The Black Tomatoes

 

 

 

   TOP SELLER

Black Beauty ($8.95)
85 days.

Beautiful to look at, the flavor of Black Beauty is deep, rich and complex. Combined in a tomato salad with red, pink, orange and yellow tomatoes - a real mind-blower!

A Note About Ripeness:  Be sure and wait for true ripeness! Black beauty takes a while to ripen but is definitely worth the wait.

These photographs are from our home garden and have not been retouched. The fruits and the stems are deep dark indigo-black. Inside, blood red. The first photo is a not quite ripe fruit, the second and third photos show the color change indicating ripeness.

So dark that some tomatoes turn solid blue-black on the skin. Deep red flesh is among the best tasting of all tomatoes. Rich, smooth and savory with earthy tones.

A dark, meaty, very rich-fleshed tomato with extreme anthocyanin effect, the same antioxidant in blueberries and blackberries. The emerging little fruits are deep black from the time they are tiny until big and almost ripe, then you will see some color changes as you can see in the photographs.

Keeps well on the vine and stores very well, and the flavor improves with room-temperature storage.

Baker Creek's Dave Kaiser tasted it at the 2015 National Heirloom Exposition and proclaimed it as the BEST tomato he had ever eaten! Yay Dave!

Photograph from Baker Creek Rare Seeds.

 

 

Black Bear ($8.95) 80 days.    

This tomato is getting RAVE REVIEWS!

Black Bear is getting rave reviews from our customers.

We presented it for the first time in 2023 and customers who grew it went crazy for it  -- and are ordering it again!

I knew it was special  -- but hearing all these compliments is so satisfying. I'm thrilled that you like it as much as I do! Yay!

Here's what we're hearing about Black Bear: Fast growing, very high production, delicious, disease resistant, mind-blowing flavor and 'easy to grow'!

One of those incredible fruits with the giant, complex flavors we adore in the big purple-black tomatoes. Full, complex, and SO satisfying to bite into. CHOMP!

Because it's so meaty, it's easy to slice thin or thick for sandwiches, or cut into wedges for salads or in half for seasoning and roasting. And...straight up feasting right in the garden!  Thick, smooth flesh with lots of juice. Meaty and luscious -- disease resistant with really high production.

 

 

 

 

Black Cherry ($8.95)
  F/C (Ch) (VE) 65 days.

 

A perfectly round cherry tomato with classic black tomato flavor, sweet, yet rich, smoky and complex. Fruit picks easily from the stem and is produced in abundance on vigorous, tall plants.

 

These cherries are irresistibly delicious: look like a black cherry, taste like a sweet cherry-- a unique addition to the color and flavor spectrum of cherry tomatoes for your garden, along with our other cherries, it makes a dazzling display for any table. Just outstanding. T

 

hese guys got eaten moments after the photograph was taken.  :)

 

 

 

  

 

Black Krim ($8.95)
75 days (E)

 

This much sought after Russian variety is unique and unforgettable, originally from Krim (Crimea) on the Black Sea, Black Krim has a superb smoky sweetness with a delicate lingering touch of tang in a 4-6" slightly flattened, mahogany-colored fruit with lovely, deep green shoulders.

 

Setting fruit at higher temperatures, it is superb and very easy to grow.

 

 

 

  New for 2024!

Black Prince ($8.95)      65 - 70 days.  Hot, dry weather specialist that keeps well after picking.

 

Ripening in only 65 to 70 days, producing delicious meaty, uniform-sized 3 or 4 oz. salad tomatoes early and in high quantity, Black Prince is a hands-down favorite of Old School and modern chefs, restaurant owners and gourmands worldwide.

 

A long-keeper with sweet rich flavors, ripening in only 65 to 70 days even in hot dry weather, Black Prince never has what we call 'flavor fade-out' after slicing or chopping. The fruits tend to be all the same size, ideal for canning.

 

A salad tomato, great for roasting, grilling, sautéing and fabulous for sauce and canning.

 

This beautiful fruit keeps for a long time after picking, and has thick tender flesh - but thin skin.

 

I describe the color as a 'dark mahogany' rather than purple-black. The flesh inside is a deep sensuous color, dense, meaty and very fragrant. A balance of sweetness to tang makes it a prize.

