Garden Trials: Spoon Tomatoes

Earlier this season, we wanted to talk about this new tomato we trialed this year. But, we honestly weren’t sure about it, so we waited until the end of the season to make a decision on it. We’re still not sure about it, but figured it’d be worth mentioning in our post-season wrap up posts.

In this year’s Baker Creek seed order, we were sent a new-to-us tomato variety as our “free seed” called a Spoon Tomato. Now, these tomatoes are tiny, like the size of blueberries. They’re called spoon tomatoes since many of them can fit in a typical spoon. Our immediate thought was that a crop like this would have limited usefulness and might even be annoying to harvest. But, we forged through with a trial anyway to see what it was all about.

We were most hopeful for outdoor growing with this variety. We’d love a tomato that performs reliably and decently in our zone 2 community garden. We’ve found growing tomatoes in our cool, native soils to be challenging, at best, despite several previous attempts with various tomato genetics. It’s not impossible, but production is generally low, especially compared to containers and using greenhouses.

Unlike many tomatoes we grow, we let it bush out and fully become its natural, indeterminate self. It took over a solid 9+ square feet and by July, started packing on green tomatoes in fairly productive trellises. We were rather impressed by the plant’s total size, despite growing in cool soil, and we found the “indeterminate mess” quite suitable for our large community garden. For our final harvest, at the end of the season, we got about 5 cups of these small, but totally snackable mature tomatoes.

Now, that might sound marginal and barely worth it. But, we did have a very cool and generally low-production season across the gamut of our warm climate crops this year. And for in-ground production, it was surprisingly quite good. In a more typical year, we might see much more impressive production across the plant. So, we’ve all ready decided that we’ll trial it again next year just to see what it does in a hopefully “more average” season.

These tiny morsels have required some creative ideas to actually use them, since they’re so different from our average tomato crop. Our best use case thus far has been in pastas and salads where they almost act like nuts or other small additives to the dish. Taste-wise, they’re pretty average, but they excel in providing color and a very different tomato experience than usual.
We could see how a variety like this could potentially fit into our tomato strategy, so we’re not quite done with it!

That’s All We Wrote!

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