Kids grow Tomatoes

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Kids in the Andes Mountains in South America a thousand years ago were enjoying tiny wild cherry tomatoes. Kids find it fun and easy to grow tomatoes in an organic container garden on a patio or balcony. Kids can get seeds from inside an organic tomato and let them dry for a week in a cool place. Kids can find seeds and starter plants at the local garden center in the winter to start indoors. The seed will begin to germinate in 5 to 10 days. Kids can grow the seedling in small starter pots for several weeks. When the plant is about 12 inches tall and the weather is warm, kids can transplant it into a raised bed or large pot and put a tomato cage around the plant. After about a month, kids can see small yellow flowers appear and release their pollen. Soon the flowers turn into fruit that takes another month to ripen. Kids can pick the tomatoes when they are red and ripe as tomatoes that stay on the vine too long get mushy. There are over 4,000 different kinds of tomatoes that can be grouped into four culinary groups: to slice, for sauces, to stuff, and small ones for salads. Everyone agrees that the texture and flavor of organic home grown tomatoes fresh from the garden far surpass conventional tomatoes at the supermarket. Local vine ripen tomatoes have shown in many studies to be significantly more nutritious. Tomatoes are rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamin C, beta-carotene, B vitamins, potassium, iron, and phosphorous. Kids around the world love tomatoes fresh, cooked, dried, as beverages, appetizers, sandwich staples, soups, entrees and desserts. Kids can grow organic tomatoes in a raised bed on the patio and harvest juicy, sweet tomatoes all summer long.

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