 

Quartered and sautéed with garlic, slices of onion, sweet peppers, summer squash or your favorite cheeses and herbs, a sprinkling of salt---wowza!

.

 

 

 

     

Black Mamba ($8.95) 78 days      (B)   

Black Mamba is a big, bodacious, purple/black beefsteak tomato. Elaborate smoky flavor with touch of sassy tang make this one an irresistible delight in your tomato garden.

A natural 'surprise' cross of Lucky Cross with an unknown black variety, Black Mamba's flavor is rich, sweet and luscious and the plants produce big crops of stunning, irresistible tomatoes. 

Really meaty and full-flavored, Black Mamba is also a fabulous choice for sauce!

From the garden of the late, beloved, old-timey tomato grower Millard Murdock.

 

 

      Top Seller

Carbon ($8.95 )  80 days.       

 

The most requested black tomato that was not on my list for a few years was Carbon. "Laurel, when are you going to grow Carbon??!  Why don't you have it? It's the best tomato I've ever had! You gotta grow it for me!" "PLEASE."

 

If I included every tomato my wonderful customers wanted, the list would reach 500. We gotta exercise some self-control!

 

But, with Carbon, I continue to hear this at least 30 times every season. The requests are getting more frequent and adamant as people taste Carbon at parties, restaurants, weddings and tomato festivals -- which means that hundreds more want to grow it.

 

And for good reason. One bite and you're a goner.

 

One of the biggest and darkest of the luscious black tomatoes, Carbon reaches 8 to 12 oz. and has big, sublime, elaborate flavors. And it produces a LOT of tomatoes.  A hearty plant, disease resistant.

 

 

 

 

       Top Seller!

    

Cherokee Purple ($8.95)
 (HG) (E)
      75 days.

 

A legendary and beautiful tomato, at least 100 years old and said to be grown by the Cherokee People. 12 oz. deep dark dusky rose-purple, deep red inside, with sweet, rich and smoky, luscious flavor. 

 

Cherokee Purple is a garden staple, in everyone's favorite list for a good reason-- disease resistant, reliable and easy to grow, and great one for your heirloom or heritage garden. 

 

Seeds were sent to Craig Lehoullier by JD Green of Tennessee who got them from a neighbor whose family had grown them for more than 100 years.  In 1990 Craig named it Cherokee Purple.

 

 

 

 

 

Big 4" tomatoes!

 

Chocolate Stripes ($8.95)
   (B) 80 days.

 

After removing it from the list in 2009, I was bombarded by horrified customers who could not live without it and were freaked out by not seeing it. So it's back for good. Sorry.

 

Among the largest of the black tomatoes, this one was among the top 3 winners of TomatoFest 2007.

 

Reaching 2½ lbs., ripening to mahogany with dark olive green stripes, these fruits have enormous old-time tomato flavor.

 

 A plentiful harvest, stunning beauty and out-of-this-world taste make Chocolate Stripes a rare treat in your garden.

 

Be sure not to over-water when the fruits are getting ripe because they will crack and become watery and mushy!

Seriously.

Be careful. Test the soil 8 to 12" down--not just on the surface! If it is damp, turn off that hose and back away....

 

 

 

  

 

Dark Galaxy ($8.95)
75 days     (HG)       

The amazing Dark Galaxy bears fruits from 4 ounces up to 8 ounces on the same plant!  Layered in deep blue with red and orange stripes covered in random speckles, it is intoxicating to see.

When you taste the first ripe one, in only 75 days from planting out, you will instantly understand all the excitement Dark Galaxy has created in the heirloom world.

Another astounding fruit from Brad Gates, the vines themselves display a purple blush and grow 5-6 feet tall while producing excellent crops of delicious tomatoes that begin to ripen in only 75 days.

The yummy flavors are a perfect balance of tangy-sweetness -- really juicy and refreshing!  Each fruit a unique work of art, no two look alike, making Dark Galaxy a welcome gift for tomato loving friends and a garden-to-table centerpiece!

As it ripens it turns a sensuous, dusky red on the bottom with many shades of dark spots and flecks that almost give it a 3 dimensional look. Uniquely speckled, incredibly delicious, other-worldly, magnificent.

