If you have been on campus and happened to walk past the Land Lab garden in the RISE Institute lately, you may have noticed cherry tomato plants loaded with fruit. They started out as tiny plants that were given to us at the beginning of the school year by LCS alumna Dottie Jarvis. This heirloom variety is called Everglades Sweet, and they’re an amazing discovery. They’ve been a fun addition to our garden.
The interesting thing about these tomatoes is their history. They are believed to be very similar to some of the earliest wild-type tomatoes from southern Mexico, which were domesticated as early as 500 BC, eventually brought to Florida by settlers and passed down through generations. They have naturalized in the Everglades and much of South Florida, and produce equally well all winter and through the worst of the Florida heat. Almost entirely disease and drought resistant, they produce clusters of dime-sized cherry tomatoes. The flavor is amazing–kids love them.
Now is a great time to start a few of your own Everglades Sweet heirloom tomatoes growing at home. My students in the RISE Institute would love to share some seeds with you. If you’d like to try Everglades Sweet tomatoes at your house, send the kids an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and the name of your child’s teacher, and we’ll get seed to you.
Come on by the Land Lab garden and help yourself to a taste!
Mrs. Jennifer Canady serves as the Director of the RISE Institute at LCS. You can email her at email@example.com.