Winding through long rows of tomato plants, Tyler Davis let his taste buds lead the way. Nursery merchant for Orchard Supply Hardware, Davis was in search of the next tomato sensation, something that would make customers say “Wow!”
“Most of all, people want something that tastes good,” said Davis, before popping another cherry tomato into his mouth.
Off a country road on a Woodland farm, Davis surveyed a wide variety of tomato shapes and sizes, colors and flavors. Well-known hybrids and famous heirlooms mixed with new varieties that promised improvements such as disease resistance and – most of all – good flavor. Could he find a better Better Boy?
Davis was among several nursery buyers who tried new vs. old varieties at the PanAmerican Seed tomato trials, held in August. Buyers from throughout the nation had come to the Sacramento area for the Summer Vegetable Trials, organized by the National Garden Bureau, and attended private “in field” tastings at farms scattered from Willows to Davis.
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