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Our Tomato Program: Never Eat a Bad Tomato Again

Summer, we have a problem When’s the last time you had a good tomato? Like a super-sweet, drip-down-your-chin, you-could-just-eat-that-all-day kind of tomato? It’s probably been a while. That’s because the tomatoes you get at the supermarket are for the most part bland, watery mush. Standard tomatoes are most often bred for high yields, not flavor, […] Read more »

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Spring’s Most Sensitive, and Bountiful, Vegetable

“People say gambling came to New Jersey with the casinos,” laughs Tom Sheppard of Sheppard Farms in Cumberland County, New Jersey. “But gambling came with the first farmers. Out there in the field, mother nature can do all kinds of things to you.” Read more »

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How Saffron Is Changing Afghanistan

In 2014, best friends Kimberly Jung and Emily Miller were working toward MBAs at Harvard Business School, thinking about the next steps in their lives as civilians. Now in its third year, their business, Rumi, partners with nearly 100 farmers, representing an unmatched foreign investment in Afghanistan’s agriculture. Read more »

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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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