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“I’m after the charm of tomatoes. I’m after the history of tomatoes. Just obviously, appeal and taste and all of that. But if I can tie it up all in one bundle, that’s what I wanna choose.”
Tomatoes are a nearly universal plant—native to South America, they now flourish on every continent except Antarctica. Tomatoes have been bred, often by home gardeners, for their looks, flavors, and suitability for diverse climates. This has resulted in thousands of varieties of heirloom tomatoes, meaning tomatoes that can be grown from seed. These plants carry stories of exploration and innovation, and they can also teach important lessons about gardening and our connection to food. Every year, garden designer Scott Daigre celebrates heirloom tomatoes through his Tomatomania! pop-up events, which bring hundreds of varieties of tomato seedlings to Southern California gardeners.
In this episode, Daigre explains what heirloom tomatoes are, why people love them, and how to grow them in your garden.
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Tomatomania! explore the exhibition
Brian Houck: Hello, I’m Brian Houck, head of Grounds and Gardens at the J. Paul Getty Trust. Welcome to Art and Ideas. I’m your host for a three-episode series with artful gardeners in southern California.
Scott Daigre: I’m after the charm of tomatoes. I’m after the history of tomatoes. Just obviously, appeal and taste and all of that. But if I can tie it up all in one bundle, that’s what I wanna choose.
Houck: In this episode, I speak with Scott Daigre, founder of Tomatomania.
I vividly remember the first time I tasted a tomato. I was six years old and I was visiting a home garden in Oklahoma. I was given permission to eat a tomato. When I think back to that experience, I am still filled with joy and wonder. It’s one of my first vivid memories of plants.
To say Scott Daigre is also passionate about tomatoes is an understatement. Every year, he selects around 300 varieties of tomato for Tomatomania, an event he runs across Southern California each spring to bring tomato seedlings to home gardeners. He is also a garden designer based in Ojai, California.
I recently spoke to Scott about his mania for tomatoes, what makes heirloom tomatoes special, and how to grow them in your garden.
I am talking today with Scott Daigre. Welcome, Scott. We’re gonna talk about tomatoes today.
Daigre: I love that idea. It’s great to talk with you always, Brian. And this is my favorite topic.
Houck: You’re a plant person from way back.
Daigre: I am a plant person from way back.
Houck: When did you start learning about plants?
Daigre: You know what? I had a garden when I was about five. Sort of mimicking my grandfather, right? My garden inspiration. And specifically, tomatoes. I remember being in his shed. I remember what that smelled like, right? Grew up in Louisiana, so it was a—a wet garden shed.
Houck: Well, so as you grew up, your love of plants sort of took over your life. I know you’ve been a garden designer and you worked at a specialty nursery, Hortus
Houck: …in Pasadena, and there’s probably a number of other things that I don’t know about. How did your garden journey begin?
Daigre: I grew up in Louisiana, most of my life. By the time I was twenty-one, I had moved to Chicago and into a whole different world, as far as gardening is concerned.
I always say I did become a gardener in Chicago, because I struggled through a winter there like that I just wasn’t ready for. I’d never done that in my life before. I remember that springtime vividly because, oh, my God, it was time to be green and, you know, do things in the garden. And so coming outta that, I threw seeds and planted things in every available soil, every spot, you know, where I lived.
I moved to Los Angeles about six years later, and a friend signed me up for a community garden plot, for my birthday, on one of those years. And then it started for real. It really did. I did various marketing and promotional kind of career steps early on in my professional career. And I finally just got to the point where I had to leave that. All I really wanted to do was garden.
And you know, as you said, I went to work at Hortus, and that was a— that was a— Oh, gee, it was such a gem. And it was such a hub, really, as well, for all of gardening in Los Angeles. So I learned. I opened my ears. I just soaked it all up. And you know, the garden design happened from that, and on and on and on. And I helped build Tomatomania when I was there, so that was critical for me. But it just kept expanding and kept changing, and I found new facets. You know, I never latched on to one part of gardening; I found new things, whether it was vegetables or succulents or, you know, whatever. And so rolled through all that in my early career.
