It's tomato time again
As the spring season finally arrives, gardeners far and wide and especially in Ohio are planning and actually worshipping this important time of the year.
The elusive, elegant, beautiful, luscious and tasty tomato is constantly on their minds. This vegetable (or is it a fruit?) is perhaps the centerpiece of all gardening. Much thought goes into this marvelous wonder so as to produce the largest, sweetest, tastiest and productive tomato of them all. You see, a good, old garden tomato has a taste that far exceeds those bought in any grocery store all winter long, which, as you know, taste like plastic.
The tomato, like everything else, has a fabulous history as well. The tomato, it seems, is native to western South America and Central America. In 1519, Spanish explorer Cortez discovered tomatoes growing in Montezuma's gardens and brought seeds back to Europe, where they were planted as an ornamental crop. They were not eaten!
The English word tomato comes from the Spanish word "tomate." Tomatoes were thought to be poisonous by the Europeans, who were very suspicious of this bright, shiny fruit. These native versions were probably small like our cherry tomatoes and probably more yellow than red. In Italy, they were known as "pomi d'oro" which meant yellow apples. Italy was the first to cultivate the tomato outside of South America.