Green Zebra Tomato
(13 March 2014)
Providing you were able to keep up with the watering during the heat over summer and implement ‘operation green vegetable bug eradication’, tomatoes have proven solid performers in the veggie patch this season. I planted several varieties, both large and small, including the sweet and showy Green Zebra. I sourced seed from locally grown fruit and had close to 100% germination rate (despite a significant canine mishap). The plants from this modern heirloom variety have proven vigorous and hardy and the fruit outstanding. Lots of it too – so far I have harvested around fifty kilos from six plants with more to come. I have used them fresh on sandwiches, baked and added to pasta and soup, in a moreish batch of green pickles, and as the main ingredient in salsa (see recipe I came up with below). The best bit about Green Zebra is their striking stripy-green colour, which generally goes undetected by pests. Fruit is ripe when it develops a yellow tinge in between the darker green stripes.
Collecting seed from tomatoes is straight forward and well-worth the effort. Simply keep a couple of overripe fruit of favourable size and flavour from a vigorous, healthy plant/s whose attributes you would like to reproduce. Scoop out the seed with a spoon or similar, rinsing with water in a sieve to remove the pulp. Lay seed out somewhere indoors on a non-stick surface with good ventilation. I find baking paper works well. Check and turn seed daily until completely dry, then label with variety, source and date seed collected. Store in a cool, dry area with low light.