This is what paradise tastes like

This is what paradise tastes like

Matthias einwag when it comes to tomatoes, helga dressel is an institution and an authority: since she was a child, she has loved and cultivated paradise apple, as tomatoes are also called. In her garden in grundfeld, she spends every free minute tending to her nightshade plants, of which 153 different plants are currently growing there.

In total, helga dressel now has the seeds of 285 historic tomato plants in the magazine, all of which she grew herself. For her training as a bavarian gardener, the 58-year-old wrote a term paper – naturally about tomatoes.

The heat and drought this summer was hard on all the plants. That’s why we ask helga dressel how she protects her plants from such extreme weather conditions. "Yes, the heat, that’s a problem", she answers. "Tomatoes need a temperature between 18 and 28 degrees – if it is above this, they cook internally and burn."

To grow and thrive, tomatoes need a lot of calcium, so keep them coming. And enough water of course. "I give my tomatoes only in the morning, so that they are moist enough for the rest of the day – preferably early at 5 o’clock", she says. Then the plant and fruit have had enough time to distribute the moisture until it is tropically warm at midday. Helga dressel doesn’t give daytime visitors any more, because the plant doesn’t need that. "If this monkey heat we’ve had gets on the leaves, they’ll burn up."

More intense than usual

The taste of tomatoes is more intense than usual this year because of the summer temperatures. The grand brix value, which is used to indicate the sugar content, is very high due to the persistent warm weather.

Helga dressel advises not to harvest tomatoes in the midday heat, but in the early morning or late evening, because then they taste even more intense. A special variety that can cope particularly well with extreme heat does not yet exist, he said.

Good against kopeh

Helga dressel has two tips for our readers on how to enjoy the tomato, "our tenth most important food" be. First: "if you have a hangover, you should drink tomato juice the next day, because the electrolytes it contains boost your mineral balance. Besides, tomato juice makes you not get kopeh so fast."

Second: "if you are traveling by plane, you should drink tomato juice, because it has a preventive effect against the radiation to which you are exposed in the jet. This is scientifically proven."

But anyone who thinks that helga dressel is interested in nothing else in the world but red tomatoes is mistaken. As a guest guide in the staffelstein spa park she also likes to tell the participants about trees. Your focus this year is the french walnut, which has long been widespread, especially in the fields around uetzing.

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