Its been a busy week of potting up and starting new vegetable starts. I must admit that tinkering in the greenhouse with a radio going is heaven for me. I love growing and getting my fingers in the soil. So far I have over 300 tomato plants on the go along with many other vegetables and flowers. I found some old shelving at the thrift shop last week and was able to add an extra shelf down below. Its been a godsend having the extra room. So what am I growing? Lets look at my list of tomatoes.
Snow White -A small pale yellow tomato about one inch in size. I sold out of this one last year so never got to taste it. I have grown more this year and hope to try it out.
Fargo Yellow Pear -Yellow pear-shaped fruit, low acid. This tomato seed was developed in 1932 and is a cross between Bison and Yellow Pear. I haven’t tried this tomato yet and wonder how close it is to yellow pear.
Brandywine -Large pink heirloom known for its flavour, very ridged on top and has potato leaves.
Yellow pear- Yellow pear-shaped tomato that’s sweet and looks great in a salad. This tomato seed has been around since the 1700′s.
Jagodka- Another old seed from the Canadian Space Agency. Red cherry tomato from Russia, name means ‘little berry’. I wasn’t sure this seed would grow as it was at least ten years old.
Indigo Rose -Dark purple cherry tomato that was all the rage last year. Biggest problem is knowing when its ripe.
Cherokee Purple- Deep red-purple tomato. One of the first of the dark tomatoes often with green shoulders on top. It is said to have derived from the Cherokee nation who gave seeds away probably around 1890. It’s a large sweet fruit with good flavour.
Black Krim- Heirloom tomato from Russia with good flavour, red purplish fruit, a favourite of chefs for cooking.
Black from Tula- Russian heirloom with fruit 3-4″ in size , slightly flattened with green shoulders, dark brown to purple fruit with wonderful flavour.
Peace Vine -Most prolific red cherry to date. This one rarely makes it to the kitchen. Received its name from the high quantities of gammo amino butyric acid which calms the nerves. Popular plant last year.
Calabicito Rojo- Small flattened and ruffled fruit, lots of flavour but more acidic than sweet.
Silvery Fir Tree -Great container tomato growing to 18″ high. Fruit tastes like sun-dried tomatoes. Shall I say more?
Green Zebra- Chartreuse with green stripes, very beautiful tomato with rich flavour, green flesh.
Early Annie -Short heirloom that produces 3″ red fruit all at the same time. Great for canning. Determinate plant.
Sophie’s Choice- Best choice for an early season tomato. Red flesh with red-orange outside. Great plant for cooler summers and grows to just 24″.
Mortgage Lifter-Yes, it’s just what it says. The gardener who developed this tomato paid off his mortgage with sales from this plant. Very large fruit on a 4′ plant.
Morado del Rincon de ademuz- Purple tomato from Spain. This is being grown for seed as it has not hit the commercial markets yet. It isn’t as productive as some but has amazing flavour. It has a scar on each tomato which prevents it from commercialization.
Wapsipinicon Peach- My personal favourite with yellow 1.5″ fruit , very sweet and low acid. A must try for every tomato lover!
Orange Minsk- Large orange beefsteak tomato that grows and matures quickly. Very meaty fruit with less juice than others.
Branscomb’s Orange- Orange tomato with star like shape when cut open. 4-6 ounce fruit.
Gospodar- Red tomato that I received seeds from when participating in the CSA Tomatosphere project many years ago. Looks like seeds are hard to find so I will be growing this one for seed this year. Red 4-5 ounce fruit used for canning and fresh, late season tomato.
Orange Strawberry- Bright orange oxheart fruit, Great for canning and sauce. Point on blossom end of fruit creates the unique shape of the fruit.
Berkeley Tie dye Pink- Port wine coloured beefsteak with green striping. This tomato has a rich dark flavour.
Tumbler F1- great for hanging baskets, red cherry tomato. Growing this one for hubby as its his favourite when out in the garden. Place a few plants in a hanging basket and you are eating tomatoes all summer.
Weissbehaarte- Rare German heirloom producing tiny 2 ounce creamy yellow fruit.
Okay, I know it’s a lot of tomatoes but most of you know I love them. Several of these are being grown for a seed bank as stock on the seed is low. What I haven’t told you is I have flats of Red Russian Kale, Basil, Sage, Dill, Marjoram, Thyme and Lettuce going as well as much more.
There is nothing better than the taste of fresh organic vegetables right from your own backyard. You are probably wondering, why so many tomatoes? Is she nuts? I will be hosting a plant sale on May 3 like I did last year. I hope that my plants find a new home and I have inspired just one more person to try an heirloom tomato. The joy I receive from chatting with new gardeners young and old will make all this preparation so worth it. You see I do it more for love than anything. That’s what makes our lives richer.