Traditional Foods


Native American gardening before colonization was different than gardening today. Instead of taking from the land, Native American gardens made the land richer. The basis of modern-day plant breeding formed from Native American farmer knowledge of planting and their complex ways of reproducing plants like tomatoes, through cutting and seed selection. Traditionally, Native Americans did not till the soil, they worked with the soil in a way that did not harm the natural balance of the soil. Tilling can cause soil erosion and lead to poor growing conditions. A no-till method for the home garden is a raised bed garden. Raised bed gardens are a fun way to grow food for the whole family. Raised gardens can be made from wood, stone, or logs. A few containers, soil, and a sunny spot can be ideal for growing tomatoes if you do not have much space outside.


Tomatoes can be enjoyed in many ways. They can be canned, dried, made into juice, frozen, cooked or eaten raw.

Tomatoes should be firm, glossy, smooth and plump. Those with the deepest color are the ripest.

There are many kinds of tomatoes. They can be red, orange, orange pink, purple, yellow or green.

They also come in sizes ranging from very small, cherry or grape tomatoes, to oval or pear shaped to giant, think beefsteak tomatoes, for slicing.

Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C and vitamin A. They can also help lower the risk of heart disease and some cancers because they contain lycopene.


Store tomatoes at room temperature with the smooth end down and the stem up.

Fully ripe tomatoes should be stored in the fridge and may keep for up to a week.


Wash tomatoes using cool running water before preparing or eating. Trim the ends and cut tomato in slices, wedges or chop it up, as needed.

Bring tomatoes to room temperature before serving for best flavor.

Adapted from

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