Commissioner Adam H. Putnam

Florida Agriculture: 500 Years in the Making

“Fresh2U” Nutrition Program for Kids and Parents


Until only 100 years ago, the tomato was thought of as nothing more than a garden curiosity. Today about 700,000 acres of tomatoes are produced, making the tomato the leading greenhouse vegetable grown in the U.S. Tomatoes are sold by types rather than by varieties at retail. They are known as field-grown mature green, plum type, cherry type, greenhouse, and hydroponic (grown in nutrient solution rather than in soil).

The best temperatures for ripening Florida tomatoes is between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures below 55 degrees can 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.

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, while also providing potassium and fiber.

Florida tomatoes are available from September through June.

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