You’d expect to find invaluable heirlooms in the multi-million dollar homes on Fifth Avenue, but Amy Goldman’s tastes in treasure run in the vegetal vein.
Daughter of famed mogul Sol Goldman (who counted the Stanhope and the Hyde Park Hotels among his many properties), this Manhattan blueblood was destined to dwell among ladies who lunch, but as one of the foremost experts on vanishing biodiversity Goldman could school socialistas on the tomatoes and cucumbers in that Four Seasons salad. Like so many Manhattanites, Goldman’s green thumb sprouted on her family’s Long Island estate where, as a teenager, she nurtured her first tomato plants in a ramshackle greenhouse and vowed to shed skyscrapers in favor of, well, sheds. “It just spoke to me,” the real-estate heiress remembers of the dilapidated building, “but what did I know from growing?”
Eventually, plenty: Those August treasures would become the seedlings of a lifelong love of bountiful botany which has born fruit in books on open-pollinated squashes and melons, and now on her first round, red inspiration; in August she added The Heirloom Tomato: From Garden to Table ($35, Bloomsbury). Goldman spent more than five years testing over 1,000 varietals before narrowing the cast down to a final 200 featured toms, each accompanied by painstaking descriptions, poetic musings and Victor Schrager’s gorgeous photographs. We apprise these humble heirloom seeds to be more valuable than any Tiffany’s tennis bracelet — and we’re all the heirs.
Photo credit: Stephen Munshin.