Author and gardener Amy Goldman is in my kitchen today, talking about her connection to the garden from farm to table.
Amy Goldman is a passionate gardener and seed saver and a nationally recognized advocate for heirloom fruits and vegetables. She is the author of The Heirloom Tomato: From Garden to Table, now in its third printing. For this book, Amy has trialed 1000 heirloom seeds at her farm, finally winnowing her choices to the 200 heirlooms that are fully described and photographed in the book. Her other books include The Complete Squash, and Melons for the Passionate Grower. She is the chair of the board of Seed Savers Exchange and a frequent guest on such TV programs as The Martha Stewart show and The Victory Garden.
Why is living organically important to you?
The answer can be found in a blurb I wrote that appears on the book jacket of Home Enlightenment: Practical, Earth-Friendly Advice for Creating a Nurturing, Healthy, and Toxin-free Home and Lifestyle (Rodale, 2005) by Annie B. Bond. Annie happens to be one of my nearest and dearest friends; her work has had a profound impact on my life. So I quote myself:
“Home Enlightenment has the power to change the way we live and breathe. You will feel healed—and whole—just by reading this book: It’s a beautiful thing. Annie B. Bond, mistress of the green household and expert on chemical poisoning, gives us remedies for the toxins that ail us. She spells out the ingredients for the good life and the illuminating benefits of sun and candlelight, and she identifies the quiet needs of the everyday.”
What was your favorite food growing up?
My mother was an extraordinarily good cook (and mother!). Our family life revolved around the kitchen table. Here’s one of my favorite meals: Mushroom and barley soup, followed by a main course of noodles and cabbage (a Hungarian dish); and for dessert, poached peaches and cherries.
What’s your go-to comfort food now?
It would be anything with almonds (especially a Hershey’s chocolate bar with almonds—frozen). And if I had to choose a last meal, look no farther than the previous question above.
What’s the one thing in your kitchen you just couldn’t live without?
My life revolves around the garden. I couldn’t live without fresh homegrown fruits and vegetables. Right now, on my kitchen floor, lying in wait for the table, pantry, and freezer: canary melons, peaches, onions of all descriptions, early apples, and pears.
What magazine, website, book, album or product are you most obsessed with right now?
If compost can be considered a “product,” then I’d say that I’m obsessed with creating or providing the best possible soil amendments for my garden. This is due to a horticultural disaster this summer in my main garden, caused by compost I bought that was mislabeled and highly alkaline (thus toxic to plants).
What’s the most important news story today that you think we all need to pay more attention to?
It’s harvest time in millions of gardens across America, and people are canning and cooking up a storm. I’d like to see more attention paid to the time-honored tradition of seed-saving to ensure next year’s bounty. For more information on how to save vegetable seeds go to www.seedsavers.org.
Where do you get your news?
I get most of my news by reading The New York Times and other newspapers and periodicals; I listen to public radio, but I rarely if ever turn on the TV.