Sauce and Paste Tomatoes

 

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IMPORTANT NOTE! Folks, remember to water sparingly or moderately when your tomatoes start to ripen. Otherwise you'll have a waterlogged, mushy, cracked tomato! This goes for ALL of your heirlooms! Don't sabotage your own tomatoes....

 

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1884 

1884 ($6.75)  (B)    ((HG) (E) (P-S) 78 days.

1884 is a superbly flavored old-time tomato which grows on a strong vigorous plant and produces big luscious 2 lb. deep dark pink fruit with luxurious flavor and sets fruit readily in hot weather. It is said that the original seeds were discovered in 1884 by a Mr. Williamson in the debris after the big flood in Friendly, West Virginia. This grand fruit has taken top mention year after year in tomato tastings all over the country. Easy to grow and very productive. Marvelous for fresh eating and makes a luscious sauce.

 

  New for 2019!

 

African Queen ($6.75) 80 days.      (P-S)

 

Big delicious 1 to 2 lb deep-jade pink fruits with red flesh have all the delicious flavors and juiciness you expect from the old time varieties.

 

A fabulous, renown old family heirloom, African Queen has been grown for generations on the steep hillsides of western North Carolina by the Jack Maderis family and most likely came with slaves from The Caribbean.

 

Just marvelous! Everything you expect in a big beefsteak heirloom!

 

Meaty, makes a fabulous sauce!

 

Photo property of Adrienne Park-Tucker

 

 

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Anna Russian ($6.75)    (VE) (HG) 65 days.

 

This was the very first heirloom tomato I ever tasted and one of the finest of the oxheart tomatoes. The plant has very delicate, wistful foliage as do many of the Russian varieties. Don't let that fool you! Anna is easy to grow and bears heavily during hot and cool weather.

 

Years ago my mom brought me some perfect heart-shaped Anna Russians from her garden. She had gotten the seeds from a friend. I tasted; I swooned. From 8 to 12 ounces, the fruits she brought had grown in beautiful clusters of 2 or 3--I wouldn't be without it.

 

Still in my top 5 favorites after all these years, Anna Russian is always among the first few plants I set out in my home garden every spring in a little Tomato Love ceremony. Its perfect heart shape in colors ranging from pink to red make it very special indeed.

 

 

NOTE:  Be sure to note that Anna Russian has droopy wispy foliage as do so many of the heart-shaped tomatoes-- it is caused by the 'wilt' gene. There is nothing wrong with your plant; it's supposed to look that way. One of my customers was convinced by a well-meaning neighbor to rip out her Anna Russian plants.  "There's something wrong with them plants, Hildy, rip 'em out..." And she did, then called me to ask for a refund.  I gave her the news; her heart broke. It was too late for her to replant but she ordered Anna Russian the following year and had a beautiful crop!

 

   

          

 

 

    

                                          August, 2016. One day's harvest, 9.5 lbs.

 

Anna Banana Russian ($6.95)     (E)  65 days.

 

I've been waiting a long time for this one, so for me this is tomato heaven; a yellow bull's-heart shaped fruit growing on a rather wispy plant which produces like crazy.

 

I've told anyone who'll listen that Anna Russian was the first heirloom tomato I ever tasted -- and ultimately the reason I'm in this business.

 

To be able to offer this spectacular, accidental yellow version with its dazzling deep yellow skin and dense sweet flesh is beyond thrilling for me. Balanced flavor, sweet with just a little tang in the background and growing on wispy vines just like the original red Anna Russian. Reaching 8 to 12 ounces and producing abundantly in all climates, this lady is a radiant winner. 

 

Some fruits are heart shaped, some beefsteak, right on the same plant. This trait is part of the charm of the heirlooms. Inside you'll find a stunning little pattern of scarlet streaking.

 

NOTE:  I think Anna Banana is the wispiest tomato plant in existence. On the young plants, possibly the most delicate looking foliage of any tomato on Earth -- but as she gets bigger her foliage gets heartier and the tomatoes grow like crazy. Keep that in mind. Hang in there.

 

This variety was grown out and stabilized by Michael Walker of Ellensburg Washington.  Yay, Michael!

 

 

 

 

New for 2020!

Anthony's Passionate Heart ($6.95)     

Chosen by my friend Gary Ibsen to honor Anthony Bourdain, here is our premier presentation for 2020.

