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Sep 9, 2018

Summer End: Farewell to the Tomato

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Do you remember the first bite? The warm skin touching your lips followed by the burst of cool juiciness of its tangy yet sweet flavor filling your mouth right out of the garden? Ahhh, the joy!  There is nothing like a wonderful, fresh, flavor of home grown tomato! But, alas, it is only here for a short while.

 

When I buy the first mealy, pale tomato each fall I feel as if I should announce that I am in mourning!  It is a sad day, but at least there are grape, roma, and cherry tomatoes to help ease my grief. So farewell my lovely tomato, until we meet again!

 

Fun facts about tomatoes:

  • Botanically speaking a tomato is classified as a fruit

  • In 1887 due to duty charges on vegetables and not fruits there was a hot debate over the tomatoes status and it was legally classified as a vegetable by the Supreme Court, but kept it’s botanical status

  • China is  the number one producer of tomatoes followed by USA

  • It is believed that tomatoes originated in what is modern day Peru, by the Aztecs

  •  U.S. Department of Agriculture records that Americans eat between 22- 24 pounds of tomatoes per person, per year. But over half of that is eaten as ketchup and tomato sauce

  • The Aztec name for tomato was “xitomatl,” which means “plump thing with a navel”

  • There are more than 10,000 varieties of tomato grown throughout the whole world

  •  Lycopene, an antioxidant that is good for the heart and effective against certain cancers is found in tomatoes.

  • Unlike most vegetables cooking tomatoes is better for you than eating them raw.  Cooking helps release beneficial chemicals

  •  Tomatoes are rich in vitamins A and C, calcium, potassium

  • Tomatoes seedlings have been grown in space

  • Tomatoes first appeared in America in the early 1700’s

  • Tomatoes were originally considered ornamental plants

  • Many early colonist thought tomatoes were poisonous, though still eaten by many

  • The tomato may help with constipation, depression, blood pressure, clear skin and many other health issues

  • If you are short on bees you can self pollinate your tomatoes, just put your finger in a blossom and then stick it in another and pretend to be a bee

  • 93% of American household gardeners grow tomatoes

  • The heaviest tomato according to Guinness Book of World Records was 8.41 pounds

Hopefully you still have a fresh tomato or two left in the garden, enjoy!

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