Sept. 29, 2010
By Lynn Byczynski
For the past two summers, this question has been bothering me. But I couldn't find anyone who seemed to know. I asked numerous friends in the biology and horticulture fields, and even several tomato breeders. Most people said "isn't it pollen?" But clearly it isn't coming from tomato flowers — it's all over the plant, on the leaves and stems. One grower called it chlorophyl. Another called it "tomato tar" because it turns black if you don't wash it off quickly enough.
Lynn Byczynski is the editor and publisher of Growing for Market, a magazine for direct-market farmers.