Sowing the seeds of Tomato Independence on a national stage

December 1, 2013
Sowing the seeds of Tomato Independence on a national stage

On the heels of Barry Estabrook’s appearance culminating 2013 Tomato Independence Project activities, another nationally known food writer spoke to Boise audiences in October 2013.    The Cabin brought Ruth Reichl, former NY Times restaurant critic and Gourmet Magazine editor, to town as part of their Readings and Conversations series. Since Ruth Reichl knows Barry Estabrook and had endorsed his Tomatoland book, we thought it would be a nice Idaho gesture to give her a Tomato Independence Project Tee Shirt.   After her talk at the Morrison Center, a couple of us stood in the book signing line for the opportunity to connect her with her friend’s recent visit and our project.  Once we reached her, she seemed genuinely delighted with the tee shirt and suggested she would like to give some as Christmas presents.  Little did we know, she wanted to share our project on her blog as one of her holiday gift ideas. What a terrific opportunity to share the idea of tomato independence and have a cool tee shirt too!   We’ve spent the last 6 weeks working with those wonderful and innovative folks at Oliver Russell.   They’ve taken us from selling a few tee shirts at …

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The gift that supports our work toward tomato independence

November 26, 2013
The gift that supports our work toward tomato independence

Tomato Independence Tee Shirts are all the rage.  Get yours today or order one for that special someone.  Net proceeds help to fund TVFC’s work.  Order them at:  www.tomatoindependenceproject.com p.s.  check out the cool video there.

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2013: Toward Tomato Independence, One Bite at a Time in 2013

November 26, 2013
2013: Toward Tomato Independence, One Bite at a Time in 2013

It feels like winter in Idaho.  There are still a few fresh local tomatoes around, hidden away on shelves or in closets, carefully stored for one last sandwich, a final batch of fresh salsa.  But their season is past. The gardeners who jealously guard them until that last bite will soon turn their thoughts to next year’s crop.  With snow in the hills, it’s probably safe to say that the first year of the Tomato Independence Project is over, from the standpoint of tasty fresh tomatoes anyway. What happened with the Tomato Independence Project in 2013?  We started out with a very modest idea:  that Treasure Valley residents are almost totally dependent on tomatoes from hundreds of miles away, even in the high season of tomato growing here and we could do better. Industrial tomatoes have turned us into Stepford wives.  We accept tomatoes in salad bars, topping sandwiches, and garnishing plates every single day of the year.  Those red objects, labeled “Tomatoes” in the grocery are perfectly round and perfectly red but tasteless, and missing much of the nutrition of their summer garden brethren.  When you get right down to it, they’re worthless, and if we thought about it,…

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Treasure Valley Tomato Tasting – 2013 Winners

September 27, 2013
Treasure Valley Tomato Tasting – 2013 Winners

On September 17th Treasure Valley residents brought the best and brightest tomatoes from their gardens to Edwards Greenhouse in Boise. Their goal: to find the best tomato variety in the valley. With over 100 varieties represented, the competition was fierce. But after thorough tasting, the victors were officially announced: The Sweetest —– Sungold The Tangiest —– Bosnian The Prettiest —– Hillbilly Potatoleaf The Weirdest —– A three way tie between: Green Zebra  German Striped Stuffer Cherokee Purple  Best Cherry/Grape Variety —– Sungold Best Paste/Roma Variety —– San Marzano Best Slicing Variety —– A four way tie between: Black Krim Hillbilly Potatoleaf Russian Rose Virginia Sweets The Most Tomato Varieties Grown —– 28 varieties: Basque Kelloggs Breakfast Siletz Black Cherry Mama Leone Steak Sandwich Boxcar Willy Martinos Roma Stupice Costoluto Genovese Matt’s Wild Cherry Sugary Early Wonder Mortgage Lifter Sungold Fireworks Pantano Romanesco Thai Pink Egg Flamme Paul Robeson Virginia Sweets Gardeners Delight Principe Borghese Wisconsin 55 German Giant Russian Rose Golden Currant Snow White The Treasure Valley Food Coalition would like to thank Casey O’Leary, Edwards Greenhouse, and all of our great volunteers for making this year’s tomato tasting such a success!

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Two Food Writers Coming to Boise this October

September 1, 2013
Two Food Writers Coming to Boise this October

October will be a busy month for fans of local food in the Treasure Valley. First, the Treasure Valley Food Coalition will be hosting Barry Estabrook at Boise State University on October 1st. Estabrook is the author of the book Tomatoland, which provides a controversial look at the U.S.’s modern industrial production of the tomato. This event is the culmination of the first year of the Tomato Independence Project, and admission is free.     Second, The Cabin will be hosting six time James Beard Award winner Ruth Reichl at the Morrison Center on October 16th. Reichl, whose resume includes accomplishments like food critic for the New York Times and L.A. Times, author of multiple books, and host of Eating Out Loud on the Food Network, will be featured as part of The Cabin’s 2013-2014 Readings and Conversations. Tickets are available through the Morrison Center.   Please plan on joining us for these two great events, and thank you for continuing to support our work toward a vibrant local food economy!

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