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Port Coquitlam gardener plucks massive tomato from her community garden plot

Mashed into sauce, this large heirloom variety of tomato filled a pot, now this gardener is waiting for the rest of her tomatoes to ripen

Betty Quon knows her tomatoes.

The Port Coquitlam resident has a garden plot in the community garden at Colony Farm Regional Park and grows vegetables — including heirloom varieties of tomatoes that come in all sizes and colours.

But this year’s tomato crop at the popular Coquitlam garden has been extra special.

Despite the heat, recent rains and other weather calamities, one of Quon’s tomatoes grew to gargantuan size.

“This is the biggest tomato I’ve ever grown in my whole life,” Quon told the Tri-City News in an email.

And it is big: it’s 22 inches in circumference — the size of a small pumpkin — and weighs almost 2 kg.

Quon’s secret is that she doesn’t use synthetic fertilizers or pesticides.

To feed her tomatoes, she uses a mixture of molasses, seaweed and fish emulsion concentrate.

While the tomato is large, some varieties can grow to 5 kg or more.

But this tasty fruit is pretty large for the Tri-Cities.

If you want to see the tomato for yourself, you’re out of luck, however, it’s already been mashed into sauce.

“It filled a whole pot and when reduced to a sauce it filled half a pot,” Quon noted.

Fortunately, she has other tomatoes from seeds from specialty growers and friends, including Pineapple Pig, Malakhitovaya Shkatulka, the Russian heirloom Altaiskiy Oranzhevyi and one variety called Believe it or Not.

These tomatoes are almost ready for eating, Quon says, as she prepares her garden for the fall harvest.