Houck: I’m glad you mentioned Tomatomania and I’m glad we finally get to that topic, because that is one of the reasons we’re here today. Tomatomania has become this part of our culture in Southern California.
Daigre: Oh, my gosh, I’m so grateful for that. And I love hearing that. Warms my heart to hear that.
Houck: To sort of jump the gun, Tomatomania is about heirloom tomatoes.
Houck: And you go around creating what you might call pop-up nursery events and sell heirloom tomatoes. Is that a fair description?
Daigre: That is a fair description. We are a tomato circus in the springtime. And we run around the state with, you know, a crazy amount of crazy and rare and amazing tomatoes that we offer to home gardeners. That’s what we do. That’s what Tomatomania is. It started at Hortus. It was originally the brainchild of Gary Jones, my pal and then boss over there. I helped build the event while at the nursery. I kind of became event planner when I was there, sort of.
And just, again, completely latched onto it. And when the nursery closed, I said, “Let’s try to do this outside of this site.” And then we became that pop-up. And that was twenty-one years ago, I think? Maybe twenty-two. Isn’t that crazy? And so yeah, we took it on the road. And in fact, since then, we’ve been in five states and about— almost thirty cities, trying to figure out how it works best, how we like it best, all of that.
It’s always a work in progress, I guess, as any small business is. But yes, we are a pop-up and we offer crazy-good tomato seedlings to good gardeners in— wherever we are.
Houck: I know you approach this as your business. I know as a guest who’s been to Tomatomania in the past, I feel like this is a service. When I go there as a guest…
Daigre: That’s so nice.
Houck: …I see heirloom tomatoes and I get to pick and choose, you know, what’s out there. And as a gardener, as somebody who cares about what I bring into my home and why I might be choosing a tomato, the fact that there are so many to choose from, and some knowledge and some education about it, really makes me happy.
Daigre: Oh, thank you.
Houck: You know, there’s such a joy about heirloom tomatoes. I think it’s worthwhile to say what is an heirloom tomato. Why would a somebody choose to grow an heirloom versus a more modern hybrid tomato?
Daigre: Well, in the truest, the horticultural sense, an heirloom tomato is a variety that is true from seed. And it means that if I grow a Black Krim year, which I think that— I credit that tomato with starting the whole heirloom phase, or heirloom craze, sort of in my world and in our world here. If I save a Black Krim seed this year, I grow it out next year, I get the same fruit. And that’s not true of some of the hybrid classics that we grow, and have grown and love.
So an heirloom, first of all, is true from seed. I think what people get attached to, and the reason why they’re so different, is that they come in a lot more colors and shapes and they have a lot more personality, perhaps, than, again, the ed, medium-sized, roundish kind of things that we’ve grown for years.
And then they have stories. You literally have stories of this seed being, you know, brought with families and explorers and people around the world. And the stories are rich; the stories are varied. And the names tell a lot of that. The names tell a lot of the stories—where the tomato came from, what it’s used for, whatever.
We have beautiful options, like a Cherokee Purple. We have a Russian Queen; we have—again, on and on and on—so many lovely varieties that, again, tell a little story. And you can participate in that. I think that’s part of what we want. We get to participate in a little bit of history, where gardening is concerned, and that is different and interesting for a home gardener.
Houck: Okay. So let me see if I can lay this out. A heirloom tomato could come from any part of the world.
Houck: Okay. But tomatoes are not native to all parts of the world.
Houck: So tomatoes are from where, originally?
Daigre: Originally, the thought is that they originated or they were first domesticated, if you will, in South America, in Peru. Where they were growing wild. Somebody found one, they tried it, and it obviously didn’t kill them, and that was a good thing. It became a food source. And that sort of went around the world. Those seeds went around the world and it was bred to other things and that’s how we get all this huge variety we have today.
