Sauce, Paste and Canning Tomatoes
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 garden....
1884 ($6.75) (B) (
(HG)(E) 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.
Anna Russian ($6.75) (VE)
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)
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."
New For 2022!
Belle Rouge( $6.75) 75 days
One Sunday morning in 2014 during an open house plant sale at my nursery, a handsome young Frenchman waited in line to chat with me. :) He had been visiting a friend nearby who told him about us.
When he got to my table he held out to me a tiny vile of tomato seeds. A perfume sample vile.
This charming traveler from Le Mans, in Northwestern France, where the Oceanic Belt influence creates
tomatoes with complex, layered flavors, had been given the seeds by his aunt. She grew them in one of the huge community gardens for which Le Mans is famous (along with auto production and motor racing).
He could not remember what type of fruit it was, just that it was magnifique! And as yet unnamed.
The vile was so tiny, I misplaced it for years. Adrienne finally found it this spring wedged at the bottom of a harvest basket which had been on the table all those years ago.
We were thrilled to grow out this mystery seed and find out what it was! We planted the seeds, Adrienne called it 'Perfume Sample". I made 'Perfume Sample' labels for the plants we grew out.
To our delight, those magical seeds produced the most beautiful, full flavored tomatoes starting out a pale, delicate orange, then ripening to deepest red, 'rouge' in French, meaty,
shaped like bells and double-bell hearts, 6-8 ounce fruits.
heavy with juice,
Great for sauce, too!
And the flavor is, yes, magnifique! In Adrienne's photo you can see one of the 'double' fruits.
So beautiful! With out-of-this-world flavors, heavy in the hand, complex, layered and fragrant. So I named this French beauty Belle Rouge.
) 78 days