2013 Tomato Recap

And the loser is . . .

Well...there really are no losers here. And there are certainly some tomatoes which we really liked for specific reasons. There were, however, two varieties we grew this year which we found to be unsuitable for further growing at 7th Street Farms. They were...

Crimson Sprinter

We initially had high hopes for this variety from Prarie Road Organic Seed, but Sprinter did not do well--probably due to the cooler summer we had this year. They also seemed to be very susceptible to a disease of some sort. By mid-summer all the plants were looking pretty ragged. The fruit they set were generally small (large golf ball), and most were nicely round.

Compared to the sweet, paste-type tomatoes we usually grow here at 7th Street, Sprinter was decidedly more acid. They performed well as a salad tomato, but nothing to write home about (hmmm...is that what I'm doing???).

Crimson Sprinters 10Aug2013 100ppi450x374s

Some atractive, albeit small, Crimson Sprinters from our garden.

Italian Heirloom

This tomato from Seed Savers Exchange won their 2012 taste test competition. While we were impressed with the size of some of the earliest fruit set, the taste was really not what we expected. As Randy Jackson would say, "It was just alright for me, Dog." The few fruit that this tall and leggy plant did produce added their fleeting glory to several salads, and for that we are thankful.

ItalianHeirloom 10Aug2013 100ppi450x409s

Large and meaty Italian Heirlooms--a fair addition to a salad or tomato sandwich.

Best Taste? Amish Paste

Amish Paste

Amish Paste performed well on many levels. Their productive vines grew over 6 feet tall, studded with large roma-type fruit which were simply a delight to the tastebuds: sweet and tomatoey, the hands-down winner of our taste test this year. They peel easily for processing, and we're convinced that they added a certain sweet complexity to our salsa and sauces this year. We look forward to growing them again next year.

AmishPaste31Aug2013 100ppi500x403s

Large, meaty and tasty--these freshly harvested Amish Paste Toms glow in the morning sun.


Honorable Mention: Big Mama

Big Mama

This hybrid from Burpee has earned a special place alongside our Health Kick tomatoes as a prolific canner. Where they come short in the amount of fruit set (compared to the 'Kickers) they more than make up for in fruit size. These large Romas shed their peel easily making the canning process go that much smoother. We can't imagine not growing Big Mamas again next year.

Burpees Big Mammas 10Aug2013 1600ppi550x355s

Burpee's Big Mamas are a large and prolific canning tomato--they don't taste bad either!