The tomato exists to be eaten. Its skin is there not to rebuff our advances but to be touched, to be bitten into. Its flesh is pulpy and delicately sweet. There are no seeds to spit out, no tough rind, and, apart from the tiny stem button, no inedible core. You just eat it up, letting its juices run down your chin. Tomatoes were born to give pleasure. They would do so even if they were as poisonous as rumor once said. In fact, that libel may have come about simply from the suspicion that something so utterly seductive must be up to no good. How often do you encounter something so desirable that is also so easy to get to know? To the uninitiated, an artichoke is a bristly enigma, but the smallest child can comprehend a tomato. The tomato is a softy. It is lovely and yielding and totally ours.
Botanists tell us that the tomato is actually a fruit, not a vegetable. But other fruits have it all over the tomato; they have more flavor, more charisma. Mangoes are more voluptuous, oranges are juicier, raspberries more tartly delicious. As a berry, the tomato is just the wrong size. (Would you want one in your cereal?) The tomato's decision to defect to the vegetables was a good career move. As a vegetable, it competes only with sweet corn for allure. If the onion is the vegetable that can make you weep, the tomato is the one that can make you smile. A pile of cucumbers or cabbages or kohlrabies or carrots in the farmers' market can be abstractly beautiful, but the moment you lay eyes on a basketful of bright, ripe, red tomatoes, you can't help but get happy. If they're cherry tomatoes, you want to pop one or two or three of them right into your mouth. Tomatoes are their own best sauce as well as the best sauce for almost everything else!
In this latest book author and newspaper columnist, Joe Urbach dives into to health benefits and history of the tomato. A journey from fear of poisoning to the fame they now enjoy. From the beginnings of ketchup, to the reason the ketchup bottle is shaped the way it is. Along the way, Joe lets us in on just how good these perennial garden favorites really are.
Oh, and if you have ever wondered why a garden tomato tastes so much better than a store bought one - Joe answers that too!
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About the Author
He has lived and worked in the Central Texas area for over 30 years. He and his wife Holly are the parents of five children and grandparents of two beautiful boys.
For the last twelve years he has concentrated his efforts on installing many raised bed and container gardens in Texas homes all over Austin and San Antonio.
As a gardener, as a father and as a grandfather Joe is very concerned about the quality of the food that ends up on all of our dining tables and really loves being able to help people get their own Raised Bed Phytonutrient Gardens started.
Joe is a certified Texas Master Gardener and is currently serving as the Director of Training for the Hays County Chapter of the Texas Master Gardener Association. He teaches and lectures on gardening regularly and can often be found speaking at local nurseries, libraries, garden Clubs, Extension offices, or on radio and podcasts.
While still very much the advocate for a "kitchen garden in every home" Joe now finds that his focus is set on changing the way we all think about our food - be it from our kitchen gardens, farmers' markets or the local supermarkets.
Joe developed the concept of being a Phytonutrient Gardener which simply means, "if you are growing a vegetable in your garden why not grow the variety that packs the biggest nutritional value!?"
Joe has recently launched an online business offering 100% Organic, NON-GMO, hand-harvested and hand packed seeds for many of the phytonutrient-rich varieties he recommends in his books and lectures. Check it out at www.PhytonutrientFarms.com.
Joe has become a phytonutrient gardener and wants us all to come along for the journey to a better, healthier, longer and much more active and productive life!