Dad and I always enjoy a visit to Martin Farms to check out what they're growing for garden centres, and to find out what veggies they're testing in their trial garden.
I thank Chris Gark at Martin Farms for introducing me to a favourite of mine that I first saw in his trial garden: the Litchi Tomato, also called Morelle de Balbis. I finally grew it myself for the first time last year.
It's sure "thorny and mean," as Chris described it. With thorns all over, on the stem, leaves, and flower buds, I think it's crazier than Dad's rose bushes.
Even though the fruit are hard to harvest due to this plants defences, they are delicious. These red fruits about the size of a cherry, and have the texture of a cape gooseberry, and the flavour of a cherry.
When most people hear the name Litchi Tomato, they think tomato flavour. But it's different. I have several friends who don't like tomatoes (which I don't understand at all!) but they love this unusual fruit. Chris and I, and my tomato-disliking friends all agree that is a "favourite odd ball plant," of last year.
It's easy to grow, and dangerously delicious!