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Old January 29, 2018   #1
greenthumbomaha
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Default What is the World Tomato Society?

I stumbled on this website when doing research on a particular variety.

Not a forum where you can ask a question and get direct responses like here.It seems to be a store, a database, and a bunch of blogs rolled into one.

Just curious. It's a non-profit but the purpose isn't apparent to me. Lovely photos.

- Lisa
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Old January 29, 2018   #2
sjamesNorway
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They've listed Craig LeHoullier as an adviser. If he is, then it's legit.

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Old January 29, 2018   #3
Koala Doug
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Maybe someone could PM Craig's Tomatoville account to see what light he can shed on this website.
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Old January 29, 2018   #4
sjamesNorway
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Maybe someone could PM Craig's Tomatoville account to see what light he can shed on this website.
Done. We'll see if he replies.

Steve
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Old January 29, 2018   #5
nctomatoman
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Hey folks - I am glad you asked (sort of) - the sort of only because I don't completely understand what it's all about either, to this point. I was asked a few years ago by Gary Ibsen to be involved as an adviser - he also brought Mike Dunton from Victory as well in a similar role. They had a big launch event there last year that I was unable to attend due to a timing conflict...I hope to stop in there this spring on our big cross country drive to visit our daughters.

It certainly has a focus on tomatoes, and my current role is really to answer questions that come to me via a contact there - emails that I receive every few days or so - pretty basic questions, really.

As I learn more, I will share more. But like those of you who stumbled upon it - I think we are all waiting to see what it is actually going to "do".

My primary focus on everything I do - at least my aspiration - is openness, sharing, education, learning together, honesty.....and minimizing conflict and drama - and the fervent wish that everyone with a few hours of sun everywhere grows something. Anything I can do in my (definition in progress) role in the organization that fits my aspirations will be done, as my time allows.

Seems like I have this tendency to spread myself thin!
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Old January 29, 2018   #6
carolyn137
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https://www.google.com/search?q=Worl...&bih=815&dpr=1

Here you go as in above?

Gary Ibsen?

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Old January 29, 2018   #7
DonDuck
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"Tomato" is popular and getting a lot of publicity. Sometimes publicity good or bad attracts folks or groups wanting to shine in the publicity. The home page of The Tomato Society indicates one of the advisors is the founder of The Tomato Foundation. Both web pages may be totally legitimate, but they seem a little long on hype and short on fact. If I'm wrong, I apologize, no disrespect intended.

One example I've noticed is a web page named "Tomato Geeks" which states on the web page "we proudly support The Tomato Growers Association Of America. On the associations web page it states "we proudly support Tomato Geeks. The geeks site sells tomato plants and the association sells tomato seed. The geeks and the association share the same physical address in Michigan. I checked the address out on 3D Google Earth and I didn't see anything impressive. It looks like hyping for a buck.
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Old January 29, 2018   #8
My Foot Smells
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonDuck View Post
"Tomato" is popular and getting a lot of publicity. Sometimes publicity good or bad attracts folks or groups wanting to shine in the publicity. The home page of The Tomato Society indicates one of the advisors is the founder of The Tomato Foundation. Both web pages may be totally legitimate, but they seem a little long on hype and short on fact. If I'm wrong, I apologize, no disrespect intended.

One example I've noticed is a web page named "Tomato Geeks" which states on the web page "we proudly support The Tomato Growers Association Of America. On the associations web page it states "we proudly support Tomato Geeks. The geeks site sells tomato plants and the association sells tomato seed. The geeks and the association share the same physical address in Michigan. I checked the address out on 3D Google Earth and I didn't see anything impressive. It looks like hyping for a buck.
The Duck is a Sleuth!
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Old January 29, 2018   #9
Fred Hempel
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Gary Ibsen and Cynthia Sandberg are both well-known tomato people in California.

