Driving to the farm and listening to WAMU this past weekend, I heard two great segments on The Splendid Table.

The first segment was on heirloom tomatoes with seed conservator Amy Goldman, author of The Heirloom Tomato: From Garden to Table.  Amy talks about the importance of saving seeds as well as the amazing heirloom tomatoes you can grow. Even if you don’t grow heirlooms (which are less resistant than many of the F1 hybrids) the difference between homegrown/locally grown tomatoes is huge.

How many varieties of heirloom tomatoes has Amy grown? Over 1000! High on my list is Green Zebra (although technically not an heirloom but an open-pollinated cultivar) along with Cherokee Purple and Brandywines.

Raising chickens on the 11th floor of a NYC apartment building where the food route was measured in inches, not miles was the topic of the second segment with writer Christine Pittel. Lessons learned from this experiment in urban farming included where to buy chicken scratch when you’re living in the middle of Manhattan and that whether living on the farm or in the city, chickens will crow first thing in the morning. Could apartment chickens also be considered free range?

Free range chickens