Houck: Okay, so tomato seeds are dispersed throughout the world.
Houck: And gardeners around the world are starting their seeds over and over again for each year’s crop.
Daigre: Yes. Saving those seeds. Very, very important part of that heirloom legacy.
Houck: And they are making selections according to their interests and their climate
Daigre: Bingo. Exactly. I mean, if I’m in a super-cold climate, I wanna save a seed from the first tomato of the year, right? I want that earliest tomato. And while I imagine that was really difficult—they probably wanted to eat that tomato—in order that they had tomatoes in Siberia or wherever, in cold climates, they perhaps, you know, grabbed that first tomato.
Or, let’s imagine a place with a longer season. All of a sudden there’s this beautiful yellow-lobed, amazing Beefsteak tomato that happens out of maybe an accidental cross, maybe something that was planned. And boom, all of a sudden they decide, well, that’s amazing, that’s different, that’s tasty; let’s hang onto that one. So I imagine all these personalities happened either by accident or by someone’s plan over many, many years; and people, yes, selected for exactly what they wanted, their climate, or what they needed to happen in the tomato garden or in the vegetable garden.
Houck: So if I go talk to somebody who doesn’t know much about gardening, I feel like they would tell me tomatoes come from Italy.
Daigre: That’s good PR, is what that is, right? That’s good PR.
Evidently, you gotta grow San Marzanos in the hills— the hills of Italy, right? In Pompei or wherever the— that district is that’s famous for the. But a tomato is, in truth, a pretty universal plant. Now, yes, it needs to do different things in different parts of the world, or it will react to different climates and seasons, et cetera.
But by God, you can grow ’em everywhere.
Houck: So an heirloom tomato is of interest to most gardeners, no matter where they are around the world. Because they taste so much better than something you get from the store. Correct, right?
Houck: That’s a fair statement.
Daigre: That is a fair statement, and yes, it’s a generalization, because I think there are some stores who sell really good tomatoes at the height of the season, when we should expect that it’s best. I think most of us, because we now can have tomatoes almost all of the year, spend a lot of the year eating sub-par tomatoes.
So when it comes around to the time when we can grow them and eat them when they are ripe and in season and in my garden, the taste and the excitement about that is just— Come on, it’s tenfold, right? And that’s why we get excited, I think, about that heirloom, because we don’t necessarily have heirlooms all the time, year-round, right? Even though we have, you know, some store-bought kind of reds that you can get in January, sure.
It’s harder to ship tomatoes across the world, like we can do with other fruits. Unfortunately, we sort of have to have some months when we eat cardboard-tasting tomatoes. And boy, when we can do ’em differently, we sure do.
Houck: I know when I’ve grown the Yellow Pear tomato in my backyard, my biggest problem is getting it into the house, because I will have eaten my handful…
Daigre: Of course.
Houck: …before I make it into the kitchen to actually eat them.
Daigre: That’s almost what cherry tomatoes are for. You just gotta grow a bunch of ’em so that you can’t possibly do that, and then you can have something to eat later at dinner or whatever. Or to share, right?
Houck: Well, yeah. I mean, there’s also Matt’s Wild Cherry…
Daigre: Of course.
Houck: …which I actually haven’t grown for years, but that is a favorite one of mine. Can you tell me about that variety?
Daigre: I don’t [know] its particular story. I know that I knew nuggets of that, Brian, from here, you know, through the years. It’s named for Matt, a horticulturalist kind of adventurer. It is of Mexican origin, if I’m remembering my stats straight. And it’s obviously, for your listeners who grow standard tomatoes, it doesn’t fit in that mold. It’s a wild tomato. Which means that its leaves are frillier, maybe; more, you know, just— It’s just very, very different.
And the tomato itself is more akin to that first tomato that was found on a hillside in South America. It’s tiny. It’s very tiny. So you know, the tip-of-your-little-finger kind of tiny. And it packs a punch; it’s got a great taste, as well.