 

 

   Top Seller for 10 years. 

Foxy Lady  ($8.95)
(E)
 (HG)       (70 days)

 

After misplacing a packet of 600 seeds, I had to take our top-selling Foxy Lady off the list until my new plants produced enough fruits to save seeds this year.

 

A lot of customers have asked about it.  And here it is! YAY!!!

 

The incredible Foxy Lady cherry ripens in only 70-72 days from plant out and has some of the biggest potato type leaves I’ve ever seen!

 

It ripens early in clusters of 5 to 7 fruits on big plants.  The flavor is energizing, elaborate and dazzling with a sweet, seductive background and earthy nuance with lingering sensuous mouth feel.

 

A tiny touch of tang balances its big full-bodied sweetness. I am madly in love with this tomato.

 

 

 

An deep indigo-blue cherry...with crimson flesh

Helsing Junction Blue ($8.95) 78 days       1 to  2 ounce cherry tomato.

With intense, regal sweetness and just enough balancing acid to make them a PERFECT cherry tomato, the rich flavors we crave are packed into this unusual member of the dark tomato group.

This strange and beautiful fruit wins high fives and stunned looks in our garden. "Is that a plum?"

Then the taste test.... "Wow!" "Oh My God!" "Can we pleeeeaaase take some home?" is what we hear every time.

Lots of delicious 1 to 2 ounce cherries with high production and disease resistance. Highly recommended by me!

How do you know when it's ripe? The gel and flesh turn deepest crimson-red when completely ripe. The flesh is perfect and firm, not soft. 

Created by my old buddy Tom Wagner, he named it for Helsing Junction Farm in the Chehalis River Valley of Washington. Yay Tom!

The leaves curl a teeny bit at the tip, genetically, so don't panic and over-water or under-water them. These leaves let more sunlight reach the fruits, turning them deep indigo. Looks gorgeous! Taste... incredible.

 

 

    Our #1 Top Seller for 21 years

 

Paul Robeson ($8.95)
(VE)  (HG)        65-70 days.

 

This is my all-time favorite tomato and our top seller. This marvelous plant will give you its perfect 3" - 4" fruit in only 65 days from planting. Incredible; a symphony. I do believe this is the finest tomato in existence.   

 

It is a gorgeous, dark and dusky-hued fruit with intensely sweet earthy taste with a hint of tanginess, a luscious velvety smooth texture, beautiful skin, rich with juice and high production. You will love it. 

 

The seed was made available by Marina Danilenko, a Moscow seedswoman. 

 

This luxurious tomato is named for Paul Robeson (1898-1976), the elegant, renowned and charismatic operatic singer, law school graduate, champion athlete, film star, stage actor and boundlessly brave champion of civil and personal rights throughout the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The finest tasting of the dwarf cherry tomatoes!

 

Velvet Night Cherry  ($8.95) 65 days      

 

These sweet, yummy, deep-purple cherry tomatoes grow on a small dwarf plant! Of all the cherries from the dwarf family, Velvet Night is the absolute best.

 

High production, fabulous flavor, very much like Black Cherry and Purple Haze, but growing on a small shrubby plant.

 

If you have a limited garden space and crave a really sweet, rich flavored cherry tomato, this is the one for you!

 

Lots of 1 to 2 ounce cherry tomatoes will keep your tomato taste buds really happy all season long -- and you'll have enough to share with friends and neighbors.

 

 

 

 

Wild Fred (Dwarf Plant) ($8.95)
  
    A Laurel's Favorite

Lots of big gorgeous purple/black tomatoes grow in abundance on a strong, stocky 3 to 4 ft. dwarf plant. Disease resistant and producing big crops of large yummy tomatoes in all kinds of weather, the flavor is outstanding.

Heavy in your hand, this juicy, beefsteak type fruits grow to 6 to 10 ounces with thin skin and the deep, smoky, juicy, aromatic flesh you find in Carbon which is one of its parent lines (along with New Big Dwarf).

This big, tasty variety was named by Craig LeHoullier, for his dad Wilfred after a memorable typo of Wilfred's name in a church bulletin.

A fabulous cross made in 2005 by Bruce Bradshaw in California.

 

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