From wikepedia: The tomato is a savory, typically red, edible fruit, as well as the plant (Solanum lycopersicum) which bears it. Originating in South America, the tomato was spread around the world following the Spanish colonization of the Americas, and its many varieties are now widely grown, often in greenhouses in cooler climates.
The tomato fruit is consumed in diverse ways, including raw, as an ingredient in many dishes and sauces, and in drinks. While it is botanically a fruit, it is considered a vegetablefor culinary purposes (as well as by the United States Supreme Court (see Nix v. Hedden) ), which has caused some confusion. The fruit is rich in lycopene, which may have beneficial health effects.
The tomato belongs to the nightshade family. The plants typically grow to 1–3 metres (3–10 ft) in height and have a weak, woody stem that often vines over other plants. It is aperennial, although often grown outdoors in temperate climates as an annual.
Tomatoes were also called love apples at one time... and because of the wonderful growing season this year, we've seen lots and lots of different kinds of tomatoes coming onto the local market stands much earlier. Almost everyone in the country grows their own veggie garden, or if not that at least has one or two tomato plants in a container somewhere. As well city-dwellers are now joining the "eat local food" movement.
The idea of consuming food grown within one hundred miles, eating as much organic produce as possible or starting your own garden is re-gaining popularity. Enough veggies to feed yourself, family and put some in the freezer is also prompting a return to "canning" or "putting down" fruits and vegetables for the winter season.
With health issues linked more frequently to pollution, chemicals including growth hormones and the residuals of pesticides, herbicides and whatever, many people are becoming more concerned about what goes in their bodies and the bodies of those they love including their pets. Basically I think growing one's own food is a great idea.
However - when I went to plant my own veggie garden, I got the tiny plot all cleared, weeded and prepared, bought four tomato plants - all different kinds, and then got busy doing other things. The tomatoes never got planted till early or mid-July - but with the great weather I've enjoyed a few. They did take up all of one tiny bed though - they need space, water, sun and nutrients. They're going crazy now. I may have a really good bunch by Christmas!
The rest of the tiny garden has a curly willow tree that I was going to transplant before it got too big - that didn't happen, but I have two walnut trees that grew from the nuts that I'd stuck in the ground a year or so ago... they're now about 18 inches tall and ready to plant out somewhere this fall... no room for veggies again. So my herbs are still in containers on the deck and the seeds for carrots, beets, beans and goodness knows what else, sit in my basket waiting for next year's growing season. Maybe I'll start them in February...inside.
But I still enjoy my apple a day - love apple that is. My spys and macs aren't ready to pick yet.