Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What is bigger, a grape or a tomato?

This may look like a big basket of vine ripened tomatoes. Guess again, this is a very tiny-little basket with tiny Everglade tomatoes. Who was it who said good things come in small boxes/baskets? The photo below will show you the true size of these yummy tomatoes, placed just below a grape and above a dime.

Here is the story of the Everglade Tomato, Zone 9-10 for year-round growth, but OK in all states in your season. Typically, in Florida tomatoes do not grow and produce in the hot summer. Our normal season is to plant seeds continuously from August through February then harvest as ready. Never are there tomatoes in the heat of Summer.

But this is no ordinary tomato. This is the native wild Florida Everglades tomato. If you get the chance to taste a few they are outstanding, sweet with a delightful true tomato taste.

I got my first plant last year from another Master Gardener...but knew nothing about the variety, only that the tomato would be small....I assumed like a grape tomato. I have come to find out that almost nothing can stop them, not even a tornado....which mine have personally experienced. Below is a photo taken of my plants with what seems like hundreds of tiny morsels just waiting to be picked.

My crop this season just showed up, and I have shared them with many friends. I never planted them after the first year. I have been told that the very easiest way to plant seeds is to take a very ripe fruit then gently squish it into the soil with your shoe where you want tomato plants to grow. This technique is 100% sure to grow (many) plants in that spot (you'll have to thin the sprouts). If you would like to try it, I would be happy to share some of my tiny tomatoes with you.....let me know.