Originating in South America, tomatoes are a fruit of the nightshade family. The fruit of the vegetable is completely safe to eat, but consuming the stem should be avoided as it can be toxic. The tomato plant is believed to have origins as early as 700 AD, and was popularized in Europe around 1880 with the invention of pizza in Naples. This gardening staple is full of the antioxidant lycopene which helps fight against cancer and risk of heart disease. Tomatoes are a great source of vitamin K, potassium, and vitamin C.
Planting your Tomatoes!
- To plant your tomato seeds, use your finger to draw a line 1/2 to 1 inch deep in the soil. Space seeds 24-36 inches apart, then cover with soil. Water seeds daily. After tomatoes are established at 4-5 inches tall, you can reduce watering to fit your garden’s needs. The tomato plants grown from seed can produce up to ten pounds of tomatoes, which can weigh down your plant significantly. To avoid this, use a tomato trellis to support the plant as it grows.
- Growing tomatoes will take approximately 70 days from seed to harvest. When picking tomatoes, wait until the fruits are red, which means they have reached their maximum sweetness. If you see sunspots on your ripe tomatoes or cracking, pick them immediately. Leaving them damaged on the branch too long can make them inedible.
4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
1/3 cup chopped white onion
1 to 2 medium jalapeño peppers without seeds
1 cup fresh cilantro1 to 2 medium limes
1 clove of garlic
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
- Add garlic into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
- Scrape the sides, and then add the tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, cilantro, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and the juice of half a lime.
- Pulse until your desired texture. Sample, and season with additional salt or lime to taste.