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Summer of Voices: Alice Rolls 

Executive director, Georgia Organics

(as told to Laura McMillan)

If you've bought a tomato from the grocery store recently, you know it's not the tomato we know and love. The only time I've seen long lines in front of the farmer's stalls at local farmer's markets is in June and July when the tomatoes finally come out. There's just something about that quintessential summer sandwich with the tomato and basil – it makes your mouth water.

Food in today's global market is bred for transportation and not taste. I think people are finally fed up with the kind of food they're seeing in many grocery stores. So Georgia Organics is trying to keep up with the demand for locally grown organic food.

I witnessed the demand firsthand one summer while running my own little underground fresh-food network. A South Georgia farmer had grown the most delicious sweet corn, the kind I remember getting from the corn stand on the way to the beach as a kid. A couple of boxes of that sweet corn were gone from my back porch in no time.

More people show up at farmer's markets in the summer because this is the time of year when they remember farmer's markets gone by. There's so much variety there, during the summer season. People are longing for tastes of the past, that grit of the food culture. You can sense it especially in the summer just because of the bounty.

I've become more in tune with all the seasons. We live in a world where we can buy asparagus all year long. Asparagus season is right now, and it's just showing up in the farmer's markets. Cooking revolves around the seasonality of food.

Start thinking about what you know you'll be interested in this summer and then start branching out a little bit, and buy something that you don't even know the name of. Enjoy fresh strawberries for spring, and look forward to that sweet corn that epitomizes summer.

And of course, anticipate the tomato.

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