For years I grew only hybrid tomatoes. Then, a few years ago, I added the Amish Heirloom Tomato Brandywine. Wow, what exceptional flavor! I was hooked. Last year I expanded my heirloom tomato trials and now I have two new heirloom tomato favorites, Black Krim and Aunt Ruby's German Green (pictured below).
Not only had I discovered two new great tasting tomato varieties, I also found out that there can be great tomatoes in colors other than red!
I also tried other new heirlooms of different colors last year; Dixie Golden Giant (yellow), Prudens Purple, Kellogg's Breakfast (orange), Caspian Pink and Kentucky Beefsteak (orange). These varieties didn't do as well and I really only got to sample them. They at least earned a second chance for this year's season. Only the Brandywine, Black Krim and Aunt Ruby's German Green were successful. We did have a terrible drought last summer and as I documented in my post "Pros and Cons of Heirloom Tomatoes", heirlooms can be tricky to succeed with.
Below are the seed company pictures of these heirloom varieties.
The only heirloom that I tried last year that will not be invited back is Homely Homer. It was a fun novelty marketing tomato, but lacked in performance and flavor. I have to cut somewhere, don’t I?
So now for this year, 2008!
I absolutely loved last year's alternative colors with the ripe green and black tomatoes. This year I want to expand the tomato color pallet. Something new and cool that I discovered from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds is white tomatoes! I don't know about you, but I have never eaten or even seen a white tomato. I have to grow some in 2008. I selected the cultivars Great White and White Tomesol. Look how white the White Tomesol is!
I really enjoyed Aunt Ruby's German Green last year so I also wanted to add more varieties that stay green when ripe. New for me this year will be Green Zebra and Green Moldovan. Green Moldovan looks neon even!
Another area that I want to expand is the heirloom Cherry Tomatoes. Last year I grew hybrids Sun Sugar and Gardener's Delight but no heirlooms. This year I will turn to Aunt Ruby again for Aunt Ruby's German Cherry. And since Black Krim was a hit, I will add a black cherry variety simply called Black Cherry.
Another odd variety that caught my eye was Egg Yolk. I don't know if it can be called a cherry tomato but it is a tomato the exact size and color of an egg yolk?! The other heirloom pictured above is Principe Borghese which I have grown before. Principe Borghese is considered the leading variety to use for sun drying.
So to recap, my complete 2008 Tomato Heirloom Team is:
- Principe Borghese
- Caspian Pink
- Prudens Purple
- Black Krim
- Black Cherry
- Dixie Golden Giant
- Egg Yolk
- Green Zebra
- Green Moldovan
- Aunt Ruby's German Green
- Aunt Ruby's German Cherry
- Kellogg's Breakfast
- Kentucky Beefsteak
- Great White
- White Tomesol
Wow! That is quite a list isn't it? A rainbow of delicious and interesting heirloom tomato excellence!
I'll keep you posted on how they all do throughout the 2008 season. I am really excited!