Grape and Other "Cherry" Tomatoes

Grape Tomatoes?

I read somewhere that grape tomatoes are the newest development in tomatoes!  When I was growing up, we called these plum tomatoes, not like the canning plum tomatoes, but miniature plum tomatoes. Because they are produced in abundance, they were used to make sauce just like their larger cousins.  Not particularly sweet but rich in tomato flavor.

There was a red plum and a yellow plum available in seed catalogs from the 1800's and then Charlie Rick ( a renown tomato breeder at the University of California -Davis until his death a few years ago) sent me a Pink Plum, which he said was one of his favorite tomatoes.   Dr. Rick was a plant explorer, and the authority on tomato genetics. He traveled throughout South America, Central America, Mexico, the Galapagos and the Caribbean looking for new tomato species and variants. Through his work, and the wild tomato genes he introduced into traditional canning tomato varieties, the California processed tomato industry was born and thrived. One day David Cavannaugh from the Seed Savers Exchange showed him a tomato they grew at Heritage Farm from some seed we were selling at the time , a bizarre green fruited variety that split open like a fuzzy capsule when it ripened (which I obtained in a batch of seed from New Zealand several years earlier).   He sent me a nice note and we began to correspond with one another.

Pink Plum was a little rose beauty from Cuba that he said he used to make a nice sweet tomato sauce.

I noticed that, much like current tomatoes, these little plum tomatoes produced more variation after being grown alongside of cherry tomatoes and current tomatoes. They cross easily. Sweetie, Sweet 100 and Gardeners Delight were very similar cherry tomatoes that were available through by seed retailers in the 1980's. They were sensational because they were sweet, really sweet. They were the perfect snacking tomato. A tomato kids could love. Suddenly, the plums became sweeter. It's not too difficult to imagine how the popular hybrids like Santa and Juliette were developed.

Small 1" oval red, yellow and pink for sauce and salads, consistent shape and size so that they match well. Today, these would be called grape tomatoes but these don't have the super sweet flavor of the modern grape tomatoes.  Sprawling vines.

Small 1" oval red, yellow and pink for sauce and salads, consistent shape and size so that they match well. Today, these would be called grape tomatoes but these don't have the super sweet flavor of the modern grape tomatoes.  Sprawling vines.

Mexi Pear Mix

Mexi Pear Mix

Cuban Plum.  Very productive indeterminant vines, loaded with clusters of deep rose plums an inch or so in length.  Good sauce plum, not particularly sweet.

Cuban Plum.  Very productive indeterminant vines, loaded with clusters of deep rose plums an inch or so in length.  Good sauce plum, not particularly sweet.

There were also pear tomatoes (no, not the pear shaped canning tomatoes), little inch or so long mini pears with a distinct neck like a bosc pear. These too have been known since the 1800's. Distinctive, ornamental and fun to grow, this group consisting of many distinct lines of yellow, red and pink fruit and are often ignored by gardeners and hybridizers.

Very small pear shaped fruit in red and yellow, interesting currant x salad pear tomato cross from Mexico, pronounced neck and much smaller than other common little pear tomatoes.  Great in salads, hearty flavor, crisp and crunchy.

Currant Tomatoes

Lycopersicon pimpinellifolium (Currant tomato)

This is one of the true currant tomatoes, the world's smallest tomato. Pea sized. More primitive than others, it's fruit shatters and falls to the ground when ripe or near ripe. Crunchy in salads imparts a great texture but not sweet or flavorful. We are developing harvest techniques that take advantage of the shattering characteristic since currant tomatoes are tedious to harvest.

This is one of the true currant tomatoes, the world's smallest tomato. Pea sized. More primitive than others, it's fruit shatters and falls to the ground when ripe or near ripe. Crunchy in salads imparts a great texture but not sweet or flavorful. We are developing harvest techniques that take advantage of the shattering characteristic since currant tomatoes are tedious to harvest.

The world's tiniest tomato has got to be Alberto's Shattering Currant!  It's the size of a garden pea.  The species is often considered different than the conventional garden tomato, Lycopersicon esculentum which means "savory wolf peach", but they easily cross with one another and are functionally, variations of the same species.

Alberto Vasquez whose name I gave to the shattering currant, was an early member of the Seed Savers Exchange formed by Kent Whealy in the 1970's.  In the annual yearbook, Alberto wrote that he was looking for seeds of Rat-Tail Radish. Well, I was just back from the NOFA (Northeast Organic Farming Association) Summer Conference where there was a guy selling seed of the Rat-Tail Radish out of a sack.  I think he got the seeds from India. I bought a couple of tablespoons of seed. This must have been around 1980. I grew the seeds in the greenhouse at the college where I worked. The seed pods were truly like a rat's tail (unlike some rat-tails sold today), over a foot long, pencil thin and mostly deep purple in color. Very impressive. But that's another rambling. Alberto from Virginia (if my memory serves me) would trade me seeds of his currant tomato for rat-tail seeds. Done.

Alberto had two types of currant tomatoes, one that shattered it's fruit (drops to the ground when ripe) and another that holds the fruit. He sent me the seed of both and I grew large seed crops. I sold both types for many years and companies who got the seed from me also sold the two kinds for a while. I've noted though that the one that drops it's fruit isn't in commerce anymore.

