Amy Goldman spreads the beauty and importance of heirloom crops in her book "Heirloom Harvest"
Photo by Jerry Spagnoli,
Amy Goldman has tasted the first crisp, aromatic apple of the season, a Williams’ Pride from the orchard at her 200-acre farm in Hudson Valley. She has grown heirloom fruit and vegetables here for more than 25 years, shown them and written books about them, and for 14 years she has preserved her work in daguerreotypes, photographs by New York photographer Jerry Spagnoli. With his method of fixing an image on silver-plated copper, a Crane melon’s skin crackles like a raku glaze, and white currants glow like moon jellyfish.
“In black and white, you see structure and form—like watching it under a full moon,” says Lee Buttala with the Berkshire Botanical Garden in Stockbridge, where Goldman will speak on September 17, 2016 at 10 a.m. about her book Heirloom Harvest and her work to preserve these varieties of tomatoes, eggplants, squashes, and berries.
“She’s one of the most significant advocates in the country,” Buttala says.
He knows Goldman from her work on the board of the Seed Savers Exchange, a nonprofit network of growers protecting more than 20,000 varieties of plants. An heirloom fruit or vegetable is one that breeds true. The fruit that comes from the seeds (or tubers or graft) will resemble the parents, often older varieties adapted for flavor, durability, and beauty. “The flower of a pepper is as beautiful as a passionflower,” Buttala says, “if you look carefully.”