World-class vegetable varieties

International trade fair Fruit Logistica has bestowed innovation awards on two new tomato varieties, and one re-packaged cucumber. Robyn Joubert reports.
30 May 2008

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Fruit Logistica, an annual international fruit and vegetable trade fair held in Berlin in February, shortlisted 10 products from exhibitors for their Fruit Logistica Innovation Award (FLIA) 2008.

Trade visitors voted the FLIA should go to Nunhems Netherlands BV for their “Intense” tomato, a dark red, oval beef tomato with a very dense structure that lets it retain its juice when cut. Launched in March 2007, Intense is billed as a modern convenience tomato. “consumer or the fresh-cut industry gets more tomato – more flesh and pulp, and less juice,” promises Nunhems. “This reduces costs and significantly increases productivity. And the tomato stays naturally fresh for longer. The loss of fluid after 10 days corresponds to that of a normal tomato after one day.” Intense tomatoes are 57mm to 67mm in size and weigh 90g to 100g.

The Original Cucumber
Second place went to the Eosta/Enza Zaden from the Netherlands for the Original Cucumber or “Urgurke”. This long-forgotten variety is characterised by its knobbled peel, dark green colour, medium size, freshness and juiciness, and weighs 300g to 400g.

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Eosta, with Enza Zaden Beheer and the University of Wageningen, have relaunched it because of its natural taste. It’s only grown organically and cultivated in four countries – Holland, Bulgaria, Spain and Greece – so that it can be supplied 12 months a year.

The cucumber is currently supplied to the trade in boxes of 12, but in future will be individually wrapped for consumer sales in packaging reminiscent of the French baguette bag. The compostable packaging is made from environmentally friendly PLA.
Launched in June 2007, the Original Cucumber will be offered this year in food retail outlets and health food shops, with emphasis on the German, British and Scandinavian markets. There will also be initial tests in the US.

The Tomatoberry
Third place was awarded to the strawberry-shaped “Tomatoberry” from Tokita Seed in Japan.

Launched to the market in November 2006, this new variety of tomato is a little larger than a normal cherry tomato with an average weight of 20g, and looks remarkably like a smooth-skinned strawberry. It has a very fine skin and aroma and a very sweet taste – scoring 8 to 10 brix.

Seeds are available to professional cultivators and hobby gardeners. The Tomatoberry may be cultivated either outdoors or in the greenhouse and is available through the classic food retail trade. Next year’s Fruit Logistica will be held in Berlin from 4 February to 6 February 2009. For more, visit

The good goat guidebook

Storey’s Guide to Raising Dairy Goats by Jerry Belanger (Storey Publishing, R220, postage included)

Whether you want a few goats for your smallholding or are an established dairy goat farmer, this book will be invaluable. Author Jerry Belanger is passionate about goats, and dispels many of the myths surrounding them.

Belanger emphasises that while goats can make good pets, they are first and foremost livestock and should be treated as such. He says dairy goats are one of the healthiest and hardiest domestic animals and the easiest to start farming with. They should have few health problems if properly managed and are relatively easy to house.

The book starts with the basics, providing a checklist for purchasing goats which includes physical appearance, your confidence in the breeder, breeding records and the goats’ current living conditions.

If you’ve been farming goats for a while, the book will expand your knowledge on topics such as a doe’s oestrus cycle and how to determine by feel if a doe is in labour.The chapter on feeding explains exactly how a goat’s stomach works and how this is affected by what it eats. Belanger offers pros and cons of commercial feed versus homemade feed, including an in-depth explanation of how to mix your own feed.

Raising Dairy Goats also offers detailed instructions for processing milk into a variety of other products – from yoghurt and ice cream to different types of cheese. While the book is based on American data, the information is applicable
worldwide. If you’re interested in these fascinating animals, get your hands on a copy.
To order from Kejafa Knowledge Works e-mail [email protected] or call (014) 557 0005. |fw