We love our locally grown tomatoes but it can be a long wait for them between seasons and many of our customers have been requesting them before we are able to get them backin stock. This is why we were pleased to find a UK tomato grower in the form of The Tomato Stall.
The Tomato Stall started in 2007 to showcase the speciality organic and conventional tomato varieties grown on their Isle of Wight nursery. The unique maritime climate and extended sunshine hours of the island make it the perfect place to grown delicious, flavourful tomatoes. They grow a wide range of tomatoes both organically and conventionally under glass with up to 200 varieties of tomato grown and trialled each year.
We’re pretty fussy about our tomatoes and really feel the local ones can’t be beat but The Tomato Stall has a flavour is foremost’ ethos and it really shows in the end product. They let their tomatoes ripen on the vine and pick them at their peak of flavour, meaning they reach you bursting with freshness and naturally sweet. ( Unlike their supermarket counterparts which are often picked too early and then chilled removing all flavour).
To stay true to our buying policy it’s important to the whole Cultivate team that our supplier’s growing methods are eco-friendly and organic where possible. The Tomato Stall has a completely biodegradable growing system from the coconut husk their plants are grown in to the string that supports the plants. They compost all of the plant waste and use the resulting compost to enrich the soil of our organic crops the following year. They also have their own composting facility so they are able to fine-tune the nutrient requirements for specific organic crops. This has helped to reduce fertiliser inputs, improve soil fertility and structure which results in more delicious tomatoes. They use natural predators to control pests, and the pollination of all their plants is done by a team of bumblebees that are native to the UK. Their nursery has Conservation Grade status, meaning that they are ethical, sustainable and Fair to Nature. They also give 10% of our land back to natural habitats including wild flower meadows, barn owl boxes and red squirrel houses.
With their fantastic flavour and environmentally conscious growing methods linking with The Tomato stall was something we were keen to do. We still think locally grown tomatoes are the finest around but The Tomato Stall varieties come pretty close and allow us to meet customer demand for these delicious fruits much earlier in the year.