And I am growing it!
Back in February a secret somebody, whose identity I will not reveal (pinky swear), gifted me a package of seeds of the only open-pollinated (OP) blue tomato to have been raised by natural plant breeding techniques (not GMO). I was under the impression that this yet-to-be-released tomato was so secretive that I didn’t plan to write about it at all and was extra careful not to show it in photos until last week when I did an internet search and discovered that everyone and their second cousin has been growing and writing about it willy nilly.
Perhaps it is not so secretive after all.
This experimental blue tomato (sometimes going by the name P20) is being produced by Oregon State University in an attempt to create an uber-healthy tomato with a high level anthocyanin, the powerful antioxidant found in blueberries.
Apparently the variety is still unstable and there is a lot of variation among the plants people are growing in terms of fruit size, shape, growth habit, and the amount of anthocyanin. I am growing two plants: one in a large container on the roof and one at the new yardshare garden that I am yet to fully reveal here. Both of my plants have produced early fruit with a distinctive blue/black colour. The plants have a lot of blue in them too, in both the stems and leaves.
On Friday night a roof grown tomato ripened. Here’s what it looks like:
The side blue/black side is the part that gets the most sun, while the reddish portion is the part that hangs down on the vine and is partially shaded by leaves.
We recorded a short video as I tasted it for the first time, but unfortunately my description is about as lackluster as the fruit itself.
Having had some time to mull it over, I’d say the fruit tasted watery with a slight bitterness. Some people have described it as “inky” and I have to concur. — inky sounds about right. We’ll see what happens as more fruit ripens. I rarely come to a conclusion about a tomato based on the initial tasting.
And even if it does prove to be watery and “inky”, so what? I’m growing friggin’ SMURF tomatoes!
Update: Okay, remember what I said (above) about not judging a tomato on the first taste? Every tomato we’ve had from both of the ‘OSU Blue’ plants (container and in-ground grown) have been delicious. At least four people have tasted them now and we all agree that it does not suck and is indeed very beautiful. I don’t know what went wrong with the first tomato, but it is not the norm.