectly with what I'm trying to do here.

I told my fellow horticultural friends of this book and was warned that it's a bit of a 'chicken little' of conventional farming. I don't know if this will be the case but the warning was well deserved - it is important to be a critical reader and observer. So, while I read this book and review it for this blog, I'll make sure to keep my mind both open and critical. I'm a trained horticulturalist and so I will focus most on understanding and discussing the horticulture and agronomy aspects - I can say little on the validity of slavery claims.

Where I live, we grow a lot of canning tomatoes - Sacramento is referred to as "Sactomento" because of this. The central valley in California is great for tomatoes because of hot and dry summers. And luckily for me, friends, co-workers, and local farming operations all grow and provide fantastic and flavorful tomatoes.   This book talks about a completely different beast of tomatoes, one that doesn't compare to what I've made into a couple gallons of tomato soup and sauce today - year round grocery store tomatoes. Stay tuned for the synopsis!

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