As usual we are growing different tomato varieties this year, both some old favorites and a few new ones. Many are heirlooms and all are open pollinated (meaning that you can save the seeds, and that you will get the same variety from these seeds). I thought I would do a review of these varieties.
First I must say that for us 2014 was not an ideal tomato year. I was reading in the local paper that the summer of 2014 is probably going to be the coldest and wettest in 20 years. Tomatoes like it hot and sunny.
The one pictured above is Opalka, one of our old favorites. It is a "paste" tomato, which means that it is not very juicy but rather meaty and meant to be used in tomato sauce rather than to be eaten fresh (even if it is quite tasty fresh). A reliable producer, like all the varieties mentioned here, it is indeterminate. This means it keeps on producing until the weather gets too cold. We have been growing it for many years.
One of the new ones for us this year is Black Cherry. As the name implied it is a cherry tomato, albeit a rather large one. It is difficult to assess as the taste is fine and, as you can see, it is extremely productive. However, among the various varieties we grew, Black Cherry is the only one that split.
Because of a very rainy August, there was a lot of fluctuation in the amount of water the tomatoes got (that is what makes them split), but that was true for all the other varieties and only Black Cherry tended to split. I am not particularly fond of its colour once it is ripe (muddy red).
Garden candy came in red, orange and yellow. It is a sweet, tasty cherry tomato. We were quite pleased with it.
Marvel Stripes produces enormous juicy fruits. It is a tomato you eat fresh. It is quite attractive sliced because the inside as well as the outside is marbled red and yellow. It is the second year we grow it, and I thought it was not quite as tasty as it was last summer. Because of all the rain, it got slightly watery. This is a problem with the weather, not the tomato. We will grow it again.
|Box Car Willie |
Another old favorite, Box Car Willie could be called a "classical" tomato in that it is a tasty, multi-purpose tomato which is always of a nice size and never mishaped.
I suppose Chadwick is a plum tomato since it is a large cherry tomato (bigger than Black Cherry). It is tasty and with a good yield. We also started growing this variety last year and kept it as we were quite pleased with it. Below, next to pots of tomato sauce made this year is Persimmon, an heirloom yellow variety which was apparently grown by Thomas Jefferson in 1781. It is a very tasty tomato we have been growing for over 15 years.
A mediocre year here for tomatoes, sadly. My favorite fruit.ReplyDelete
Many years ago we grew an heirloom tomato, Mortgage Lifters. Prolific, heavy fruit, good to eat and for canning. We were told when the seed was developed in the thirties, it "lifted" the mortgage of the man who bred it. The tomatoes weighed over a pound each.
I have heard of it but have not tried it yet. Next year perhaps.Delete
There seems to be an endless variety of tomatoes sine with very bizarre names. Each country seems to have its own types or are they the same with different names I wonderReplyDelete
I expect a great many are similar if not identical under different names.Delete
A great year for hostas, though!ReplyDelete
Those tomatoes look inviting in their wicker basket, especially when set off by the comical-looking Opalka.
Some years Opalka looks even stranger, thin and long, shaped more like a pepper.Delete
You seem to have done very well Alain, considering the summer conditions you have experienced. Like the summer weather the performance of outdoor tomatoes fluctuates wildly here, I have given up with them, but my sister who still grows them has very varied results even with the same varieties.ReplyDelete
Most years are good tomato years here but 2014 was not great. We still got quite a few but they are not as tasty as usual.Delete
I love your Marvel Stripes tomato variety Alain. How do you make the tomato in bottles? Is your own recipe ?ReplyDelete
I used to love growing tomatoes, there was always a new variety to try and seeds to save from old favourites. It seems like you still managed a fair harvest despite the uncooperative weather.ReplyDelete
Always interesting to read over your reviews of things you have grown Alain. My tomato harvest has been very disappointing this year and last. Hopefully I will do better next year. I'd love to have similar jars of homemade tomato sauce in my pantry.ReplyDelete
We also grow Black Cherry but don't have much of a problem with splitting. I might want to try Garden Candy. Our summer was also colder than the tomatoes like.ReplyDelete
We had a better year for tomatoes than last year. Unfortunately, we were away when the harvest was peaking. I love Garden Candy. What a great name!ReplyDelete