From yellow flower to red taste sensation
There’s only one “person” who knows the secret behind the taste of our Looye JOYN tomato. And that’s Mother Nature. All we can do in our greenhouses in Naaldwijk and Burgerveen is to provide the best helping hand we can. And we do that in our own unique way. From the time the seed is planted to the moment Looye JOYN tomatoes are ready and waiting on your kitchen worktop, we work day in, day out to deliver a tomato with the best possible natural flavour. Read more in the diary of the tastiest Dutch vine tomato:
From small beginnings
The special flavour of Looye JOYN tomatoes starts with the seeds. A specialised plant breeder knows exactly what the seeds need to germinate into young, healthy plants. They provide the ideal conditions for the tomato plants to grow to around 30 cm in height. Once the plants have reached this height, they are moved to their final destination in our greenhouses.
Warm welcome at the nursery
We receive the young plants with open arms and a gentle touch. We give them a warm welcome in our greenhouses in which the average temperature is a wonderful 22°C. That’s the best temperature for bringing on the best tomatoes. The young green plants are given a nice spot and the drippers constantly supply them with precisely the right amount of water and nutrients.
15 metres on a piece of volcanic rock
The ideal substrate for Looye JOYN tomatoes is rockwool, which is made of fertile volcanic rock. We grow the young tomato plants up strings. Every week our nursery staff turn the strings a half turn and move them slightly to the side. Tomato plants can grow anything up to 14 m in length, so moving the strings enables the tomato plants to grow horizontally in the greenhouses.
Our hairy helpers
After a while, small yellow flowers appear on the tomato plant. And then it’s time for our bumblebees to get to work. We have lots of “bumblebee hotels” in our greenhouses – boxes containing anything up to 500 bumblebees. These woolly creatures fly around in the greenhouses pollinating the plants as they go. Then the yellow flowers gradually transform themselves into vines bursting with delicious tomatoes.
Time is of the essence
An important ingredient in growing healthy, tasty tomatoes is time. Once the bees have done their work, it takes around eight weeks for Looye JOYN tomatoes to become fully grown. The tomatoes develop together on a strong green vine. The tomatoes at the top of the vines are the first to take on their perfect red colour and are often the best tasting.
Our tomato whisperers
Many light hands make delicious tomatoes. Day in, day out, our staff pass through the greenhouses giving the tomato plants plenty of love, care and attention. We remove some of the leaves so that the tomatoes get enough sunlight. We also pay close attention that we remove every side shoot so that more nutrients, more energy and therefore ultimately more flavour flow into our Looye JOYN tomatoes.
Harvesting with a gentle touch
We keep a close eye on our tomatoes every day. Once they have reached the perfect shape and the perfect red colour, they are fully grown. That’s the moment when we harvest the vines with a gentle touch, being very careful not to damage the tomatoes. Then the tomatoes make the short journey to the packaging facility.
Once the tomatoes arrive at the packaging facility, they are given a final close inspection. They are looked at from all sides and sampled by a rigorous tasting panel to make sure they taste as good as we want them to. Then it’s time to tuck up the tomatoes in our attractive but sturdy packaging to ensure they arrive in the shops in perfect condition.
More and more people are getting the taste!
The wonderful flavour of Looye JOYN tomatoes is slowly but surely taking the world by storm. They are no longer only available in the Netherlands but are now also sold in Belgium and Germany. And you won’t only find them at specialist greengrocers: higher-end supermarkets are increasingly selling them in luxury packs. You can still buy Looye JOYN tomatoes in their most natural form – loose on the vine – from specialist greengrocers.