Ibsen has been selling seeds for awhile (TomatoFest) and he used to put on a summer tomato festival in the swanky Carmel Valley with extensive tomato tasting, as well as loads of celebrity chefs who made all kinds of crazy tomato dishes (including cocktails and desserts). I went to one of these. The food was outstanding, and the crowd was diverse, from gardeners and farmers to foodies and corporate types.

Cynthia Sandberg is well known out here for two things: 1. She was a long-time close collaborator with a 3-star Michelin restaurant -- Manresa, and that collaboration has been extensively covered by the press, and 2. She sells oodles of heirloom tomato plants each spring, at all kinds of events in Northern California. She also gives lots of workshops at her "farm" on biodynamic growing and tomato growing. She is a local tomato Guru.

Here is what I see at the World Tomato Society website:

It is not a store. The World Tomato Society is not selling tomatoes.

In fact, the "Seed Catalog" of tomatoes indicates a link where they can be purchased. For example, if you are interested in the tomato "Solokha" the link provided directs you to Tatiana's Tomatobase to purchase seeds.

For a few of the tomatoes, TomatoFest (Ibsen's company) is suggested. But the suggested sources for majority of the tomatoes are an array of outfits that represent a "who's who" of heirloom seed sellers, many of whom are well-known here at Tomatoville.

There are a number of blog-type articles at the site, and education is the stated goal of the site.

Why the non-profit status, and what are they up to? They clearly state that the organization is raising $$ to build an educational campus near San Jose that will be focused on tomatoes.

While some of the principles clearly are involved in "for profit" business related to this society, and you could argue that the society website will link people to their businesses, my personal feeling is that the conflict of interest factor is relatively benign compared to alot of other stuff I see going on between "foundations" and the businesses of people that run them. These guys seem to be trying to spread the love in the tomato world, and trying to get people onto numerous tomato sites to buy OP tomato seeds (not just their own).

Plus, raising funds for (and setting up) an educational facility seems, to me, to be a pretty dumb thing to do, if you are simply trying to promote your own businesses. These people are pretty successful already, and I would argue they will likely invest more $$ than they will make on this endeavor.

Just my 2 cents.

Oh.. an article about the project in the local "Edible" publication.

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenthumbomaha View Post
I stumbled on this website when doing research on a particular variety.

Not a forum where you can ask a question and get direct responses like here.It seems to be a store, a database, and a bunch of blogs rolled into one.

Just curious. It's a non-profit but the purpose isn't apparent to me. Lovely photos.

- Lisa
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Old January 29, 2018   #10
nctomatoman
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Excellent post, Fred. From their Facebook and Instragram posting, early on, there is a great focus on education and sharing information.

Like I said above - it is new, and from my point of view it is figuring some stuff out as it goes along. But I've enjoyed my interactions and involvement and the audience it reaches is pretty wide-ranging.

I am certainly pleased to have been asked to be involved.
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Old January 29, 2018   #11
Fred Hempel
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From the article I linked (and just read for the 1st time) it looks like Cynthia's collaboration with Manresa (the 3-star Michelin restaurant) sort of slowed down the launch process.

It was interesting to me that this new project is the stated reason that she left her collaboration with Manresa (only so many hours in the day).

Good luck answering all the questions you get. Maybe you could just post your book online.
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Old January 29, 2018   #12
KarenO
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I had come across this in my internet travels as well. It’s a beautiful website and I am glad to see it vetted by Both Craig and Fred (I certainly trust in their opinions)
I will follow the progress of this as it looks very interesting.
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Old 19 Hours Ago   #13
KarenO
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Changed my mind.
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Old 11 Hours Ago   #14
ginger2778
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenO View Post
Changed my mind.
KarenO
Especially considering who they hired to run it.
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Old 10 Hours Ago   #15
Goodloe
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I looked at the site. It doesn't appear that they [I]sell[I] seeds. They still list Craig as an adviser.

I'm not entirely clear on its purpose. Maybe it's just one of those high-brow foundation things that well off, well meaning people want "to be involved with"...?
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