 

In our garden it withstood heat waves in the high 90's when other plants gave up the ghost. No cracking, high production, dreamy texture, disease free. A proven winner.

 

In Gary's words: "Anthony's Passionate Heart produces beautiful big, red heart-shaped 1 lb. fruits with particularly bold fruity-sweet flavors and good acidity for a perfect balance."

 

"Anthony Bourdain was an American celebrity chef, author, and television personality who explored the cuisines, culture, joys and essentials of human existence around the world. He was an icon to me, and many others, who love food and cooking as a most enjoyable way of gathering people together to celebrate our humanity."

 

"Naming this tomato is our tribute to Anthony Bourdain’s life by honoring his legacy with a tomato heretofore unknown... 'Anthony's Passionate Heart' tomato. We found it suitable that 'the world’s most popular fruit', a tomato, would carry the message of Anthony's valued and storied life through future generations in a way that would enrich the lives of many."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clint Eastwood's Rowdy Red ($6.75) (HG) (E) 78 days.

 

From Gary Ibsen, owner of Carmel TomatoFest, "Clint Eastwood's Rowdy Red is a deep-red, round, beefsteak  type fruit with a robust unruly tomatoey flavor and firm, juicy flesh that invites tomato feasting and seed-saving. The tall, indeterminate, very disease resistant plant produces loads of 3" to 4", 10-12 oz. fruits. "

 

"This is one of those big, bold tasting tomatoes that is not for sissies," said Ibsen. "Although it has some of the highest sugar levels I've ever seen from a tomato, the sweetness is in the background and its fruity flavors are balanced beautifully with plenty of acidity, earthy nuances and flavor complexity. It's a perfect tomato for eating fresh, cooking or canning."

 

"Clint Eastwood's Rowdy Red has proven resistant to several of the most common tomato diseases: verticillium wilt, fusarium wilt, nematodes and tobacco mosaic virus."

"Within the hundreds of varieties of heirloom tomatoes I've grown each year has been a selection of previously undistributed, un-named varieties, the seeds of which have been handed down within different families from around the country for generations, then tucked into letters from gardeners wanting to share their legacy with me."  

"The seeds of this variety came from Archie Millett who from the foothills of the Sierras. Archie was a tomato breeder with the University of California at Davis since the early 50's. Following years of crossing thousands of tomato varieties at the university to produce a disease resistant tomato with intense flavor, he retired in 1987 and continued cross breeding to enhance the flavor qualities of his favorite tomato from his small home garden."

"Archie gave me these seeds by pressing them into my palm while we were in his garden," said Ibsen. "He said, "Here Gary, these are for you. I've only shared these with friends and family. This is the best tasting tomato of my 50 years of growing tomatoes. Name it what you want, share it with others. You are the person I'd like to introduce this tomato to the public." 

 

 

 

 Goldman's Italian-American ($6.95) 80 days.    

 

Heirloom Guru Extraordinaire, Amy Goldman, found this delightful full-figured, big-flavored tomato at a roadside stand in Cernobbio, Italy and named it for her father's Brooklyn, NY grocery store.

 

With very few seeds, Goldman's Italian-American is a terrific choice for cooking--makes a very silky sauce, creamy paste and adds some magic to soups and stews.

 

Pear shaped, blood red, juicy and meaty, growing to about 12 to 16 ounces with a beguiling ruffled shape, it is in high demand with chef's and home gardeners alike.

 

Photograph of Goldman's Italian-American is the property of Baker Creek Seeds and used here with their gracious permission. The second photo is mine.

 

 

 

Italian Heirloom ($6.75)       (P-S) 85 days.

 

The name says it all. A fabulous classic from Italy and a top seller here. Very high production-- loads of fat, juicy, delicious, 5 to 10 oz. brilliant red, meaty, some slightly pear-shaped tomatoes, some more rounded, with an abundance of rich, complex flavors you'd expect from the best Italian varieties.

 

This tomato is revered by the Italians for its BIG taste and high production. Whether for fresh eating or cooking, you will fall in love with Italian Heirloom.

 

 

 

Japanese Black Trifele AKA Japanese Black Truffle ($6.75)        (SM) 80 days.

 

Japanese Black Trifele, which translates to truffle, is a medium sized, juicy 3 to 4" inch long 6 - 8 ounce pear-shaped, deep purple-black tomato with pretty green shoulders

 

In Russia the Trifele varieties of tomatoes--of  which there are several colors--are highly prized and command high prices. Growing on a short potato-leafed plant, it's the size and shape of a Bartlett pear and among the darkest hued and finest flavored of the black tomatoes.

