Thinking About Tomatoes!

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Tomatoes rank at the very top of the list of what I enjoy most from the garden!  I can eat them like apples but la piece de resistance is tomato sandwiches so thick and juicy that I have to eat them over the kitchen sink or outdoors!  I could live on tomato sandwiches morning, noon and night for the entire tomato season!

Thus, I am thinking about tomatoes.  I spent last night perusing the Tomato Growers catalog AFTER checking out their GMO statement!  Inside cover: ” While we never sold very many treated seeds, we now only sell untreated seeds. In addition, all of our seeds are not genetically modified”

So here are the tomatoes I have marked to try!  One can never plant too many tomatoes!

Tomato Gregoris Altai

Gregori’s Altai

A Siberian variety that originated in the Altai Mountains on the Chinese border. Tall plants are heavy producers of 8 to 12 oz. pink-red beefsteak tomatoes. The flavor is sweet yet acid and just delicious, with harvests continuing over an incredibly long season. Indeterminate. 67 days.

Tomato Stupice


From Czechoslovakia, this is an extremely early cold-tolerant tomato that bears an abundance of 2 ounce flavorful and sweet tomatoes. This variety has become a garden favorite for its earliness, productivity, and truly wonderful taste. Indeterminate. 52 days.

Tomato Costoluto Genovese

Constoluto Genovese

Italian heirloom tomatoes. Large, deep-red, juicy tomatoes are deeply ribbed but fully flavored and absolutely delicious. This variety is hearty and does well in hot weather, but continues to produce even when the weather turns cool. Indeterminate. 78 days.

Tomato Russian Rose

Russian Rose

This Russian heirloom variety is aptly named as it bears fruit as pretty as a rose. The tomatoes are large rose-pink globes with excellent, sweet, full tomato flavor. The average size is usually about 12 ozs. with meaty flesh. Expect a good sized crop of these top-quality tomatoes. Indeterminate. 78 days.

Tomato Amish Paste

Amish Paste

Amish heirloom variety produces paste-type fruit with an oblong oxheart shape. 8 ounce tomatoes are solid with an outstandingly good, sweet flavor. Indeterminate. 85 days.

Tomato Anna Russian

Anna Russian

Heirloom seed handed down to an Oregon woman from several generations of her family, along with the story that it came from a Russian immigrant. Large, juicy pinkish-red heart-shaped tomatoes consistently weigh 1 lb. or just under. Flavor is superb. Small foliage and wispy vines are typical of oxheart-type tomatoes, but this one is distinctive for its size, earliness, and juicy outstanding taste. Indeterminate. 70 days.

Tomato Chapman


Beautiful, deep red fruit is quite large, weighing from 1 to 2 lbs. with dense, meaty flesh and extraordinary flavor. Instead of being a shy bearer like some large beefsteaks, the plants of Chapman are prolific, yielding plenty of these huge tomatoes. This wonderful heirloom variety will soon become a favorite among tomato gardeners. Indeterminate. 80 days.

Tomato Grandma Marys Paste

Grandma Mary’s Paste

This familiar heirloom variety has large, pointed red paste tomatoes that are meaty and flavorful, just right for cooking into sauce or chopping up for fresh use. Expect abundant harvests, as these plants are prolific. Indeterminate. 70 days.

Tomato Rosalita


This is the only pink grape tomato we know of that is really the size and shape of a red grape tomato. Long clusters of small, oval fruit are deep rosy pink and abundantly produced on tall, vigorous plants. These tomatoes are as sweet as rosé wine, and a delightful new choice for anyone who likes grape tomatoes. Indeterminate. 60 days.


Big Zebra

A tomato that is red and green-striped is so unusual that it’s safe to say that you’ve probably never seen anything like it before. Although deep red and green outside, its interior is green with pink extending up into the middle. The appearance is striking and different. Fruit is medium to large with a mild, sweet flavor. Indeterminate. 85 days.

Tomato Copia


These very beautiful tomatoes are a stunning combination of fine-lined golden yellow and red stripes. While visually exciting, the real treat comes when you cut them open. Their gold flesh is streaked with red and is very juicy, flavorful, and sweet. A stabilized cross between Green Zebra and Marvel Stripe, these tomatoes weigh about one pound each, They were named in honor of Copia, the American Center for Food, Wine and the Arts, in Napa California. Indeterminate. 85 days.

Tomato Marvel Stripe

Marvel Stripe

This heirloom variety has become one of gardeners’ favorite bicolored tomatoes because of its beauty, size, and taste. Large yellow-orange fruits are streaked with ruby red and have a sweet, fruity taste that is absolutely delicious. Tomatoes weigh about 1 lb., although they often become 2 lbs. or even more. Large harvests on vigorous vines. Indeterminate. 85 days.

Tomato Cherokee Chocolate

A free package of Cherokee Chocolate comes with the order

A stabilized version of Cherokee Purple, this 10 to 16 oz. mahogany-colored variety has excellent flavor and beautiful large fruit. Very productive plants are vigorous and yield a large harvest of these chocolate-colored tomatoes with the ample size and wonderful flavor associated with Cherokee Purple. Indeterminate. 75 days

This should get me in enough tomato trouble for 2013.  Some interesting varieties that will be new to our garden.

I encourage, NO I BEG, you all to order seeds from a safe source!

If you do not start your own seeds, please find a small local source that does! Please stay away from big box stores!  They are responsible for bringing in the blight that has hounded us here in New England.

Are you thinking about Tomatoes?


Started the first of the tomatoes today, 3/13/13.  It will take them 7-10 days to germinate and then they can spend 3-4 weeks here in the house in a southern window before they move out to a hoop house.


Decided to use peat pellets this year for the tomatoes.  Easier to plant and water and means the next “transplant” is just moving to a larger pot w/o disturbing the root system. When they are potted up I will bury some of the stem.


Peat pellets have swollen to full size and “swallowed” the seeds. Interesting the different seed sizes and colors between varieties.


Two trays planted today. Potential of ten plants each of ten varieties.  We are trying new varieties this year as mentioned and described above.  They will live here in this chair where it is warm (wood stove heat) until they germinate.


Once the tomatoes have germinated they will be moved to this unit in a South window at the top of the front stairs.  The unit will hold 8 trays of seedlings.  There is another window at the bottom of the stairs and a unit to go there as well.  The only two Southern windows in the house!  Hopefully, someday, a greenhouse of the South side of the attached barn.  Until then we use what we have:)

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4 Responses to Thinking About Tomatoes!

  1. Susan Shipsey February 8, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

    Making me drool! Great post – thanks so much.

  2. Karen February 10, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

    I used to know an elderly gentleman who every year had over forty tomato plants growing in his tiny back yard. He grew them all on stakes a yard apart and kept them pruned and cared for religiously.

  3. joey February 10, 2013 at 6:54 pm #

    Beautiful insightful site, James. Wish I grew tomatoes from seed but delighted when I can get them from local growers like you.

  4. Kim Yates March 13, 2013 at 9:19 pm #

    Keep us posted on the turnout of each of these varieties!! Some I have not tried.

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