Heirloom : Notes from an Accidental Tomato Farmer

3.5 (416 ratings by Goodreads)
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Situated beautifully at the intersection of Michael Pollan, Ruth Reichl, and Barbara Kingsolver, "Heirloom "is an inspiring, elegiac, and gorgeously written memoir about rediscovering an older and still vital way of life.
Fourteen years ago, Tim Stark was living in Brooklyn, working days as a management consultant, and writing unpublished short stories by night. One evening, chancing upon a Dumpster full of discarded lumber, he carried the lumber home and built a germination rack for thousands of heirloom tomato seedlings. His crop soon outgrew the brownstone in which it had sprouted, forcing him to cart the seedlings to his family s farm in Pennsylvania, where they were transplanted into the ground by hand. When favorable weather brought in a bumper crop, Tim hauled his unusual tomatoes to New York City s Union Square Greenmarket, at a time when the tomato was unanimously red. The rest is history. Today, Eckerton Hill Farm does a booming trade in heirloom tomatoes and obscure chile peppers. Tim s tomatoes are featured on the menus of New York City s most demanding chefs and have even made the cover of "Gourmet" magazine."
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Product details

  • Paperback | 231 pages
  • 129.54 x 198.12 x 17.78mm | 181.44g
  • Random House USA Inc
  • Broadway Books (A Division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc)
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0767927079
  • 9780767927079
  • 1,276,137

Review quote

"With succulent wit, [Stark] conveys the poetry of a well-grown tomato." "Entertainment Weekly
""Heirloom."..is an instant classic of gentleman farmer literature." Carly Berwick, Bloomberg.com"
"Tim Stark is a natural-born storyteller funny, poignant, and unerringly authentic. Charming with a capital "C."
John Grogan, author of "Marley & Me""
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About Tim Stark

Tim Stark is the proprietor of Eckerton Hill Farm in Lenhartsville, Pennsylvania. His writing has appeared on National Public Radio as well as in "Gourmet," "Conde Nast Traveler," "Washington Post," "Missouri Review," "Alimentum," and "Organic Gardening." Tim and his farm have been profiled on National Public Radio."
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Rating details

416 ratings
3.5 out of 5 stars
5 18% (73)
4 31% (131)
3 37% (154)
2 12% (51)
1 2% (7)

Our customer reviews

An interesting, uneven book. Parts had been previously published--and some of the shorter essays, while nice, seemed to digress into name-dropping (famous NYC chefs for whom the author had provided produce). Another reason for the unevenness is the length of the chapters! Some were 50-60 pages; most were fewer than 10. I don't know why an editor didn't do something about the unevenness: as it stands, the work is not a very coherent piece but, rather, a collection of pieces of various lengths and purposes. Moreover, the author should have taken a page from Stephen Pyne and introduced section breaks--or something--within his hugely long chapters. My interest waned at times, even though I liked the subject.show more
by Steve Gump
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