So Matt’s is one that because there are other varieties—and you mentioned Yellow Pear, and we see this with this one, as well—because those were so popular, have been so popular for a long time, there’re other options that are like them, that people move to just because it’s interesting.
Spoon is a lovely—I think it’s the smallest tomato I’ve ever seen, so we love that about it. But it is the Matt’s Wild Cherry of today.
It’s almost like tomato fashion. You know, the people move in and out of various— They sort of learn and grow, and maybe even experiment in the kitchen. They move amongst these varieties. And that’s another reason why that sort of large group is really, really exciting for people who are obviously gardeners, but also, you know, like to know what they eat and like to have an adventure when they eat, as well.
Houck: Okay. So if I’m a gardener at home and I wanna participate in this world of tomatoes, I would just follow the same pattern of collecting the seeds and growing them up and choosing the one I would wish, or—?
Daigre: If you wanted to. I always tell people, “That’s why too organized for me.” I’m an— You know, I love tomatoes and I’m just so enthusiastic about them. But that’s, you know, that’s where the scientist comes in, and that is just not me. But there are many. And I should say, some of the major trends in tomatoes today are being driven by backyard hybridizers.
So yes, they are very much deciding, “Ooh, that’s amazing. And that’s amazing. And I like the growth pattern of this tomato and the color on that one is just too good; let’s cross them and see what happens.” The whole dwarf tomatoes that are coming onto the scene right now, which is huge in tomato circles, all happened because of small hybridizers. You have to have some patience, and you have to have, you know, organizational skills.
Before an heirloom can be sort of sold as one, it generally goes through seven to nine generations of testing. Or growing, is what that is. And obviously, tasting and all the rest. So it’s a time-consuming thing. Is it possible? Absolutely.
Houck: Seven to nine generations.
Houck: Does that mean seven to nine years?
Daigre: Well, in most cases, it does, right? If you don’t have a greenhouse—and not many have the kind of greenhouse that would give you, you know, years or a full year of growth potential, right? For even a tomato, which is tough and easy—yeah, it takes seven to nine generations. So in many cases, it is exactly that. It is exactly that. And as you mentioned previously, it’s not just growing; it’s selecting.
I think more often than not, though—back to your point about, you know, people saving seeds—I think it was accidental. Or not even accidental, but just informally, you know, people saved that thing that they wanted and by the time the kids grew up, they had only that tomato in the garden, and then they passed it onto the grandkids, you know? So that’s how that works.
Houck: Ah. That makes sense. I mean, I know from my own gardening, Yellow Pear will reseed itself in my yard and I don’t have to do anything.
Houck: So that comes back again and again. But to your point about tomato seeds being in families, I do hear stories about, you know, grandchildren who are growing the grandparents’ tomato.
Daigre: Oh, it’s a lovely— it’s a legacy, right?
Houck: Right. Right. That makes a lot of sense. Alright, so I might be in the same boat as you, in terms of not being organized or patient enough to create my own heirloom tomato. So how do I discover the tomato I want? Where do I get information?
Daigre: There’s so much out there. And obviously, the web, the internet is our key to that. I imagine that best estimate, there are probably 6- to 7,000 varieties of tomatoes, seeds of tomatoes, that I can get to in any moment. So—
Houck: Give me a moment. You said 6- to 7,000.
Daigre: Yes. See how hard it is to edit to my 300 that we do every year? It’s very hard!
Houck: 6- to 7,000.
Daigre: And happening more. And as I mentioned, happening more and more and more, you know, each year, as people get more excited about these things and figure out a new way that a tomato can be used or otherwise grown or like that.
So just to follow up on your question though. The internet is your gold. As well as, obviously, in-person events. I know there are neighborhood events, even in Ojai where people share in all of that.
There’s something called the World Tomato Society right now that’s on Instagram and on, you know, everywhere you wanna be. Their posts are all about tomato varieties. So if you follow them, you can get 300 in a year. And I’m— Look, I follow ’em and go, “Oh, my God, I gotta look for that.” It’s kind of amazing. You’ll learn about where they come from; who developed them, if they know that; all that kinda stuff. And it’s a treasure trove out there.
