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Little Red Hen's Blog

Tomato Time!

Now that Spring is here, its time to turn your attention to a new crop of veggies that will thrive in the springtime weather. This springtime food item has a variety of uses and benefits. 

Health Benefits of Tomatoes

A boost in heart health. Tomatoes are rich in the antioxidant lycopene, which has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease when paired with a low salt diet. Observational studies have indicated there is a link between tomatoes and the reduction of several kinds of cancers including stomach, prostate and lung cancers. 

Skin care. Tomato-based products have been shown to reduce the chance of getting a sunburn. According to this study, people who ate 1.3 ounces of tomato paste and olive oil every day for 10 weeks reduced their chances of getting a sunburn by 40 percent.

Tomatoes are chock-full of vitamins. In addition to being a natural anti-oxidant, these little red orbs are also full of essential vitamins. One medium sized tomato contains about 28% of your daily intake of Vitamin C. This magical fruit (yes in a fruit) also contains a large dose of Potassium, a building block used for blood pressure management.

 Planting Tomatoes

Devote a prime, sunny spot to growing tomatoes. Tomatoes need at least 6 to 8 hours of sun to bring out their best flavours. Tomatoes grow best in late spring to early summer because they need the sun to thrive. If possible use young starter plants instead of seeds. 

 Give your tomatoes plenty of room to stretch their legs, er, vines; Tomatoes plants need to be about 2 to 3 feet apart to grow to their full potential. Add 3 to 4 inches of compost for additional nutrients to help your tomatoes grow. Finally, when putting them in the ground, bury about 3/4 of the stem into the ground. 

 A Rainbow of Tomato Choices

Most people are familiar with a handful of types of tomatoes. The large and plump Beefsteak tomatoes are usually what you would find on a hamburger. Or the smaller, avocado-sized Roma tomatoes. However this technically a fruit vegetable comes in hundreds of varieties; all in many different colors and shapes. Little Red Hen Plant Nursery has up to 51 variations available, From Amish Paste to Yellow Pair.

From Farm to Table

While many green vegetables are best when eaten raw, tomatoes actually gain additional nutrient content when cooked; weather grilled or boiled. Lycopene, the active nutrient in tomatoes, will increase by 25 per cent when boiled for 30 minutes. Eating Tomatoes cooked will also slightly lower the amount of Vitamin C.

From sauce for pasta to a refreshing slice inside your favourite burger, the possibilities for tomatoes are endless. Stop by Plant Nursery today to decide where it will end up in your kitchen and your stomach.

Posted by Sam DeLong

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