The Piedmont Virginian's Blog

Serving and Celebrating America's Historic Heart

Tag: gardening

Fried Green Tomatoes



When you say the name, you think one of two things — the 1991 movie, or the southern food staple. I can’t say I remember much of the movie, but I can assure you, I remember the taste of that bitterly sweet and fried goodness on a muggy Summer night. Front porches and sweet tea have never been complimented so well — and you’re not a true Piedmont food enthusiast if you’ve never eaten fried green tomatoes.

So many of our Piedmont restaurants offer this appetizing treat, but it’s the season of tomatoes, and as we do well here in the Piedmont, we like to make things ourselves when the opportunity arises. Most of our local Farmer’s Markets now offer hard green tomatoes for frying. So, even if you don’t have a garden of your own, there’s still hope for you.

There’s been an ongoing debate for the past few decades as to where fried green tomatoes actually originated. Is it even a southern food at all? Some believe that the method came from the Northeast with Jewish immigrants. While others believe that it was always a preferred way to use up unripened tomatoes before the autumn frosts hit, all across the United States.

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Wild Ideas: The decline of the monarch

Photo by Patricia Temples. An adult monarch on butterfly weed, in the milkweed genus. While monarch caterpillers will eat only milkweed, the adults feed on nectar and fruit from a variety of plants.

Wild Ideas: The decline of the monarch 

Pam Owen explores the complex life of the iconic monarch butterfly and the reasons for its 15-year population decline.

Veteran wildlife writer Pam Owen has been explaining the natural world in the Piedmont — and beyond — for years. Now, Pam will be sharing her knowledge with Piedmont Virginian readers in a new monthly column for

In the first installment, Pam explores the decline of monarch butterflies. The reasons for the sudden collapse of monarch populations are complex, mirroring the insect’s complex life cycle, starting with habitat loss. The monarch’s habitat has been disappearing through conversion of land to development and crops here in the U.S. and illegal logging in Mexico. Unstable weather due to global warming, with abnormal temperatures or precipitation, is also cited as among the causes of monarch declines.

Read the full column here:

Pam Owen’s column will appear monthly on For more columns by Pam, go to, or follow her blog:


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