“How can you be in two places at once, when you are not anywhere at all.” Sorry, couldn’t help it, but the statement of “It depends on what the definition of what IS is” is too political in this day in time and strikes too close to Arkansas for my liking.
Truth is that in 1893 the Supreme Court of these United States ruled that a tomato is a Vegetable.
Webster’s dictionary defines a fruit as: (Bot.) The ripened ovary of a flowering plant, with its contents and whatever parts are consolidated with it.
Of course, the Supreme Court was more concerned in making sure that the Import tax of 1883 on vegetables also covered this fruit. (Never let reality enter the discussion when it gets in the way of tax receipts and their payroll checks.) So, a tomato is two things at once; go figure. Even the Reagan administration bought into this line of reasoning when it declared that ketchup (catsup) was a vegetable when it came to the nation’s school lunch program. This classification was widely derided, but not for the obvious botanical one.
One of the beauties behind hydroponics is the practice of increasing the EC (electrical conductivity) of the nutrient flow in order to increase the Brix factor in the tomatoes. From Dave Wilson’s Nursery blog, “Degrees Brix, usually shortened to "Brix", refers to a scale of measurement for soluble solids in a liquid. In the juices of fruits and vegetables, soluble solids are mostly sugars, and the Brix measurement approximates the sugar content of a sample; 20 Brix means approximately 20% sugar, for example.”
From the web site, Scienceinhydroponics, “Electrical conductivity measures the easiness in which an electrical charge can flow through a certain length of a certain material.
Why is this useful in hydroponics? It is useful in hydroponics because the conductivity of a solution is directly proportional to the amount of salts (in this case, the salts are our nutrients) dissolved inside it; so, if a solution has more salts dissolved, it has a higher conductivity. Therefore, measuring EC can give you an idea of how many nutrients are left in your solution.”
By ramping up the EC, you can also increase the sugar content, but only so far. Then it starts to affect the yield. I have read a research paper that stated that after the tomato plants had reached the third fruiting truss the EC can be increased dramatically, but with up to a 20% decrease in yield.
A salt can not only be Calcium Nitrate, it can be Sodium Chloride (table salt). Sodium Chloride is a major salt component of sea water or brine water. So it would stand to reason that the addition of some local saline water should increase the sweetness of the tomato. That will be part of the process in the TCI greenhouse. We want to use some of the island’s water in order to incorporate the local flavor into our tomatoes.
BECAUSE, AT THE END OF THE DAY…..I WANT TO MAKE SURE THERE IS NO CONFUSION ABOUT WHAT A TOMATO IS… IT IS A FRUIT!