Tomato Week at Farm Credit Farmers Market July 22-24

— Written By
en Español

El inglés es el idioma de control de esta página. En la medida en que haya algún conflicto entre la traducción al inglés y la traducción, el inglés prevalece.

Al hacer clic en el enlace de traducción se activa un servicio de traducción gratuito para convertir la página al español. Al igual que con cualquier traducción por Internet, la conversión no es sensible al contexto y puede que no traduzca el texto en su significado original. NC State Extension no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Por favor, tenga en cuenta que algunas aplicaciones y/o servicios pueden no funcionar como se espera cuando se traducen.

English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.

Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.

Collapse ▲

Many of us know there’s nothing better than a fresh tomato sandwich on a hot, summer day. Tomatoes are now in season in our area and are often a staple with many of our summer cookouts and meals.

North Carolina ranks 9th nationally in tomato production, growing 96 million pounds of tomatoes in 2018. Although tomato production is across the entire state, most tomato production in North Carolina occurs in the western part of the state with Henderson County being North Carolina’s top tomato-producing county (NC State University, 2018). An estimated 3,000 acres of tomatoes were planted in North Carolina in 2017 with a value of $41,794 (N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, 2018). In 2012, North Carolina counted 1,496 farms growing tomatoes to sell.

When looking at the United States, the top three tomato-producing states are California, Florida, and Indiana. Worldwide, China is the largest producer of tomatoes, with the U.S. coming in second and India third.

Tomatoes grown for production are either grown in the field or in a greenhouse. Field tomatoes are typically planted as the chance of a spring frost ends, around mid-April in Wayne County, and are grown through September and even into October, depending on how early we get a first fall frost. Greenhouse tomatoes are often grown to allow growers to extend the tomato season and to have tomatoes available for an extended time during the year.

Since tomatoes have seeds and grow from flowering plants, they actually should be classified as a fruit instead of a vegetable. Originally tomatoes came from Peru and were first brought to Europe in the mid-1500s. There are over 10,000 tomato varieties grown around the world. Several popular varieties were developed through NC State University’s tomato breeding program, including Mountain Pride, Mountain Fresh, and Mountain Spring.

Tomatoes can be harvested after the fruit color begins to change but before it is fully ripe. Do not refrigerate tomatoes but instead allow them to ripen fully indoors at room temperature. Tomatoes will finish ripening on your kitchen counter if they were not fully ripe when picked. Light is not necessary for ripening mature tomatoes.

Be sure to include fresh, local tomatoes with your summertime meals and celebrate the season by purchasing fresh, local tomatoes. Several vendors at the Farm Credit Farmers Market now have tomatoes for sell. The market is open on Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The market is located behind The Maxwell Center at 3114 Wayne Memorial Drive, Goldsboro.

Jessica Strickland is an agriculture extension agent, specializing in horticulture for North Carolina Cooperative Extension in Wayne County.

Learn More!