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Hollywood Farmers Market hosts Peak of Summer Tomato Festival

September 4, 2008 | 12:37 pm

Getprev1_4 Even for those of us who think we can’t possibly get enough of good tomatoes, this time of year can be a bit of a test. It’s very nearly an over-abundance of riches. They seem to be everywhere, and the variety and quality is unbeatable. To honor this bounty, the Hollywood Farmers Market is hosting its annual Peak of Summer Tomato Festival Sunday. As always, it will feature samples (this year more than 30 varieties will be available), as well as tips on canning and drying, and a demonstration of preparing “heirloom tomato juices” by someone called “Chef E.”

But for true tomato lovers, the real highlight of the day will be an appearance by Amy Goldman, who will be signing her new book “The Heirloom Tomato.” Like Goldman’s previous books “The Compleat Squash” and “Melons for Passionate Growers,” this book sets tomatoes up as art objects, highlighted by gorgeous color photography by Victor Schrager.

liThe book is valuable for much more than just pretty pictures. Goldman is a scholar of vegetable species and in “The Heirloom Tomato,” she tracks down the histories of more than 200 varieties. Even better, she grew out most of them in her home garden and offers detailed notes on growing and tasting them.
And there are seed sources as well, making this not just a book to read at the peak of the season, but also one to pore over all winter while planning next summer’s feasting.

Hollywood Farmers Market, Ivar and Selma avenues, between Hollywood and Sunset boulevards, Sunday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. www.hollywoodfarmersmarket.net; www.farmernet.com.

-- Russ Parsons