Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Heirloom Tomatoes

I am trying to finalize my seed list and not get too much this year. I still have a great deal of unopened seed from last year. I grew many herbs and plants for the 4-h garden and for a workshop so summer happened before I got around to planting all that I had dreamed about early last spring. Here are a few favorite heirloom tomato varieties that I have been reading about- I have grown a few of these the past summers but am always looking for a new one to try. I usually grow my tomato plants from seed in order to get the variety that I want; however last summer I found many interesting kinds at fun little plant sales and from garden friends. Black cherry and Sun Sugar were two great varieties that I purchased last year as plants and obtained from friends.

Amish Paste Tomatoes
These heart shaped red tomatoes mature in 85 days. They have a mild flavor and grow well in poor conditions. They are good for sauces.

Aranyalma Tomato
Aranyalma is the Hungarian word for “Golden Apple”. These tomatoes are from Germany. These are yellow cherry tomatoes with a high yield and good disease resistance.

German Green Tomato
Also from Germany, these large bright green tomatoes can weigh more than a pound! They are sweet, juicy and beautiful. The German Green performs well in very hot climates.

Black Cherry Tomatoes
These cherry tomatoes are a deep purple and grow in clusters. They are a beautiful addition to salads and taste much like the bigger purple tomatoes.

Black Krim
A large red and brown tomato with bright green seeds! It has a salty and spicy flavor. Though they tend to crack, they are always delicious. These tomatoes come from the Island of Krim, in the Black Sea near Russia.

Black Russian Tomatoes
These medium sized round black heirloom varieties also come from Russia. This is a highly disease resistant variety. The plants are prolific early producers.

Brandywine Classic Pink
These tomatoes date back to 1885 and were originally grown by the Amish. These medium-sized pink tomatoes are said to taste like Brandywine.

Cherokee Purple
This variety is over 100 years old and was originally grown by the Cherokee Indians. The fruits are large and purple with pink and green spots. Has a sweet and smoky taste and performs well in high heat areas.

Glacier Tomato
These golf ball sized red tomatoes fruit in cold weather and early in the season. The plants start flowering at only four inches tall! This is a good plant for cold locations, especially coastal redwoods, but also does great in cold weather.

Green Zebra Tomatoes
These small green tomatoes begin as dark green with yellow stripes and mature to being dark green with light green stripes. They have a sweet and tart flavor and are a favorite amongst heirloom growers.

Ida Gold
These small, golden tomatoes have a high yield and do well in poor conditions. The vines are compact and good for small gardens.
Manalucie a breeder named J.M. Walter developed this rare variety in the 1950s. This was a big achievement at the time as the tomatoes are highly disease resistant and tasty. They produce medium sized red tomatoes and are a heritage variety that are excellent for southern climates. They are resistant to Blossom End Rot, Gray Leaf Mold, Early Blight and Fusarium Wilt.

Nebraska Wedding Tomato
Hailing from Nebraska, these big orange tomatoes are sweet and lovely to look at.

Orange Banana Tomato
These long, orange banana shaped tomatoes have a sweet taste with a citrus undertone; they are great for making tomato pastes and eating fresh. This is an heirloom (heritage) species you will want if you love cooking from the garden.

Pineapple Tomato
These tomatoes weigh in at almost two pounds! They are beautifully streaked with red and yellow stripes and have a distinct flavor. Very high yields.

There are so many choices of Tomatoes to Grow. I will try a few new ones this year. I think it is fun to read about the different varieties and finding out where they came from. I enjoy all the different colors, shapes, and textures.

1 comment:

Tom Wagner said...

Thanks for your description of the Green Zebra. I have growing it for the last 38 years, in fact longer than anybody else! Your blog came up with a google alert for
Green Zebra. Thanks Tom W

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