By Michelle Fabio
As the holiday season creeps up on us, you may be looking for the perfect gift for the tomato gardener in your life. There are plenty of books out there on how to garden and we told you about them in Part I, but here are three books written for gardeners by gardeners with firsthand tales of their tomato trials and tribulations:
Lauded by Publishers Weekly as a “hilarious horticultural memoir,” The $64 Tomato recounts Alexander’s experience with growing a vegetable garden and orchard in the Hudson Valley. As a telling example of how things went for Alexander, he begins his journey organically-obsessed but ends up covering his entire property in pesticides when he finds himself in a battle against just about everything he comes across.
Your favorite tomato gardener may just find solace in Alexander’s own troubles–and humor dealing with them.
- Blithe Tomato by Mike Madison
Madison is a subsistence farmer in California with more than 20 years experience in the local farmers’ market scene. Blithe Tomato is a collection of essays on Madison’s experiences. Although some readers were distracted by Madison’s expressions about politics, Publishers Weekly states that:
“Redemption lies in essays about aspects inherent to the life of a small farmer: a love of nature, a sense of pleasure in one’s work and an intrinsic connection to the earth and all living things.”
For those who believe in eating fresh and local, this book could be a perfect choice.
Keith Stewart is a staple at New York City’s Union Square Greenmarket, but his life didn’t start out on the tomato-growing path. Two decades ago, Stewart was a corporate executive who decided to leave the city for farm-living in Orange County, NY. Now Stewart is famous for some of his special crops, including heirloom tomatoes.
In It’s a Long Road to a Tomato, Stewart shares his feelings, knowledge, philosophy, and humor in a series of essays that could inspire anyone to pursue a life-changing decision–especially if it involves tomatoes.