Tag: tomatoes

If It Cost More, Would It Get More Respect?


Growing is a mug’s game – or so one of my team members often says.  Growers are at the mercy of so many things, 75% of which are completely beyond their control!  There’s the weather, the market, transport and fuel costs, compliance, staff, pests…and that’s not the complete list. So really, why would you be a grower?

Thing is, we – human beings – need food.  And food comes from the land, from growers.  So to eat, we have to have someone to grow it.

Sure, in an ideal world we can keep a chicken or two, a goat, an apple tree and a vege garden in our own back yard.  Problem is, very few countries, New Zealand included, have the luxury of sufficient arable land to give every family the quarter acre that such a utopia requires – never mind having the necessary favourable climate, let alone the skill set…
Read more »

When is a tomato not a tomato?

When it thinks it is a strawberry, of course!

Or so the labelling on this punnet would have you believe…


It was the first time I had seen this new variety packaged by NZ Hothouse, proudly on display at Farro’s so naturally I had to buy some to try.

Well, I have to say they didn’t taste like strawberries, so maybe the name has something to do with their shape.

So – novelty impulse purchase with the potential to be a regular addition to the tomato range that’s now available on the supermarket? 

I don’t know, but I was curious enough to look out for them when I next happened to be in a “mainstream” supermarket, in this case a Countdown, but they weren’t to be found.  Did this mean that they are still a niche enough offering to be available only to the gourmands who frequent the specialist food stores or was I simply in the wrong Countdown?

New Zealand short story icon Frank Sargeson was actually a bit of a produce marketing expert as well

New Zealand short story master Frank Sargeson summed up the essence of the risk involved in supplying produce markets in 1941.

“If you grew something for sale, he found out, particularly if it was something that would not keep, you mainly had to take just what people would pay for it, even though you might get a lot less than would pay for the work and expense it had cost you.”

Sargeson made these comments in a story entitled “ A Man of Good Will” – a story that described the relationship between the writer as a boy and “a tomato grower who was supposed to be eccentric.”

Sargeson’s comments are as relevant today as they were in 1941. A little further on in the story Sargeson’s eccentric tomato grower takes matters a bit further.
Read more »