Almost every Sunday I go to not one, but two farmers markets, bright and early. It takes a lot for me to want to get up early on a Sunday morning if I don’t have to, but getting first pick at the freshest fruit and vegetables possible is a pretty compelling reason. Today, though, I have beautiful tomatoes that are even more fresh and succulent that what I can find at either market.
Julie Zorn, Jewish Learning and Living Specialist at the Tucson Jewish Community Center, invited me to visit the community gardens at the J. We picked amazing tomatoes of many different colors and varieties, which I couldn’t resist snacking on as I picked. These are the kind of tomatoes that are so fresh and sweet that it’s a shonda (a crime!) to put anything on them, such as oil, dressing or other topping. I could eat them by the handful like popcorn!
One thing I hear from vendors at the farmers market is “know your grower,” or “know your farmer,” meaning that you can actually ask questions of or get to know the person growing the food that you prepare and serve your family, which is a great concept. That just doesn’t happen when your food is trucked or shipped in from out-of-state. Julie is working on an initiative at the JCC to teach youth about our connection to the land and our role in food sustainability. If the tomatoes I tried today are any indicator, this is going to be an amazing project!