Thursday, December 22, 2011

Bird Poop Tomatoes

Teeny bird poop tomatoes
Bird poop tomatoes are tomatoes that grow wild here, and seem to flourish in the cooler weather when there is plenty of rainfall, like now.  A friend dubbed them "bird poop" tomatoes because birds eat the tomatoes, although I've never seen this in real life, and poop out the seeds during flight. When there's a good rain, these tomato plants pop up all over the place. 

They are like regular tomatoes in being vine-y and straggly and running amok. But their leaves seem to be more resistant to the tomato diseases we get here, like powdery mildew, which makes many tomato leaves turn whitish and shrivel up.  Tomatoes are uncommonly difficult to grow here on Maui. They require some real effort to get a good crop, and the fruit flies also like to sting tomatoes. 

It's a shame bird poop tomatoes are so small (about 1/2" in diameter) for the size of the plant. But I don't mind letting the tomatoes grow if I don't have anything better growing, and they are intensely tasty.  But it's definitely not a productive use of garden space!  On the other hand, if there were no gardeners on Maui and no access to garden variety tomato seeds, bird poop tomatoes would be the only ones growing. 


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