How do you eat tomatoes? Sliced with a bit of mozzarella? Like candy, as in cherry tomatoes straight from the garden? Picked early and fried green? Sprinkled with salt, playing to the sweet and salty combination so many of us like? In a perfect BLT?
Cooked down into a simple, garlicky sauce or baked into a tart? Diced into cottage cheese? Or like I ate tomatoes growing up — with a thick layer of sugar spread on top? In the book, “Little Town on the Prairie,” Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote of her family enjoying bowls of tomatoes with cream and sugar. A tomato is a fruit, after all.
While the best ways to enjoy tomatoes can be argued, what can’t be is that the tastiest tomatoes are grown right here in Southern Indiana. Lucky for me — and all of us whose efforts to grow tomatoes upside down on your patio weren’t successful — an increasing number of farmers markets and CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) programs give urban dwellers access to farm-fresh produce, dairy products, and meats.
Inspired in part by the Downtown Evansville Farmers Market that our office overlooks each Friday during the summer, we set out to learn and share as much as we could about the locavore movement (my husband probably thinks this is a band) in Southern Indiana. In the feature, “Homegrown” (page 38), we introduce you to the farmers, markets, and programs working together to bring us fresh, local food. Along the way, Creative Director Heather Gray designed an original market bag, screen-printed by Burnt Prairie Print Shop of Evansville, for the cover of this magazine. We’ll be selling a limited run of the market bags — stuffed with a copy of this magazine — for $15 each at St. Mary’s Market Days, beginning Thursday, July 16.
I hope you have a great summer. Make time to enjoy its sweet rewards.
As always, I look forward to hearing from you.
Kristen K. Tucker
Publisher & Editor