Spring brings thoughts of gardens…

“Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake.” – Wallace Stevens

Barbara Damrosch has a new column out. It seems to be timed to remind all the gardeners out there to start thinking tomatoes. Particularly the small pop’em in the mouth kind.

Cherry bombs, the exploding kind, must have been named after cherry tomatoes, the edible kind, which burst in your mouth with a charge of candy-sweet juices. Pop one in and another must follow, whether you’re raiding the shopping bag in your car or gorging your way down a garden row. The outdoor route is pure luxury, when the little orbs are warmed by the sun, their vitamin C at magnum force.

I can remember a time not many years ago when I couldn’t help but wonder at my lack of luck with these little ruby colored jewels of the garden. My plants were beautiful, flowered profusely, even set little green fruit in large numbers. For some reason though, there were never more than a handful of ripe tomatoes. Then one day I spotted youngest son in the garden by the cherry tomato plants, and as I watched he stripped all the ripe ones off the plant to eat right there in the garden. I quit wondering then and there and the next year I planted more plants…

Source: A Stalk on the Wild Side – washingtonpost.com

Reading Barbara’s column led me back to her and Eliot’s website
where I reread Eliot’s “Authentic Food – Authentic Farming” article from The Mother Earth News.

The label “organic” has lost the fluidity it used to hold for the growers more concerned with quality than the bottom line, and consumers more concerned with nutrition than a static set of standards for labeling. “Authentic” is meant to be the flexible term “organic” once was. It identifies fresh foods produced by local growers who want to focus on what they are doing, instead of what they aren’t doing. (The word authentic derives from the Greek authentes: one who does things for him or herself.)

Eliot goes on to lay out specific standards for the term “Authentic” to be used as a descriptive label for food products. He has spent a lot of time in the Organic movement and a lot of thought has gone into his standards. He closes the article with this statement…

“Authentic” growers are committed to supplying food that is fresh, ripe, clean, safe and nourishing. “Authentic” farms are genetically modified organism-free zones. I encourage all small growers with local markets who believe in exceptional food to use the word “Authentic” to mean “Beyond Organic.” With a definition that stresses local, seller-grown and fresh, there is little likelihood that large-scale marketers can steal this concept.

Go spend some time with Eliot and Barbara, it’ll be time well spent.
Source: “Authentic Food – Authentic Farming”