Tim Stark read an excerpt tonight from his wonderful book ‘Heirloom’ at Chester County Books, one of the last independents in this area. You may not have heard of his tomato success, but you’ve probably eaten them if you live in NYC. He sells mostly to restaurants there, it’s taken him 14 years of hard work.
Buy Fresh, Buy Local sponsored the event and several local farmers were on hand. Claire Murray of Inverbrook Farm and Andrea Grom from Charleston Farm were there, and I met Tim Mount and his wife who have an organic seed company called Happy Cat Organics. Great design for their card and website.
I had to miss the potluck, but at least got shots of some of the spread. Most of my pics are fuzzy because I was so damned excited about meeting the Tomato Man. He is as charming and funny as only a writer/farmer can be. He’s working with the Rodale Institute, who’ve come up with a ‘roller’ that cuts purple vetch into a mat, so that tomatoes can be directly planted into it. He cover crops all year with that and crimson clover. He has 15 Acres in tomatoes and peppers, but wants to eventually buy enough land in order to have an intact farm. This is an illuminating interview by Kevin McCloskey in CommonSense that tells about Stark’s daily life and follows him into NYC on a dropoff. I did not know that he’s a Princeton grad. But I do know he’s a fun read. Listen to him talk about his early love affair with the tomato here.
glorious hot peppers that he gave away. And I mean hot-I used 3 small ones in a batch of chili guaranteed to open up your sinuses;
I found this youtube video shot at the Union Square Market and Tim’s farm. Miles would be pleased.
Finally, I’ve been eating my own apples lately. Only one of my two 2 year old semi-dwarf trees produced this year. Liberty, developed in ’78 at the NY State Ag Center in Geneva, is a good eater, but I’ve neglected both it and the heirloom Dutchess, and never sprayed for any kind of apple disease, so they have them all. However, even the tiny worms and cedar rust don’t affect their great taste. This spring, I vow to pamper them both. You too could have your own mini orchard. So get to work.