Text & photos by Brian Vick, Community Kitchen Garden Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
When you have 42 cherry tomato plants it takes a lot of hands, and often, to effectively harvest the ripening fruit. Our variety in the Lewis Ginter Community Kitchen Garden is Jasper (Solanum lycopersicum), a disease -resistant F1 hybrid grown in the Massey Greenhouse from organic seed (Johnny’s Seeds). This variety has been a top performer so far this year, with 137 pounds harvested year-to-date, and the plants are still going strong. FeedMore Inc. likes to use the cherry tomatoes in side salads, particularly for kids. 137 pounds may sound like a lot of cherry tomatoes, but here’s some perspective: FeedMore’s Community Kitchen prepares 2,000 (or more) meals per day for their Meals on Wheels and children’s feeding programs. If each side salad contains only three cherry tomatoes, 6,000 are needed for one day!