As the days get longer and the sun begins to warm the earth, thoughts turn to gardening and homegrown produce. There's nothing like eating a tomato right from the garden.
Tomatoes are among the most popular item at Daisy Mae's Market. At various times, we carry globe tomatoes, roma tomatoes, plum tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, green tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and grape tomatoes. There are literally thousands of varieties of tomatoes, and the fun comes when you try different kinds.
Botanists classify the tomato as a fruit, and the State of Ohio even named the tomato as the state fruit in 2009. To most of us, however, the tomato is a vegetable, and a culinary favorite because it can be eaten raw or cooked and has so many different uses.
The most common question we get this time of year is "Are they homegrown?"
Currently, we're getting most of our tomatoes from Florida. It's way too early to find homegrown tomatoes in Ohio unless they have been grown in a greenhouse. Tomato plants can't be put outside until after the danger of frost, and they need plenty of sunlight and warm temperatures to mature. Once plants are set outside, it takes 50-90 days before it's time to harvest. As you can tell, we won't be seeing ripe, local tomatoes until July in most parts of Ohio.
In the meantime, we're bringing in a nice crop from the South. These tomatoes should satisfy your taste buds and supply the Vitamin C and betacarotene that contribute to good health. Here's a link to a recipe for one of my favorite ways to use tomatoes...Give bruschetta a try!