Posts By: Michael Rozyne

When An Heirloom Tomato Hits a Wall…

  …it splatters, unlike the hard pink winter tomatoes from Florida and Mexico that I have played baseball with, literally. Heirloom tomatoes started showing up at farmer’s markets as a response to the flavorless supermarket tomato. Heirlooms are now widespread. The challenge Red Tomato faced in 2005 was getting heirloom tomatoes to supermarket shelves. But… Read more »

Why Supermarkets Are Still Around

Almost weekly we see a media story or food blog proclaiming that “The Supermarket is Dead,” and furthermore, tech is the new grocery store. A recent example is this from Wired: “The Supermarket Must Die. App-Fueled Services Can Kill It“. Red Tomato Founder and Evangelist Michael Rozyne sees a different story between the lines: What’s… Read more »

Announcing the Food Narrative Project

For nineteen years, we’ve told ourselves that Red Tomato, a small nonprofit with nine employees, is too small to have much impact on the national public conversation around local and sustainable food. We’re too small; our resources are too few. We emerged from our five year planning process this winter with a revised view: yes,… Read more »

Michael Rozyne: TEDxManhattan Sneak Peak

  In order to introduce himself to the TEDxManhattan audience. Red Tomato’s founder and co-director, Michael Rozyne, answered a few questions about himself and the Red Tomato conversation that we call: The Truth in the Middle. Enjoy the sneak peak! 1) What’s the topic you’ll be speaking about? The current food system isn’t built for local,… Read more »

Managing Pests: Reflecting on the 17-year Cicada

It’s true. I collected bugs as a teenager. While others were drinking beer on the weekends, I was catching butterflies, treating them with ether, spreading their wings on a tool made of balsa wood, and naming them with a fine-point pen & ink. I even submitted a photo portfolio of my collection to my college… Read more »

Reflecting on rain

Ruminating after a wet week Rain is good. Most of the time. In fact, it seems to have something to do with plants growing in springtime, etc. There’s always one guy in the locker room at the Y who moans on about the lost beach day or the rained-out golf game. But most people get the… Read more »

The Quest for Flavor in Red Tomatoes

I heard the tail end of a piece on NPR this morning about a tomato breeding program in Florida to insert the better qualities of wild-grown tomatoes or even cousins of tomatoes, crossed with high-yielding and resistant varieties of commercial tomatoes. What’s great about this is the attention to flavor. Tomato breeders put flavor low… Read more »

When Bad Things Happen to Good Tomatoes

May is when our region’s vegetable growers set their early tomatoes outdoors, often under row cover for protection. Thinking of the optimism most growers automatically exude this time of year, I was jolted back to a presentation I attended last December along with a hundred vegetable growers from the greater Northeast. It was like a… Read more »

Frost Damage on Apples

Excessively warm Aprils may be good for spirits. But they’re not great for apples. They fool the trees into an early bloom, which can be threatened by freezing nights. That is exactly what is happening right now. Homer Dunn called this morning from Alyson’s Apple Orchard in Walpole, NH to say his orchard suffered frost… Read more »

Lessons Learned — from Vietnam to Food Systems

I’ve been gripped by all the Vietnam and Afghanistan comparisons. How much can Obama advisors learn by studying the Vietnam War? At Red Tomato we’re always questioning how our successes and failures can become useful to other groups and farms. Not just kind of interesting, but really useful, the basis for planning and decision-making. Here’s the theory: philanthropic funders prefer… Read more »