Hawaii has it Macadamia nuts and flower leis, Georgia’s got its peaches, but nothing says NJ like a big red garden tomato.
Carolyn Romano of Madison has been growing tomatoes in the Garden State for many many years. They are no longer grown in her hometown of Madison where she began growing them during the depression. She is long retired from Fairleigh Dickinson and Schering Plough in Madison where she worked as a switchboard operator. Her garden is now just 2 hours away in Mystic Island, NJ where “Carrie” says “it’s the sandy soil that makes the tomatoes thrive”. She has been growing them down the shore since 1972. She brings them home to share with the residents of Madison. Her garden produces so many that she could never eat them all, and the days of jarring all the extras for “gravy” is past. Giving them away is one of her greatest joys. Long time Madison residents all know Carrie for her kindness. Whether it’s offering a ride to a Drew student walking in the rain, or finding a home for those items that your baby has grown out of, Carrie with her selfless acts of generosity make the lives of the people she touches in Madison special. So if you see her in town make sure you stop and say hi, because like Mr. Haney from Green Acres, you never now what she’s got in her trunk! As Carrie says, “there’s nothing like a Jersey tomato, here take a couple”.