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Latest news from Big Barn and our producers.

Tomato week at BigBarn!

It’s time to plant your tomatoes, but watch out for frost!

The perfectly ripe tomato can’t be beaten, especially if it is ugly! Tomato connoisseurs will tell you to ignore the perfectly round red ones and go for something different. The general rule is; the uglier they are, the better they are. ┬áTry growing your own so you get to test different varieties of tomatoes. Then make sure you eat them fresh and naturally ripe as opposed to picked early and artificially ripened to meet the supermarket’s supply chain and shelf life requirement.

iStock chilli salsa XSmall

Tomatoes are really good for us, especially cooked. They’re full of vitamins A, C and E, as well as the antioxidant lypocene, which helps to tackle free radicals in the body.

Not only are they healthy, they’re actually really interesting:
1. They can be yellow, pink, purple, black and even white.
2. Walt Disney World Resort has the largest single tomato plant in the world. It covers 56.73 metres sq. That’s bigger than an Olympic size swimming pool
3. Heinz Tomato Ketchup has a speed limit. If the sauce pours at more than 0.028mph in the Heinz factory, it’s considered too runny and is rejected.
4. La Tomatina is an annual festival in Spain, where people throw 150,000 tomatoes at each other.
5. The largest ever tomato on record was picked in Oklahoma, USA, in 1986. It weighed over 3.5kg
6. There are around 10,000 varieties of tomatoes worldwide

Farm shops and grocers are a fantastic place to find the very freshest tomatoes and, if you’re lucky, you might even find a pick your own near you. Visit our local food map to find retailers and farms in your area. If you have a crop of your own and some spare look for the Carrot flag meaning ‘Crop for the shop‘ and earn from your home grown produce.

Fresh local tomatoes at you local shop

Fresh local tomatoes at your local shop

Or, if you prefer your tomatoes bottled up or preserved, then there’s a whole host of amazing producers in the BigBarn MarketPlace making wonderful things from delicious British tomatoes. Take a look and buy online.

We highly recommend having a go at growing some at home, in the greenhouse, garden, or window ledge. Ask your local garden centre or gardener about the best variety to buy for taste and to suit the space you have for growing. Some grow as a bush, others will climb up to 7 feet tall. You can buy plants or grow from seeds and swap plants with locals.

If you have a favourite tomato recipe that you’d like to share, or any other recipe, and would like the chance to win a prize, please video your recipe and add it to KIS (Keep it Simple) Cookery. Please have a look at existing videos here and try and keep your video less than 2 minutes long.

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