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Thursday, February 27, 2020


Classic beefsteak tomato has its day in the sun.

Tomatomania, a pro-veggie group tasked with touting the splendors of all things tomato recently announced is thrilled to announce that Thorburn’s Terra Cotta (more on him later) is its Tomato of the Year!

It’s hard to curb Tomatomania’s enthusiasm, especially when beginning tomorrow (Feb. 28) it will be holding pop-up tomato celebrations now through April at the following San Diego County venues: Mission Hills Nursery/San Diego; The Water Conservation Garden/El Cajon; and the Botanic Garden/Encinitas.

Tomatomania – the one stop free gardening education and pop up plant sale celebrates a large selection of tomato seedlings and solutions to all your vegetable gardening issues and questions.

For a complete schedule of events, classes and activities, go to

But, let’s return to the Tomato of the Year.
The unique color alone is enough to amaze and delight but this beefsteak has thrilled us for three years in trials in Ojai, Santa  Ynez and Camarillo. It’s delicious, productive and earlier than most larger tomatoes, making it an especially great choice for growers near the coast. It was introduced to the seed trade way back in 1893 and is still considered a rare variety.

Here’s what one seed company says about this jewel:

Incredible flavor, color and history! Introduced in 1893 by James Thorburn of New York, this is one of the most sensational tomatoes we have ever grown. With honey-brown skin, orange-pink flesh, and green seed mass, this is an eye-catching slicer with an out-of-this-world flavor. The tomato produces heavily during mid-season and then drops off quickly once cool weather sets in. As a cooker it will yield a pumpkin-orange sauce with a floral aroma. We are excited to have this tomato that was painted in color in Thorburn’s 1893 catalog; at last we can offer this rare treasure!

Whom can argue?
Thorburn’s Terra Cotta will be a big hit this spring with gardeners all over California especially with Tomatomania beating the drums now through April.

Tomatomania is a huge community of enthusiastic tomato lovers. Leading the team is Scott Daigre of Ojai, owner and head Tomatomaniac. He is author of the best-selling book “Tomatomania: A Fresh Approach to Celebrating Tomatoes in the Garden.” His company Powerplant Garden Design based in Ojai CA focuses on installation of home and professional gardens with a concentration on food based gardens.

And, with Spring a month away it’s time for tomato fanatics to ready their gardens and our new best friends at Tomatomania are ready to help:

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