Silly Food Fact
I bet you think a tomato is a round, red vegetable. Actually, in the 1950s, a California professor developed the square tomato; tomatoes aren’t always red; and tomatoes are technically a fruit. Color variations include purple, pink, yellow, ivory, and black. You can even find varieties that are multi-colored, fuzzy-skinned, or even striped (“Green Zebra”). With 7500 varieties, there’s a tomato for everyone!
Why Our Bodies Love Them
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a powerful natural antioxidant. Studies have shown lycopene may help prevent prostate cancer and also provide anti-aging benefits for your skin. Varieties of tomatoes have even been developed with double the usual amount of lycopene, as well as giving extra vitamins A and C.
Care and Picking
The tomato is the most popular of all garden vegetables. Plants may be determinate, with the full crop ripening all at once; or indeterminate, with a taller plant and longer producing season. When planting, it is easiest to start with seedlings, and bury the plants deeply so roots will develop along the stem. Tomatoes love sunshine and organic soil. And don’t forget a sturdy support for the vines. Learn more about growing tomatoes in your garden:
How to Grow the Perfect Tomato
Tips and Warnings
Why do store-bought tomatoes never have that wonderful, garden taste? The commercial tomatoes are bred for durability, consistent shape, and uniform color … not flavor. Definitely a reason to grow your own! Remember, for maximum flavor, reduce watering right before harvesting and never store tomatoes in the refrigerator.