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Meet Italy’s Most Passionate Tomato Farmer

August in Italy: businesses are closed, cities have emptied out, towns are deserted—everyone is at the beach. Everyone, that is, except for tomato farmers in the Campania region, Italy’s tomato capital. Here, in late summer, trucks loaded with the vibrant, just-harvested fruits crowd tiny, one-lane streets. And at the center of it all is one third-generation farmer, wearing an easy smile and a straw hat to block out the sun—but nonetheless deeply tanned from hours in the fields—and covered from head to toe in tomato pulp. Meet Giuseppe. Read more »

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Cranberry Chili

The problem with being a fourth generation cranberry farmer from Cranberry Country, Massachusetts—the southeastern part of the state that is pretty much covered in bogs—is that you, unfortunately, get typecast.

“People know that if you’re having dinner at our house, it’s probably going to have cranberries in it,” says Patrick Rhodes. Patrick is the latest in a long line of cranberry-growing, and cranberry-loving Rhodes’ who have been raising the tart, acidic treats since the 1930s. Like most folks, sure, they use them at Thanksgiving table. But the Rhodes family is so enamored with the little red berries they grow, that they eat them at pretty much every meal. Read more »

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America’s Tiny Farmers

One of our favorite things about summer is cooking with delicious summer squash. Tender and versatile, summer squash comes in a dazzling array of shapes and sizes, from zucchini to green and yellow zephyr to round eight ball to pattypan (think adorable flying saucer). Like tomatoes, corn and eggplant, summer squash is a seasonal must. But growing it isn’t a simple proposition. It takes serious teamwork, and one of the the most important players isn’t human. Buzzing between squash blossoms, tiny bees perform an essential service: in exchange for sugary nectar, they transfer pollen, which allows the plant to fruit. Read more »

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