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Wisconsin State Horticultural Society / Annual report of the Wisconsin State Horticultural Society for the year 1910
Volume XL, Part II (1910)

Rasmussen, N. A.
The tomato,   pp. 166-170 PDF (1.1 MB)

Page 170

off allowing only the center leading stem to grow. In this way
plants may be set 18x30 inches. Twelve plants well cared for
in this way will supply a family with plenty of fruit for the
table, also an abundance for pickling, canning and preserving
and a liberal quantity to give to friends.
A Member: There is one question that bothers me a great
deal; in the paper the tomato was called a fruit. I have heard it
called a fruit and I have heard it called a vegetable.
Mr. Rasmussen: From everything that I could find in looking
up the plant in all the books I could secure, I can bring you all
the evidence you want that it is a fruit, also that it is a vegetable.
Mr. Irving Smith: I have been in several discussions on that
very question and it is a very interesting discussion too. Wk
have come to the conclusion that it is a fruit used as a vegetable,
that is the only decision we can come to.
The Secretary: We have a botanist here, Prof. Cheney, no
doubt he can enlighten us on that subject.
Prof. Cheney: Briefly, I should say it is simply a matter of
usage. A fruit, botanically, is the ripened seed case of a plant,
and in that sense a tomato is a fruit, but without question it is
used as a vegetable. I should say it is a matter of usage. The
term vegetable, in a broad sense, includes everything that grows
out of the ground, but that it is not the way you would use it, of
course, in gardening, the term is used as applying to carrots and
potatoes and that sort of thing generally, and there it applies as
well to the tomato.
A Member: I would like to ask the tomato grower whether he
has tried putting his plants down, to lay them down instead of
setting them upright.
Mr. Rasmussen: I have on occasions, but the roots formed
along the stem, formed to grow a new plant before I had any
material to grow fruit from.
A Member: So you would not recommend that?
Mr. Rasmussen: I would not recommend that kind of plant-
ing, it is growing too fast.

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