The tomatoes

tomato plants in flowerLike many more growers, Go Local Food has slow ripening tomatoes. If you ask other growers around the country, it’s the usual set of theories – too hot at the wrong time, too chilly at the wrong time, not enough sunlight when we normally expect it, with the weather being all over the place this season the tomatoes haven’t heard it’s the growing season ..  However we are still hopeful that there will be a crop – just not sure of how big or exactly when.

As a little bit of history:

Tomatoes came from the Andes (Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador) where they grew wild in warmer, sunnier climates than good old damp, cool UK. It’s possible that they were first cultivated by the Aztecs around 700 AD. It’s also said that using the tomato as a food came by way of Mexico. However when they arrived in England in the days of Elizabeth I, they were thought to be poisonous because of the colour red but were valued as a decorative plant.  Yes tomatoes are a member of the nightshade family (Solanaceae), which includes henbane, mandrake and deadly nightshade (bellandonna), which are all poisonous. However potatoes, peppers and aubergines are also members of the nightshade family. It’s a case of knowing which ones we can eat then.

Oh and technically, tomatoes are a berry fruit even though we use them as a vegetable.

History of tomatoes: