Book review: It’s a Long Road to a Tomato

It's a Long Road to a Tomato by Keith Stewart

If you are interested in reading about the life of an organic farmer, you may like the book entitled It’s a Long Road to a Tomato, Tales of an Organic Farmer Who Quit the Big City for the (Not So) Simple Life by Keith Stewart, with wonderful illustrations by his wife Flavia Bacarella. I was drawn to this book, because Stewart lives right here in Orange County, New York. Stewart writes from the heart about the struggles he has faced, the rewards and joys about being an organic vegetable farmer and introduces several characters throughout the book with inspiring tales. His stories have a familiarity and reminds me of the rewards and difficulties my family faced while I was growing up on a dairy farm, and what my mom still encounters today.

Botanical, Flore des Seres et Des Jardins de L’Europe

Stewart talks about sustainable verse organic farming, the demise of farms and farm land, dairy farmers, the love for his tractors and many other topics that not only the organic farmer should think about, but we should think about as consumer. This book has lots of great tips and facts, which may help even the small vegetable gardener. Stewart and his wife’s love for their animals, and land is inspiring, and it makes me want to run outside for some fresh air and DIRT, leaving this computer far behind!

Here are two quotes from the book:

“To those of us for whom there is no other home than earth, however imperfectly we might inhabit this temporal world, a piece of land can assume the nature and aspect of a lover, though she be but a small piece of a great whole.”

“A small farm is, I believe, a place where one can work to develop an ecological consciousness and live in some measure of harmony with one’s surroundings”.

My grandma and grandpa's garden

Stewart (Keith’s Farm) sells his vegetables at the Union Square Greenmarket, see his link here for the book

Here are some other articles about Keith Stewart you may like to read and a short video from YouTube.

Another great book, which is currently on my night stand is The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible by Edward C. Smith. Are you reading any good books? We would love to hear about them, write to us at farmhousemag(at)gmail(dot)com.

5 Responses to “Book review: It’s a Long Road to a Tomato”
  1. vintagejenta says:

    For a moment, I thought this was another, similar book that I own, “Heirloom: Notes from an accidental tomato farmer” by Tim Stark! Lol. He’s also a NY state guy, though farther south.

    Here’s the Amazon link:

    Who knew there were so many tomato farmers in NYS?

  2. Irma Elaine says:

    Thank you for sharing Sarah, I will have to check that book out! I guess I didn’t mention it, but Keith’s Farm is much more than tomato’s, he has 80 acres on his farm and grows tons of vegetables all season long. Many people seem to know his farm, for his garlic. I would love to get a tour of his farm, I may just have to contact him!

  3. Great review! The cover alone makes me want it too. I’m working on tomato skills, don’t know very much but am attempting to grow 15 varieties from Baker’s heirloom seeds in my little greenhouse in zone 8b. Visit my blog to see pictures of my “brainstorm” that I hope brings tomatoes to fruition.

    Love your blog! 😀

  4. I will put this at the top of the list, Ashley, it sounds great and the title is genius. I also can’t recommend enough The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball. One of my top 5 favorite memoirs! I met her on the Amtrak and she told me about her first book she was writing, and then I saw that it had come out. The hubs and I read it and then saw her and hub speak at SUNY. Just wonderful.

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