As you know, Farmer Jeff has started his tomato babies. I actually thought he was all done with tomato seedlings, but today we received an incredible gift of seeds in the mail, including more tomato seeds! Who in the world sent us seeds, I asked.
We were gifted seeds from our local Sonoma County chapter of Slow Food. Slow Food is, in the words of the organization, "a non-profit, eco-gastronomic member-supported organization that was founded in 1989 to counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world".
We believe in growing as much as is physically possible. We also make a lot of items from scratch including bacon, wine vinegar, cheese, jams, catsup, and go so far as raising chickens for eggs, composting all vegetable and fruit matter from the restaurant and so on. It just makes sense to us. We don't do it for any other reason than that. It just makes sense.
Now, within Slow Food USA exists the Ark of Taste. What is that?
The Ark of Taste
seeks, first and foremost, to save an economic, social and cultural heritage - a universe of animal breeds, fruit and vegetables, cured meats, cheese, cereals, pastas, cakes and confectionery. Slow Foods mission is to preserve endangered tastes - and to celebrate them, by introducing them to the membership and then to the world, through media, public relations, and Slow Food events.
Farmer Chef Jeff and I (and Eastside Farm) were given the following seeds: Amish Pie Squash, Sibley Squash, Amish Deer Tongue Lettuce, Tennis Ball Lettuce (grown at Thomas Jefferson's house, Monticello!), Grandpa Admire's Lettuce, Speckled Lettuce, Moon and Stars Watermelon, Sheepnose Pimento Pepper, Jimmy Nardello's Pepper, Lina Cisco's Bir
d Egg Bean, Christmas Lima Bean, Red Fig Tomato, and Burbank Slicer.
We will be able to introduce them to the public through use at the restaurant AND at the Farmer's Markets! (Farmer Jeff ran downstairs to the sprouting room tonight to get the babies into sprouting trays. ) Most of the seeds are from the Seed Savers Exchange
We didn't realize before tonight that we are already raising some of the items on the Ark of Taste list. We currently grow Sebastopol Gravenstein Apples, Meyer Lemons, Jacob's Cattle Beans and Cherokee Purple Tomatoes.
In addition to the fruits and vegetables, there are ...drum roll please...CHICKENS on the Ark of Taste list! We raise the following prized breeds: Jersey Giant (Bess), Plymouth Rock (Laverne and Shirley), and Wyandotte (Bebe and Cece). Go girls! (This is Cece
Labels: Ark of Taste, beans, lettuce, Seed Savers Exchange, seeds, Slow Food, Tomatoes