Slow Food Columbus

Heirloom Tomato Tasting and Tour at Adena

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In the gardens at Adena.

In the gardens at Adena.

On Saturday, August 16, a group of us went to Adena Mansion in Chillicothe for a tour of the mansion and gardens and an heirloom tomato tasting, complemented by an array of Ohio foods provided by A Taste of Ohio.

Touring the garden, with Adena Mansion in the background.

Touring the garden, with Adena Mansion in the background.

The tour of the gardens was very educational.  They are divided between a flower garden, with broad paths and open areas for social gatherings, and vegetable gardens, with plots to grow food for the family and to teach the children gardening skills.  Great care is taken to maintain historical accuracy… which means that the gardeners have to grit their teeth rather than rely on modern countermeasures when groundhogs and other garden terrorists ruin their hard work.

The tour of the mansion was really breathtaking.  It has been carefully and lovingly restored and gives an excellent feel for what life was like when it was occupied a century and more ago.  Of course, we spent most of our time exploring the kitchen.

Mule team tomatoes on the vine.

Mule team tomatoes on the vine.

Then came the tomatoes—and oh, such tomatoes!  We were each given a plate, a fork, and a rating sheet and set loose on a table with over thirty different varieties of heirloom tomatoes.  The hardiest of us tried them all (and kind of wished we’d brought antacids).  Yellow Tobolsky and red Italian heirlooms were among the more popular tomatoes on the table.  We also had hamburgers, pasta salad, and a variety of other food provided by A Taste of Ohio.

Burgers and tomatoes—a match made in Ohio

Burgers and tomatoes—a match made in Ohio

It was a tasty and educational event.  Many of us left wanting more, and the gardeners left with detailed notes about what they were planning to plant next season!