Since I started Project Sweet Tomato, a lot of people have brought to my attention magazines and news articles that in some way or another reflect the values of the program.  Today, I will provide you with an overview of a few magazines that that I feel are worthwhile reads.




This magazine goal is to “celebrate the abundance of Southeastern Michigan, season by season” and I must say that it does an excellent job of that.  Part of a network of publications that covers edible communities from Allegheny to Wasatch and several points in between, it connects the consumer with “family farmers, growers, chefs and food artisans of all kinds”.  Furthermore, they believe that every person has the right to affordable, fresh, beautiful food on a daily basis and that knowing where our food comes from is a “powerful thing”.  It is a for-profit, member-driven corporation, and the individuals that own the publications are local food advocates and residents of the communities they publish in.  They believe that this is a business model that not only supports their values, but also preserves the integrity of each member publication and the communities they serve.  Founded in 2002 by Tracey Ryder and Carole Topalian, it is “free” and published quarterly.  It has a combined (50 publications) readership of over 15 million readers.  It is filled with intelligent, entertaining stories, visually enticing stories and information that are “honest, compelling and relevant to their readers families, their communities and their lives”.


The Spring issue of edible WOW is all that and a bag of chips!  The three cover articles are called “Sundays In Birmingham”, “Gardening In The D” and “Michigan In A Bottle” and I must say that they are as promised intelligently written and highly entertaining.  Being an urban gardener, living in Detroit, I especially found the “Gardening In The D” article to be a well-written and very informative piece.  I had heard about the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network (DBCFSN) but knew very little about it until I read the article.  The author did an excellent job of explaining the origin, purpose and goals of the group as well highlighting its impact on the people and the communities they serve.


In addition to the abovementioned articles there were features on a restaurant, food, recipes, and environmental issues.  They were all articulately written, impressively formatted and accompanied with pictures that if we were only talking about food, whispered, “taste me”.   I was almost compelled to lick the pages a couple of times!


All in all, I think that this magazine is definitely on my must-read list.  It has everything that I look for in a magazine, plus it is environmentally “P.C.” in that it is written on recycled stock.  Unfortunately I can’t tell you where to find it, which the only downside.  It does say that subscriptions are available, but even a trip to its website left me scratching my head.  Hopefully, you live where it can be easily found! /(248) 731-7578




Where Women Cook “The Heart & Soul of Cooking”



Does the world need another cooking magazine that is priced at $14.95 an issue and is focused exclusively on women?  Obviously, somebody thinks so and I tend to agree.  I really enjoyed reading the issue before me.  At 160 pages, the magazine is loaded with articles that present contemporary women that not only embrace traditional values of the past but also successfully merge them with present day life and experiences.


Where Women Cook is published by the Stampington & Company.  They write and publish 30 magazines that focus on the arts and craft industry.  It can be found in most major bookstores, crafting chains, upscale supermarkets and “hundreds” of independent arts and crafts stores.  It a quarterly and has a high quality look as far as its design, production, content and photography.  One thing I personally like about it is that it is printed right here by Quad Graphics in Midland, Michigan.


At first glance, I was very much inclined to put this magazine in the category that includes a variety of Martha Stewart publications like “M.S. Living” and “Real Simple”, but in actuality it operates in a realm that is very unique.   A closer look showed me that it is really about women whose business and life is about cooking.  We are talking about business owners that own bakeries, restaurants, artisans that love to cook, and farms.  Highly motivated women that are involved in the world, whether it be human rights or the environment.  Women that, in some small but unique way, are inspirational. 


It is also loaded with recipes!  The issue I have goes from the traditional like apple pie to visually stimulating salads to unique pastries and cakes to exotic entrees.  The pictorial presentation of the food from preparation to the table is so appealing it is almost breathtaking.  

In conclusion, I highly recommend this publication to anybody male or female that loves to cook.  I find that it more than lives up to its title and its mission.  I heartily give it two thumbs up!




Natural Home Living Wisely>>Living Well



The first thing I noticed about Natural Home was its advertising.  Unlike a lot of home environment/lifestyle publications this magazines’ ads do not look like the “I did it myself” advertisements that frequent most of these types of literature.  Not slick at all in appearance Natural Home has a warm and inviting look to it that takes a casual look at the organic lifestyle.

Like most publications it is broken into several categories/sections.  It has sections with articles that give advice “Make An Odd Space Livable”, on nourishment “Eat Well This Winter”, on your home “A Mold-free Home”, on inspiration “Living In A Virtual World”, and tips that are just plain good to know “Tips For A Healthy Night’s Sleep”.  This month’s feature article was “Sleep Well, the Natural Bedroom”, a simple photo story that highlighted fixtures and materials that could be used to “create a soothing, sensuous space” out of your bedroom.  For added value it included a resource list where you could purchase the featured items and many others.  Another plus was an article on urban gardening in which they listed the Top 10 Cities for this activity. 

Although it had the obligatory cooking recipes, clearly the focus of this publication is eco-friendly living.  With an editorial to advertising ratio that is probably at 85% to 15%, I think that this bi-monthly magazine with a cost of $5.99 per issue is a sound investment.