The Florida Tomato Committee is touting the upcoming crop as "the best tasting in years". The marketing organization for tomato growers estimates that 80 percent of the winter crop was wiped out this past year. To date this season, Florida tomato growers have packed 52 percent of the total packed last year during same time period. The bulk of Florida's tomato shipments are now coming from the Palmetto-Ruskin growing region where plants were set in February and March, after the worst of the freeze conditions passed.
"The quality is excellent and the flavor is absolutely phenomenal - best in years," said Reggie Brown, manager of the Florida Tomato Committee. "We want our neighbors throughout the southeast and the rest of the country to know that we are back."
With almost every southern county in the state cultivating tomatoes, Florida produces virtually all the fresh-market, field-grown tomatoes in the U.S. from October through June each year, and accounts for about 50 percent of all fresh tomatoes produced domestically.
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In related news, The Florida Avocado Association is declaring this year's avocado crop as the best in years, the Florida Grapefruit Compendium swears that 2010 will be a banner year for citrus, The Florida Jackfruit Union predicts bigger flavors in the current crop, The Florida Couch Potato Co-Op insists that eating stuff while watching TV will never taste better, and the Florida Pot Growers Group also had something to say along those lines, but they can't remember.