Posted on 24 October 2009 by

October is National Tomato Month, and other Official Facts

tomato-monthBy Vanessa Richins

I found out today that October is National Tomato Month, as well as National Sun Dried Tomato Month (Unless you’re in Florida – April is National Florida Tomato Month).

I wonder how these National Months get started.

After all, October isn’t what I would choose to represent tomato-dom.

In most places, the harvest is over and the air is getting cold. I would nominate June, July or August as more likely months. That’s when tomato season is in full swing and you can celebrate every day with a fresh tomato right out of the garden.

In any case, it’s October – how do you plan to celebrate?

On another national note, there are several states that claim the tomato as their official State Fruit or Vegetable. As you likely know, botany declares that tomatoes are fruits (along with most of the other “vegetables”). However, the US Supreme Court ruled in Nix vs Hedden (1893) that tomatoes are vegetables legally (so they could tax it as an imported vegetable).

Arkansas couldn’t decide whether the “South Arkansas Vine Ripe Pink Tomato” should be the state fruit or vegetable, so they declared it as both.

In Ohio, the tomato was chosen over the paw paw as the state fruit. The paw paw managed to sneak in anyways later as Ohio’s State Native Fruit.

Tennessee also jumped on the bandwagon, declaring the tomato as state fruit in 2003.

If you visit Louisiana, be sure to try the state vegetable – the Creole tomato.

Not many states have an official vegetable, so why not have some fun – write your state officials and suggest the tomato. Utah already has a couple, or I’d suggest it myself. Let us know if your state chooses the tomato!


One Response to “October is National Tomato Month, and other Official Facts”

  1. our friend Ben Says:

    I’m with you, Vanessa: Surely July or August would be more fitting as the national tomato month. Weird! As a native Tennessean, I’m proud to see that my home state has chosen the tomato, but oh please, couldn’t they have chosen it as the state vegetable, for mercy’s sake? At least a third of our vegetables are technically fruits, but nobody throws fits about, say, peppers or eggplants or squash or pumpkins being fruits. Sheesh! It’s time everybody got over that silliness once and for all.

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