ITHACA, N.Y. — New York farmers have a new way to satisfy consumers’ hunger for something different. Phillip Griffiths, associate professor of plant breeding and genetics at Cornell AgriTech, has released a collection of organic grape tomato varieties that are profitable and pack a culinary punch.
The new Galaxy Suite of five grape tomato varieties offers flavor in novel shapes and colors: the yellow fingerling Starlight; the orange grape-shaped Sungrazer; the small, red, grape-shaped Comet; the marbled and striped Supernova; and the dark purple, pear-shaped Midnight Pear.
They are available now from High Mowing Organic Seeds.
By harnessing that diversity, Griffiths also created products that may connect more New York farmers to lucrative niches in markets like New York City. His Galaxy Suite combines consumer-quality traits with better yields, uniformity and firmness to stand up to transportation.
The new varieties also perform well in high tunnels — greenhouses that many New York growers use to extend the short upstate growing season.
The Galaxy Suite of grape tomatoes has already sparked interest from Wegmans, which performed small field trials on their organic farm last season.
Doctoral student Hannah Swegarden brought samples and conducted taste tests at various New York City Greenmarkets and also demonstrated them with Griffiths and staff from High Mowing Organic Seeds at the Culinary Breeding Network’s 2018 Variety Showcase in New York City.
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