Sunday, May 24, 2009

Wrapping up the Tomato Season: No. 6 Green Zebra

I promised there were a few tomato wrap up summaries left to go. This post will be devoted to the Green Zebra tomato, but still to come are summaries of the White Cloud Tomato and, um, I think that might be it, given that neither the Hillbilly nor the Purple Cherokee ever fruited properly. The Siberian tomatoes of the Winter tomato experiment are coming along nicely, one even has the beginnings of flower buds so stay tuned for a full update of that in the coming days. But for now lets turn turn the little green man of tomatoes, the Green Zebra (GZ).

I first came across the GZ in a multi-heirloom tomato pack I purchsed when on the hunt for a Black Russian. It was planted in the overcrowded large pot and ended up growing to a fairly hefty size.

Discovering that maybe, just maybe I would like more of these I planted two more GZ's which I found by accident one day at Bunnings. Magical Mr M even has a picture on his phone of the instant I found these seedlings! Priceless. Unfortunately one was mislabeled and looked more like a Black Russian than anything else. It was a huge plant, pictured below, and produced prolifically but none of the fruit were GZs.

The other one was certainly a Green Zebra and despite its hazardous position in the sun it managed to fruit well producing 13 fruits. The GZ in the crowded pot still did quite well, producing 12 fruit. They fruited consistently I am often had one or two to pop on my salad each day. They were kind of sharp, a little zesty, nay even citrusy. Not one to cook I don't think, it would almost certainly lose its wonderful fresh taste. Perfect for a salad or a roughly chopped, uncooked salsa.

These guys were small fruit, far smaller than the Green Zebra fruits I have found in two nearby places but far tastier. The larger store bought versions were overripe and mealy where as the home grown and tastilicious. Totally Awesome Housesitter was the first to try them, as they ripened while I was in Adelaide. She decided they were her favourite and I will be growing her a couple of seedlings this spring for that reason! They were also a hit at the dinner party.

I have to say that the Green Zebra will definitely feature again this coming year. I may only have one plant due to limited space and the fact I will be growing both Lime Green Tomatoes and Aunt Ruby's German green. Still I must have at least one of these little guys, two if I can find room.


SuburbanGardener said...

Does the green color make it seem un ripe? We have these in the nursery also, but they don't look so appealing to me. How would you compare it to a mortgage lifter?

prue said...

Hi Suburban Gardener, they go a little yellowish when ripe and the taste is yummy. It is really different to a mortgage lifter, which is a classic tomato taste. These are light and spritzy. Depends on your taste buds i guess but I love variety!

vuejardin said...

When I look the pot compared the the giant size tomatoes plant, this is a highly productive balcony garden!

Jamie said...

Geez, Prue, you might have to rename your blog "Ept Balcony Gardener". The "Totally In" part of the name is starting to lack horticultural accuracy. Growing tomatoes in pots like that – with stakes – that's good going! I've been attracted to trying the green stripey guys too, and next year (after my total disaster this year) I might just give them a go.