 

The skin is smooth and crack resistant and production is huge. Don't over-water and you will be rewarded with flavor that is deep, chocolaty, smoky and rich, just wonderful. Took their picture and ate 'em.

 

 

 

 

  A Laurel's favorite!

Jutland ($6.75)    (E) 72 days. (Pronounced Jut-land or Yoot-lahn)

 

This is my new 'go to' variety for the best dang tomato for BLT's. A perfect 3 to 5 ounce, thin-skinned, plum shaped tomato, some smooth, some with a pointed tip and the most sublime flavor we've found in a tomato this season.

 

It appears in several different shapes on the same plant -- some very elongated, some short and plump, and, as with many tomatoes of this shape, the foliage is sort of wispy. This is less than half of one day's ripe harvest picked from one plant on August 12th -- my kids and grandkids took the rest of them.  "Dang it, put that back! Wait'll we take the picture!!"

 

Sliced into 'coins' it is my new favorite for salads, sandwiches and cooking. Trust me. Try this one.

 

Juicy, sweet, tangy, delicious, old-fashioned tomato flavor make Jutland a must-grow for the most dedicated and adventuresome heirloom tomato fans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Queen of the Sea ($6.75) 80 days.

 

This huge, luscious ruby-red jewel comes to us from the fertile fields bordering the banks of the Adriatic Sea in the northernmost region of the Mediterranean Sea.

These big hearty tomatoes are heavy-in-the-hand and grow in clusters of 3 or 4, each weighing 10 oz. to 2 lbs. and have the depth of flavor and fragrance we hope for in our tomato gardens.

Sweet, rich and meaty with silky texture and incredible flavors, I am tasting one as I write this--right now--true story. Sweet! Wow.

This tomato is fabulous! Really heavy! Full of juice. I didn't even slice it, my 20 yr. old grandson Stevie Ray is horrified! I'm eating it like an apple, juice running down my neck and my arms. He yelled "watch out for your keyboard!"

I’ve called it Queen of the Sea to honor the generations of gardeners and farmers in the countries surrounding the Adriatic Sea who have grown, and are still growing, this outstanding tomato.

Seeds of this high-producing beauty are from Meri Jelenic Bijelic of Rancho Palos Verdes, California. The tomatoes in the photograph were grown by my friend who helps me grow out new varieties, 'Tomato Foster Mom' Barbara Kraus, from the same town.

Great for for sauce, too!  Really meaty!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

San Marzano Redorta ($6.75)       80 days.

 

Largest of the San Marzano tomatoes and among the best of the Italian sauce tomatoes, this big, luscious high-producing fruit is named for Pizzo di Redorta, (Redorta Peak), one of the highest peaks in the Bergamo Alps of Lombardy, Northern Italy.

 

At 8 to 12 ounces, and reaching 16 ounces, and 4" to 7" long and a fat banana shape, it is a much larger tomato with far better flavor than its smaller cousin, San Marzano. San Marzano Redorta is marvelously rich, extremely productive and good enough to eat fresh, right off the vine.

 

This is an outstanding sauce and paste tomato and great for canning and fresh eating, too!

 

Photo on the left, copyright 2018, Betty Lessmueller. Green on the vine photo from Adrienne Park-Tucker, 2019.

 

 

 

 

Sunset's Red Horizon  ($6.75) F/C (B)     (E) 72 days.

 

This huge, red, ambrosial and glorious fruit is hugely popular in the heirloom tomato world -- one of the best tasting tomatoes in existence.

 

Producing like a champ in cool and hot weather, resistant to frost and heat, it is a splendid producer of big red Oxheart shaped, 5" fruits with fabulous old-time intense tomato flavors and silky texture. From 10 to about 16 ounces it produces early and continues bearing lots of yummy fruit into November and December.

 

Introduced to the west by Nik Peplenov, who immigrated to the US in 1999 and brought with him his favorite heirloom seeds from the Rostov Don region of Russia, it was named by Tomato Man, Gary Ibsen, in 2003 after his favorite publication, Sunset Magazine. Sunset's Red Horizon is a spectacular, all-around champion tomato. The fruit in the photograph was picked in our garden on January 27th, 2007, and eaten immediately.  :)

 

 

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