Houck: So if I went to your pop-up nursery event, Tomatomania…
Houck: …and you said that there are 300 or so varieties that you’ll grow in a given year— I still don’t even know how I’m gonna sort through 300 interesting objects to figure out the one that is correct for me. How do you decide on the tomato that really sort of is gonna work for you this year?
Daigre: There’re actually quite a few things that one can use to develop a strategy, in terms of growing a tomato. What do you wanna do with it? Where you gonna grow it? What do you wanna cook? What do you wanna eat? What will the kids eat? When are you going on vacation? If you’re gone for the month of August, you wanna grow a lot of early tomatoes, for example. So it offers you the opportunity to have a plan. And lots of folks will love that and get attached to that.
So you come to this event. Yes. Jaws drop open and eyes are wide, and we love that. And we giggle and say, “Dive in.” Walk through these rows, walk through these aisles, and check these out. Find a tomato that you fall in love with. It could be that you fall in love with a tomato from Minnesota because you grew up there. It could be that all of a sudden, you know your kids will eat will orange cherries. Well, we probably have ten of ’em, ten varieties we can offer you.
Or you want the most outrageous stripe because you wanna win the most interesting tomato contest in your neighborhood. Whatever it happens to be.
Walk through, look at the pictures, read the descriptions, and fall in love. And you are attached. You are then attached to what you’re growing. You’re attached to what you’re eating. And that’s how we become connected. I love that it connects us to our food, our region, all of that stuff. And it’s really exciting.
Houck: I am going to remember the phrase, ‘a tomato strategy’ for the year.
Daigre: Good. Good, good, good.
Houck: I think that’s exactly correct.
Daigre: Look, [we all grow in different spots, right? We all can’t do the same thing and have, or expect or enjoy the same result. So we make a strategy.
Houck: Okay. Let me sort of pretend that I’ve gone to Tomatomania and I’ve purchased a flat or two of tomatoes because I have a tomato strategy.
Daigre: I love it. Where are we going here? Go.
Houck: I’m going back to my house to plant them. Since I know I have the expert in front of me here, how do I transplant the tomato? What do I do for success?
Daigre: Well you get home, you bring that tomato in. And just for a minute, you set those tomatoes aside and you concentrate on your soil. Add organics. Once your soil is ready, you will ease it out of the pot gently. You’ll prepare the hole where you know it’s going. You might sprinkle a little bit of a good, balanced organic fertilizer in there right in the root zone. Some people add an egg or a a fish head or all those other things that you can put in a hole. But for now, let’s just be simple.
Prepare with good compost and all that, add a little fertilizer. Place that tomato in the hole that you’ve prepared And then tuck it in really, really nicely, making sure that you’ve buried a bit of the stem, so that when you plant that tomato, you really just want the very top of that plant and a few leaves above the soil.
Plant some of the stem, because the stem will root. So the stem will provide more roots for you almost immediately. The plant is stronger, the root ball is deeper and cooler, and the plant gets a good start. You water it in nicely there, you soak it well, you should be on your way.
Houck: Planting the stem goes against all of my gardening knowledge.
Daigre: Well, and it does. And that’s the other eye-popping, jaw-dropping thing that most beginners hear and go, ‘How can that possibly work?’ And we respond with, ‘Well, hey, just don’t do it with your squash and your corn, right?’ You can only do it with tomatoes. But go for it and you’ll see a stronger, thicker, more healthy plant right from the get-go. And it’s a good idea.
Houck: I wanna go back to something you kind of glossed over. Fish heads and eggshells. I— Why did you just move on from fish heads and eggshells?
Daigre: It does make you go, eww, right? Because there are lots of— you know, just as in everything else. I mean, pick a topic. Pick a hobby. Pick a whatever. People do it differently.
