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History and Facts:
Until only 100 years ago, the tomato was a garden curiosity and thought to be poisonous. Now about 700,000 acres of tomatoes are produced, making tomatoes the leading greenhouse vegetable grown in the United States. Tomatoes are sold by types rather than by varieties at retail. They are known as field-grown mature green, plum type, cherry type, green house and hydroponic.

Florida farmers grow pratically 100 percent of the U.S. field-produced fresh tomatoes in the months of January, February, and March.

Nutritional Value:
Tomatoes are low in calories, with only 35 calories for a
whole medium tomato. They are also low in fat and sodium. Tomatoes provide an excellent source of vitamins A and C, and provide potassium and fiber.

The best temperature for ripening Florida tomatoes is between 65 and 75 degrees fahrenheit. Relative humidity should be 90 percent. Holding temperatures below 55 degrees fahrenheit will cause chill injury. Ripe tomatoes should never be stored in a cooler below 55 degrees fahrenheit, while the green and pink ones should be stored at room temperature.

September through July