Specialist tomato growers on the Isle of Wight have extended their season into early November this year thanks to strong demand and a healthy crop.
The Tomato Stall, which produces conventional and organic speciality varieties such as red tiger, piccolo and golden cocktail, confirmed that a range tomatoes would be available to customers into the winter season.
While the company maintains supply of several varieties year-round, this year around 15 varieties will be available beyond the traditional end of the speciality growing season in October.
While tomatoes have traditionally been thought of as a summer crop, The Tomato Stall has planted larger volumes this year to extend the season and fulfil increased consumer demand.
Around 70 per cent of Isle of Wight’s speciality varieties are sent to premium and artisanal eateries nationwide. And The Tomato Stall believes sales have been boosted by positive exposure from celebrity chefs and food writers, including Yotam Ottolenghi, Nigel Slater and Guardian Cook’s Anna Jones.
Sales manager Daniella Tarrant said the company had spotted a trend among chefs asking for green tomatoes this year. “We’ve seen an increase in chefs ordering varieties such as Green Zebra, a distinctive tomato with a beautiful vibrant colour, and green cherry.
“Although not as sweet as their red counterparts, the sight tartness has captured many chefs’ imaginations and we’ve seen them used in dishes like tomato carpaccio.”
When the season eventually draws to a close, the vines will be composted on site to fertilise the company’s soils, the producer reported.