Tomato Seedlings, Tomatoes, and Tomatoes in Jars!
There is such a huge variety of tomatoes … as growers who love them, it’s hard to know where to stop. We specialize in growing tomatoes you cannot get in supermarkets, and that large commercial growers mostly can’t do. Ours are selected for the variety of tastes, colors, sizes, textures …. all of them wonderful to eat.
Commercial growers pick their tomatoes for consistency of size, color and shape and for the ability to ship them and hold them in the market. Those are really different qualities. They have to do that, first of all because they do ship and hold them, but also because Americans who usually shop in supermarkets have grown to expect a certain size, color, and shape. And especially, we have learned to see any tomato that is not shaped or colored “perfectly,” or that has “blemishes” as not good. No matter how wonderful they are, most people won’t buy them. It’s too bad, but true.
Almost all of our tomatoes (unless noted) are heirloom tomatoes. Calling a tomato “heirloom” doesn’t really tell you anything about the taste. It just tells you that the variety has been “stabilized” over generations — that means that if we plant a seed from a tomato we grew this year, next year the seed will create the same kind of tomato. What’s good about that? It is very important for making sure we have biodiversity, and benefit from the rich culture of tomatoes people have raised in different places for the past few centuries. It also means that if we like a particular kind of tomato, we can grow it again next year, and some get great reputations for their qualities.
When you think about the diversity of heirloom tomatoes we have, it’s pretty amazing. We think that tomatoes were first cultivated by the Aztecs, maybe 1300 years ago. Europeans encountered the tomato around 1600 and fell in love. Except those who at first thought it was poisonous, which the leaves are. (The plant is a nightshade, like the “deadly” kind, and its leaves are poisonous. But we eat a lot of nightshades …. like peppers, potatoes, and eggplants).
In 2019 we are growing the tomatoes listed below. Beside the descriptions, we give you a little history if we know it.
We will have seedlings of many of these available at Gilmanton’s Own Market in May. If you would like to make sure you can get a particular kind to grow yourself, let us know and we’ll make sure we have it available for you. We will be selling the tomatoes through the Market as they come ripe, beginning late July or early August. And then, there are amazing jams, chutneys, and sauces.
- Aussie: from (yes) Australia: Huge 1-2 lb. tomatoes.
- Carol Chyko’s Big Paste: From Pennsylvania introduced in 1988. 1-3 pounds.
- Clint Eastwood’s Rowdy Red: very round classic tomato look.
- Costoluto Genovese: Ribbed tomato originating in Italy. Some say Thomas Jefferson grew this.
- Giganteqsue: Origins in Ukraine. Big 1-2 lb tomatoes.
- Greek Domata: From a monastery in Athos, Greece. 8-12 oz.
- Kennington’s Big Red: 12-16 oz. tomato from Oregon.
- Large Red: A popular big tomato from before the Civil War. 1-2 lbs., ribbed.
- Neves Azorian Red: From, yes, the Azores. Huge 1-3 pb. tomatoes.
- New Yorker: 4-6 oz. Contrary to name, they don’t talk back.
- Pantano Romanesco: from around Rome. 8-12 oz.
- Holland: Juicy round red fruits, 5-8 oz.
- Red Pear: 10-12 oz beautiful red pear-shaped fruit from Italy
- San Marzano Redorta: Roma type from Lombardy. At least 8-12 ozs.
- Stupice: Very early small tomatoes originally from Czechoslovakia.
- Dixie Orange: Grew in my garden some years ago where a Dixie Golden was supposed to be. It’s regularized after a couple of generations.
Black (not “true black,” but very dark, often dark purple)
- Black Ethiopian: Russian heirloom originally from Ukraine. 5 oz each.
- Black Vernissage: So pretty, slightly multi-colored 2 oz.
- Wapsipinicon Peach: Lovely small yellow tomatoes with peach fuzz all over them. Very sweet and juicy.
- White Queen: A little yellowy, introduced in 1941. 85 days.
Pink (and sometimes more purple)
- Aunt Ginny’s Purple: German originally, deep pink 1 lb tomatoes
- God Love: cute little tomato with a sweet name and sweet taste
- Marianna’s Peace: Originally from Czechoslovakia. Big 1-2 lb tomatoes. Romantically saved by a young woman about to be deported to Siberia in 1945, but jumped out of the truck and saved herself and these tomatoes.
- Mortgage Lifter: Popular tomato developed in the 1940s in West Virginia. 1 lb fruit.
- Pink Pondorosa: Huge 2 lb or more introduced in 1891.
- Green Zebra: 3 oz stripey tomato introduced in 1983.
- Ananas Noir: aka Black Pineapple. Big: about 1.5 lbs each.
- Gypsy: 3-5 oz. purple-black fruit with green shoulders. Originally Russia, from the early 2000s.
- Indigo Apple: Black shoulders on a red tomato, 2-4 oz. Very distinctive.
- Lucky Cross: Beautiful yellow and pink tomato introduced in the 1990s.
- Solar Flare: Red with gold stripes. 10 oz beauty.
- Amy’s Apricot: very small orange tomatoes, like Sungolds, but heirloom.
- Blush: Oval golden tomatoes with a pink blush –a little bigger than most cherries
- Pearly Pink: introduced around 1980s.
- Red Pear Cherry
- Sungold: Those sweet little orange snacking tomatoes. (Hybrid)
- Yellow Pear
Why grow so many? Why not?
Gorgeous, delicious heirloom tomato sauce from these tomatoes available at Gilmanton’s Own Market!
Lemony Blush & Yellow Pear Jam
Ancho Poblano Tomato Relish
Moroccan Spice Cherry Tomato Preserves
Rich Heirloom Tomato Relish