Tomatoes for all, and other tomatoes, too!

Allow me to brighten up this slightly schizophrenic Monday morning: I just discovered an initiative of ProSpecieRara called Tomates Urbaines (that’s “Urban Tomatoes”, for the truly franco-deficient) to encourage people to grow disappearing varieties of tomatoes.

The concept? Everyone has the right to have seeds. Now that’s food for thought. Seems obvious at first, but according to ProSpecieRara, access to seeds is becoming increasingly limited due to the creation of varieties that are more resistant to disease etc. So far so good, but apparently, when you replant the seeds that come from these hybrid varieties of tomatoes, you get diddly squat. Instead, you have to buy new seeds to get new tomatoes. The consequences? A significant reduction in the number of tomato varieties available.  (This is clearly a blog-simplified version of the issue. The ProSpecieRara website of course explains their concerns in much greater, nuanced detail). 

To many, this may not matter. Hopefully to these readers, it does: I mean anyone who has ever been to the market in the summer has seen how incredibly diverse and cool looking tomatoes can be, right?? Red, green, yellow, big, small, smooth, bumpy, they seriously come in all shapes and sizes and have the most incredible bursts of flavor! Growing organic varietals that are slowly disappearing will keep diversity alive, not to mention the amazing fresh and fruity tastes they will bring to your dishes. And if you have kids, wow. I can still remember the first time I saw my avocado seed crack open and generate a new plant.

One tomato, two tomato, three tomato, four, five tomato, six tomato, seven tomato, more!

So here’s how it works:

1. Go to Tomates Urbaines until 6 April and sign up to receive your tomato-growing starter kit. You can make your pick of a whole list of varietals. You can start with seeds, or, if like me you’re incapable of making things grow and stay alive, you can ask for a sprout instead. The kit comes with detailed instructions, so they’ll be holding your hand all the way through.

2. Take care of your tomato. The website says it needs you to speak to it lovingly! (And isn’t that the truth for us all?)

3. Come August-September, take the most beautiful photo ever of your hottest tomato and submit to Tomates-Urbaines to win a prize.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, it’s COMPLETELY FREE OF CHARGE.

I will certainly be signing up – this will be second time trying to grow edibles. Last time was a colossal failure, so stay tuned for possible ridiculousness in the coming months.  Who’s with me?

Happy Monday!

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4 thoughts on “Tomatoes for all, and other tomatoes, too!

  1. rhiannong says:

    What a great idea, thanks so much for sharing this, I’ll be applying for my tomatoes in the morning!

  2. […] Tomatoes for all, and other tomatoes, too! (The Green Gourmande – my friend Claire’s blog, spreading the love for crop diversity) […]

  3. […] able to dig into a few activities I couldn’t have enjoyed otherwise. I planted my special tomato seeds, I lazed around in the sun, I went to FestiChoc in Versoix (stay tuned for more on that), AND I […]

  4. […] was April when I received my seeds from Tomates Urbaines. After first spilling the seeds all over the floor, I swept them up and managed to sprinkle them […]

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