March 26, 2013 |
Companion planting is based on the idea that, like people, some plants do better with good neighbors. For tomatoes, strawberries and squash, one of the most popular of companion plants is borage ( Borago officinalis ). As a seedling, borage doesn't reveal its potential. The leaves are rough and fat, and as they get older, covered in fur. Only when the sparkling lavender star-shaped flowers appear in spring-summer does borage, also known as starflower, shows its potential: Bees and pest-killing wasps love the blooms.
October 5, 2012
Re "A U.S.-Mexico tomato fight is about to burst," Business, Oct. 3 The American consumer has been conned into believing that those flawless uniform red things they buy from the feuding farming industries in Mexico and Florida are tomatoes. They may look like one, but they taste like, well, nothing. Occasionally I buy one hoping this time might be different. Nope; they're the same things that have been sold for decades. No matter the price, they don't taste the way a tomato should.
July 21, 2011
Roasted tomato confit with bacon fat Total time: 30 minutes, plus roasting time Servings: Makes about 5 cups confit Note: Serve the confit over pasta, or chopped and on top of crostini 3 pounds tomatoes 6 large cloves garlic 12 sprigs thyme Freshly ground black pepper 1 pound sliced bacon Salt 1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. 2. Halve the tomatoes lengthwise, and place them, skin-side-down in a roasting pan. Scatter the garlic and thyme sprigs over the tomatoes, and season with several grinds of black pepper, or to taste.
March 20, 2013 |
Researchers at UCLA have genetically engineered tomatoes that, when fed to mice, mimic the beneficial qualities of good cholesterol, according to a new study. In a paper published Tuesday in the Journal of Lipid Research, authors used bacteria to insert genes into the cells of tomato plants, so that they would produce a peptide that mimics the actions of HDL, or "good" cholesterol. Later generations of those genetically engineered tomatoes were frozen, ground up and then fed to female mice who were themselves bred to be highly susceptible to LDL, or "bad" cholesterol.
November 13, 2013
Re "The toil in Mexican tomatoes," Nov. 11 The United States is the land of liberty, opportunity and happiness. In complete contrast are parts of Mexico. Last year, $1-billion worth of vegetables was exported from the state of Sinaloa, including nearly half the tomatoes Americans consume. The people who pick those vegetables should live like kings, yet they live like peasants. We contribute to their destitution. They produce their most prized resource for us, and we cheat them by not ensuring that they receive proper wages.
March 28, 2013 |
Scott Daigre, organizer of Tomatomania!, expects bigger things from his annual pop-up sales, which last year sold upward of 50,000 tomato plants. He paused during Tomatomania! in Encino last week to talk about what's new this year: a growing buzz for blue tomatoes, the most novel novelties among about 140 varieties of heirlooms and rare hybrids that he sells. We asked Daigre to explain the story behind the new blues for this edited Q&A. What's with the blue tomatoes? It's just what people are talking about in tomatoes right now. It's novel, appearing more and more.