Saturday, August 22, 2009

Tomato Days

I picked my first basket of tomatoes this week. I don’t want to badmouth the tomato growers in California and Florida, but a home grown tomato puts those shiny red tomato impostors to shame. Those out of state models may look like tomatoes, and have a hint of tomato taste, but the juicy tomatoes I pick in my garden and eat a few minutes later, with a little pepper and salt, outshine any import.

You recall that last week I gushed on about sweet corn. Tomatoes are in a class by themselves: for taste, for nutrition (did you know that one medium size tomato provides forty percent of a person’s daily vitamin C requirement as well as 20 percent of the vitamin A requirement) and a cancer preventer because they contain Lycopene.

Tomatoes have an interesting history. At one time, many Europeans considered them poisonous. As the story goes, rich folks ate their food off of pewter dishes, which have a high lead content. When they put a sliced tomato on a pewter plate, the tomatoes, high in acid, leeched the lead out into the food. And people died of lead poisoning. They of course blamed the tomato.

Poor people ate their food from wooden plates and had no problems when they ate tomatoes. As a result, tomatoes didn’t become popular until the 1800s because of the perceived poison problem.

Today, people know that tomatoes are not poisonous, but indeed are one of our most healthful foods.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Every path has a few puddles.

(My new novel, the third in my Ames County Series, comes out in September, Its title: BLUE SHADOWS FARM.)


Sept. 9, 7:00 p.m. Whitewater Library. Old Farm and other stories.

Sept. 16, 12 Noon. UW Oshkosh Learning in Retirement. LaSure’s Banquet Hall, Oshkosh. Life after Academe.

Sept. 17, 11:45-12:30. Larry Meiller Show. Wisconsin Public Radio. Blue Shadows Farm.

Sept. 19, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Morgan Horse-Powered Field Day, Schuster's Playtime Farm, Deerfield, WI. Stories From the Land.

Sept. 21, 7:00 p.m. Sequoya Library, Madison. Blue Shadows Farm

Oct. 1, 7:00 p.m. Chippewa Falls Library, Blue Shadows Farm

Oct. 4, 1:30 p.m. Monona Historical Society, Monona, Iowa, The Lighter Side of Country Living, including Blue Shadows Farm

Oct. 15, 7:00 p.m. Reader’s Loft, Green Bay, Blue Shadows Farm

Oct. 17, (9 to 4) Writing From Your Life Workshop. The Clearing, Ellison Bay, WI. (Still room for additional participations. Contact

Oct. 20, 7:00 p.m. Barnes and Noble, Madison West. Official Book Launch, Blue Shadows Farm

Oct. 24, 1:00 p.m. Wild Rose Library. Book Launch, Central Wisconsin, Blue Shadows Farm

Oct. 28, 6:30 p.m. Elkhorn Library. Blue Shadows Farm

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