2014 Kickoff: Saucy Saturday

January 21, 2014
2014 Kickoff:  Saucy Saturday

Tomato Independence Project Kicks Off Second Year with Saucy Saturday TVFC will announce plans for the second year of the Tomato Independence Project and its continued effort to end the tyranny of tasteless tomatoes during Saucy Saturday on February 1, 2014. The public is invited to celebrate the successful 2013 campaign and learn about 2014 events.  Last year, workshops were held, seedlings started and great tasting tomatoes harvested.  This year, the coalition will focus on tomato preservation. “We all know it’s not possible to enjoy local, fresh produce in midwinter, but it is possible to open a jar of summer sunshine to give us a taste of what’s to come,” says Amy Hutchinson, TVFC board member. Saucy Saturday will be held at Edwards Greenhouse in Boise at 2 pm. (It’s a special treat to spend a winter afternoon in the greenhouses and especially in the “pop-up park.”) The afternoon will feature tomato sauces prepared by the chefs of Bittercreek, Boise Co-Op, Café Vicino, and The Modern, using preserved local tomatoes from the 2013 harvest. In August and September, these same restaurants will feature local, fresh tomatoes on their restaurant menus as part of Tomato Independence Project (TIP) 2014. Join us Saturday, February 1 to learn more…

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What’s on the plate for TVFC in 2014

January 7, 2014

The Treasure Valley Food Coalition announced their 2014 Tomato Independence Project work on Monday, January 6, 2014 during a gathering of chefs and local farmers.  Building on the success of the first year of the Project, the group is directing their efforts toward nutrition, processing, and restaurant use of locally-grown tomatoes. The gathering at Cafe Vicino was an opportunity for chefs and growers to meet each other and begin planning for a series of restaurant events in Boise during this summer’s tomato harvest.  Stay tuned for this opportunity to taste the best tomatoes in the valley prepared by the best restaurants in the valley. Look for posts and events on the TVFC website on the 2014 projects as the year progresses.  

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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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