We have a good Tomatomaniac friend who puts Tums in the bottom of his tomato planting holes to provide more calcium for the tomatoes, so that he can help avoid blossom end rot. An aspirin. Salicylic acid, is that what’s in aspirin? To aid in root develop.
There’s all sorts of lore, all sorts of things out there. I think if you get a good balanced fertilizer and amazing soil, you’re off to a good start.
Houck: I’m gonna have to think about this for quite a while, the idea of putting aspirin or Tums in my gardens doesn’t seem like the most effective way to do things, if I’m planting a lot of things, plants for the season.
Daigre: Well, I tell ya, the only time I ever used the egg theory, Brian, I was in Ohio, planting a large part of one of our test gardens. And I got lazy and I dug all the holes. Right? I dug forty or fifty holes, and then I put an egg in every one. ’Cause I have chickens. That’s easy for me to do. And then I got tired and put it off till the next day.
And when I came back the next day, critters had stolen most of ’em. So I went, “Oh! This is just doomed, you know? This is a sign.” And oh well. There you are.
Houck: Yeah, clearly, you’re gonna have to crack the eggs in the future.
Daigre: Exactly. Answered that question for you.
Houck: Oh, that’s fantastic. Well, okay. There is a lot of technical knowledge that goes along with any gardening.
Daigre: Can be, sure.
Houck: And if you’re sort of gonna invite yourself into the world of having a tomato strategy and growing heirloom tomatoes and joining this community, you know, you will have to sort of jump up on your learning curve.
Daigre: Oh, absolutely.
Houck: If you’re a beginner, are you gonna have some success?
Daigre: Of course. Well, look, it’s a fun thing. You know, and it’s not difficult. This is not something that requires a lotta study. As you hit the different phases of what you’re doing, whether it’s rooting something into the ground for the first time rather than planting a root ball, or fertilizing or pruning or anything that comes along with gardening— And there’s all that in the tomato world, right? All of those things are things that you could learn while you’re growing this one plant or plants.
Just address them as they happen. You don’t have to know it all going in. You learn as you go and as you grow. There’s so much out there that can help you with that. And it’s a lovely thing, too.
Houck: So Scott, given that this is a Getty podcast, makes me think about curating tomatoes. in terms of picking from the 6- or 7,000 down to 300 every year tomatoes. And maybe we can make the association that you’re curating a collection. That you are sorting through all of our available choices and bringing it forward to the local gardener. How do you choose?
Daigre: Oh, gosh, that’s such a good question. There are many things that drive a choice. But I’m after the charm of tomatoes. I’m after the history of tomatoes. Just obviously, appeal and taste and all of that. But if I can tie it up all in one bundle, that’s what I wanna choose.
And you’re so correct. We are creating and curating each season, a collection of tomatoes for people to choose from. And that’s based on tomato fashion of a sort. It can be about color, it can be about stripes, it can be about size.
I think of one particular tomato, Brian, that we sort of honored, if you will, as our tomato of the year a couple years ago. And it’s called Thorburn’s Terracotta. It’s named after a Mr. Thorburn, who grew it. And he introduced this tomato in 1893. And it was the cover of Livingston’s or whatever seed catalogs. It was highly touted as this amazing tomato that was different. And obviously, a terracotta tomato was different. It’s sort of a smallish Beefsteak.
They chatted about it and, you know, promoted it and made it happen for years; but it did quickly fall out of favor, because that was an era in which there were more red tomatoes, being hybridized than anything, and it was kind of decided, I guess, informally, or the market decided, that red tomatoes were the thing. And so it fell out of favor and disappeared from the covers of seed catalogs and such. And to many who study such things—and there are several garden historians who try to do this—they thought it was lost.
