Sunday, July 21, 2013

Tomato = Pear?

One ripe, a few green pear tomatoes
A little bit about ourselves. We don't like the same old stuff every day. We appreciate ingenuity, creativity, spontaneity.  So here we were looking at our garden and thinking "it's time to try something new". So we went online and bought a bunch of seeds for plants we could not find locally (read: New Seeds on the Block for all the details). Some of these were tomatoes.

There are hundreds of varieties of tomatoes out there. You, my dear reader, know a few of them and probably every single one  is a red, juicy fruit with limited flavor. So today, we will talk about something different; a yellow tomato. That's right, there are fully mature, yellow tomatoes. There are also green, pink and even brown tomatoes but we'll leave those for another day.

The yellow pear is an indeterminate heirloom tomato. You remember what an indeterminate is, right? Considering we haven't posted in ages you probably forgot. <start encyclopaedic account>An indeterminate tomato is one that continues growing until disease (or other agents such as frost for our US readers) kill it. These tomatoes need to be pruned of suckers to maximize output. They also require a trellis or cage to support them. <End encyclopaedic account/> What you probably don't know is what heirloom means.  Heirloom tomatoes are older cultivars that are not used for mass production. They are less resistant to diseases but have a stronger flavor profile than supermarket tomatoes. They are sought out by home gardeners due to their uniqueness in color, size, and flavor.

As always we recommend growing from seed since seeing something being born is one of life's enriching experiences. Seeds can be acquired from a number of local (recommended!) or online suppliers. Growing pear tomatoes is simple. Lots of water, a balanced fertilizer application every week, full sun (at least 6 hours of direct sunlight), good soil. The same way you grow a cherry or slicing tomato. After two months or so you will start seeing yellow self-pollinated flowers and a few days later very small delicate pear-shaped tomatoes will appear. Harvest once the fruits start turning yellow or leave to fully ripen in the vine; your choice. We recommend using in salads for their color, taste and small bite-size.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start trying out new things for your garden. you won't regret it.


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