Now, that’s what a tomato should taste like!

Dinner is ready at the planters by Gate 4, near Anselm at the CCCU North Holmes Road site. These were set up via the adopt-a-planter scheme, a Green Week 2012 initiative.

Harvest includes: radishes, courgettes (both of the green and yellow variety), 2 or 3 strawberries (someone else was eating them before us!), chilies, broadbeans, purple french beans, purple mange tout, lettuces of various types and, my favourite: CHERRY TOMATOES!

Yesterday we did a tasting session in the sustainability development team offices.

Some of the adjectives and descriptions that were exclaimed:

flavoursome”, “nutrious”, “DELICIOUS”, “sweet”,

“quite a chewy skin”, “tastes like good food”, “authentic

“filling for something so tiny”,

wow! I had no idea that tomatoes could taste so strongly”, and “oooh can I have another one?!’


I don’t know how many people reading this like tomatoes, how many mainly eat them bought from supermarkets, and how many people have tasted a home-grown tomato, but basically, what you buy in the shops normally tastes, well, it doesn’t really have a proper taste. It is mainly watery, and compared to the tomatoes from the planters, a supermarket-bought tomato tastes as much like tomato should as a glass of water that has had an unburst tomato floating in it for 5 minutes. That is, not very much like tomato.

So next time you are passing by Gate 4, pop in and say hello. We can harvest a delicious home-grown tomato for you and you will be amazed!


Nutrients in a medium-sized juicy ripe RED TOMATO

Serving Size — 148 grams (note: a single cherry tomato is around 10 grams)

  • Calories — 35
  • Protein –1 gram
  • Carbohydrates — 6 grams
  • Fat — 1 gram
  • Sodium — 10 milligrams
  • Potassium — 360 milligrams

% of Daily Values

  • Vitamin A — 20%
  • Vitamin C– 40%
  • Potassium — 10%
  • Iron — 2%

During World War II thousands of households across the UK dug Victory gardens. These were basic backyard fruit and vegetable plots that supplemented families’ food and reduced their dependency on mass-produced agriculture during war time. Statistics claim that over 20 million backyard gardeners grew a massively impressive 40% of the nation’s food during wartime. Compare that with nowadays when a LOT the food we buy in the supermarket comes from countries all over the world – a third of all food consumed in the UK is imported.


  1. China … 34% of global carrot production
  2. United States … 7%
  3. Russia … 7%
  4. Poland … 4%
  5. United Kingdom … 3%

Read more at Suite101: Top Carrot Countries: China Produces Over a Third of Carrot Global Crop 


We live in Kent so you might guess that potatoes don’t travel far – just from the fields nearby – but check the labels! Potatoes can from a number of far-away lands, including Israel.

TOMATOES:  often come from places as far away as South Africa…


According to author Barry Estabrook, tomato fields are sprayed with over a 100 different herbicides and pesticides. Furthermore, the fruit is picked unripe to then be coaxed to redness in an industrial process.

Estabrook’s book ‘Tomatoland’ claims that modern plant breeding has tripled yields BUT at the expense of producing fruits with a fraction of the calcium, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C, and fourteen times as much sodium (salt) as the tomatoes of decades ago.

I hear you ask, but WHY does the UK import so much of its food?!

“They import a third of their food because the climate doesn’t allow them to grow the necessary food which their population has come to expect. Just so everyone is clear, import means they buy in things, export means they sell out.

Affluent and more technically advanced societies, such as the UK, have escaped from the effects of seasonality and food availability by means of a strong cash economy, modern food processing and storage techniques and the worldwide transportation of foodstuffs (Prentice & Cole, 1994).” Source: wiki answers

Our relationship with the food we eat, and where that food comes from is something to chew over… We are what we eat!

Other interesting links:


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