Some seed was early in the aughts of, you know, ten-fifteen years ago. And it was, in fact, found, replanted, retested. All this, right? And we found it and embraced that story wholeheartedly and went, “Oh, my God, this is the kind of thing that we need to showcase. This is the kind of thing that we need to offer the public, the growing public.” So yes. I mean, we find even antiquated things like this, and showcase them in the same way the museum does, and offer them to, hopefully, a whole new group of people. Or at least offer a whole new way of looking at this item, to a whole group of people.
Houck: Tomatomania is a tomato exhibit.
Daigre: It is!
Houck: Got it.
Daigre: It is! And can I— and can I tell you one’a my dreams is to have a showcase in the middle of the summer where we actually set up tomatoes in a gallery and tell these stories. You know, a tomato on a white plinth in a beautiful white corner, with a spotlight on it. It’s going to happen one of these days. But it hasn’t happened yet.
Houck: Well, wouldn’t that be something. I would enjoy the tomato tasting that goes along with this.
Houck: I know some tomatoes have low acidity, some tomatoes are sweet, some tomatoes sort of hit you over the head with a tomato punch.
Houck: I mean, the flavors are fascinating. Can you speak to that a little bit?
Daigre: Well, of course. I mean, after it’s all said and done, we want good taste. Taste can vary in tomatoes according to the color. The sweetness of a yellow or a red-yellow blend; the deepness, the smokiness of a— of a black tomato, which has— they’ve become sensations. They’re dark and mysterious, and boy, that taste is like nothing you’ve ever had before.
The sweetness of a cherry versus the sort of— the robustness of a beefsteak. It’s all there. And when you factor those things into taste is subjective and we all taste things differently, right? All possibilities can happen. Everything is possible.
And that’s how we make this, also, I think in the end, we kinda make it a personal game. You know, everybody doesn’t experience what we experience with that tomato in our garden. That’s a special experience. That’s really, really a keen thing for someone to be able to do. And again, I think it’s part of the challenge, and it’s part of the charm, and why we do it again and again and again.
Houck: Scott, I feel like I’m internalizing what you’re saying, because from my own experience, you know, I enjoy the Green Zebra tomato.
Houck: If I have Green Zebra in a salad, to me, it’s summer. And that sort of defines summer for me.
Daigre: Oh, that’s so nice.
Houck: I don’t know how to describe it.
Daigre: I mean, we know this. We know this feeling, we know that emotion, we know what comes along with that. And again, you know, a lot of times, when we talk about Tomatomania and what we do, it’s not about so much a plant as it is about an experience. And I think that, too, is sort of museum-like. You know, you go and you see great art or you see great sculpture, and it’s an experience. It’s not just an object there. It becomes more than that. And I think that’s what, kind of, we aim to get to. And now, we don’t do that for people; we sort of provide an opportunity, and they do it themselves. Very, very special.
Houck: Thank you for that, Scott. I think that really speaks to sort of what’s going on. We take it with us.
Daigre: Yes, absolutely.
Houck: It becomes part of who we are.
Houck: Scott, I wanna thank you for having this conversation with us today. Very much appreciate your knowledge and sharing what you know about tomatoes, and want to applaud you with all our efforts in making this available to us. It’s been terrific talking with you.
Daigre: I feel the same way. Thank you for having me.
Houck: This episode was produced by Zoe Goldman, with audio production by Gideon Brower and mixing by Myke Dodge Weiskopf.
Our theme music comes from the “The Dharma at Big Sur” composed by John Adams, for the opening of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles in 2003 and is licensed with permission from Hendon Music.
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Thanks for listening.
Brian Houck: Hello, I’m Brian Houck, head of Grounds and Gardens at the J. Paul Getty Trust. Welcome to Art and Ideas. I’m your host for a three-episode series with artful gardeners in southern California.
Scott Daigre: I’m after the charm of tomatoes. I’m after the history of toma...
“The Dharma at Big Sur – Sri Moonshine and A New Day.” Music written by John Adams and licensed with permission from Hendon Music. (P) 2006 Nonesuch Records, Inc., Produced Under License From Nonesuch Records, Inc. ISRC: USNO10600825 & USNO10600824
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