Why, people ask me, would you want a currant tomato that drops it's fruit? Why indeed! The labor involved with picking currant tomatoes for market is considerable. We developed a technique though, of planting the shattering currant tomatoes on mounds with landscape cloth sloping downward from the base of the plants. Shake the bushes every couple of days and scoop up the tomatoes that roll down to the base of the cloth. So simple.

While the currant tomato is a crunchy sack of seed offering a nice texture to salads, flavor is not where they excel.  In fact, before the currant tomato was reintroduced into commerce as an heirloom variety (after an absence of maybe 75 years or so), it was most often grown by 19th century gardeners and used to make a fruit jam.

Currant Tomato Crosses

The currant crosses is a group of small cherry tomatoes with currant tomatoes in their parentage.  A diverse group indeed, they can be found in many colors and tend to be the tomatoes that excite my palate.  Grow currants next to a modern high brix cherry tomato and then save the seeds and savor.  Currant tomatoes have an emergent stigma that will collect any available pollen an insect happens to bring, very much like the heirloom potato-leaf tomatoes that have the same tendency to outcross.

In fact, many cherry tomatoes obtain their long truss characteristics from L. pimpinellifolium.  These trusses can be a foot long and contain dozens of tiny tomatoes.  The true currant tomato comes from the coastal region from Ecuador into Peru and has some inherent variation.  The currants that I've grown are generally rampant sprawlers with wirey vines that take off when the weather becomes hottest.  Currant crosses can have the same kinds of characteristics or not.  Many of the crosses we develop here at FBF are unintentional.  The currants and currant crosses reseed (zone 7) and we let many grow to sample and simply select our favorites.

Red and Yellow Currant Crosses are common and many have been selected, named and in commerce because of their nice flavor and texture.

Red and Yellow Currant Crosses are common and many have been selected, named and in commerce because of their nice flavor and texture.

Tomato Descriptions from 1980-1990

The Tomato Researchers Page.  My interest in tomato varieties goes back over 40 years. In that time I have probably grown out several hundred varieties of tomatoes. Most of the varieties listed here were grown between 1980 and 1990.

Amy Goldman who wrote the wonderful books on Heirloom Melons (Melons for the Passionate Grower) and Squash (The Compleat Squash), recently wrote that she enjoyed my tomato descriptions from the days I put out the Long Island Seed Catalog. I grew most of the seed crops of the 100 or so tomatoes that were listed in our newsprint catalog (which was quite a task!) I was quite honored to learn that she was one of my customers from long ago and it made me think that I really should gather my descriptive notes (mostly on scraps of paper) from the 1980's. Because of the number of gardeners seeking descriptive information on tomatoes, I offer my descriptions based on how they performed in my Long Island gardens back then and as I find more of my notes I'll try and add to the descriptions.

Unfortunately, it may be difficult to find some of these cultivars (I don't grow too many tomatoes these days) and sadly, some may be extinct varieties. There are many tomato collectors and, if you have the interest, join the Seed Savers Exchange, Decorah, Iowa where you will be able to link up with collectors who work collectively to keep these heirlooms alive by growing them, saving and passing the seed along. You too, can help! Once folks stop growing a variety and saving it's seed, it's history.


ACE- large, branching semi-determinant plant, good leafy cover for fruit, yields 3- 3 1/2" red globes, thick walls, mild flavor, disease resistant. An Asgrow Seed development for the far west.

ACE 55 VF- not as smooth as ACE, adds disease resistance, firm, local shipping, thick walled flattened globes, fresh slicer. Popular in mid-Atlantic, truck gardens in 1980's. The Canadian public plant breeders, Denby and Woolliams incorporated verticillium resistance into Ace and many other tomatoes, which allowed Ace (and the others) to be grown more widely.

ROYAL ACE- said to be an improved selection of ACE

AGWAY CHERRY- early indeterminate vines, caged, productive, heavy producer of 1" red cherry, clustered, tart and seedy but a better flavor when completely ripe, similar to other red cherry tomatoes

AGWAY EARLY RED CHERRY- very early, compact, upright bush spreads 20", possible container plant, 1" oval fruit, fair flavor, good companion to GOLD NUGGET.

AILSA CRAIG- early, restrained ind., resists legginess in greenhouse culture, closer internodes, bears in heat and drought, 2" red fruit, smooth, good flavor, developed in Scotland, one of the first successful greenhouse tomatoes for northern Europe.


ALTESIA HONGRIE -early indeterminate, productive, attractive 2 1/2" round fruits in clusters, juicy but little disease resistance. European.

ALTAISKY- An indeterminate pink medium sized tomato. Not productive under general culture. European.

AMATURE- UNWINS AMATURE- determinate bush, sprawling vines to 15", 2" fruit are of good flavor, concentrated set, an English bred (Unwins Seed Co.) variety that predates the SUB ARCTIC TYPES, for outdoor culture and under cloches, prone to diseases.

ANGORA- pubescent leaves and stems give foliage a fuzzy gray-white appearence, 2" red fruit, mild but a bit watery in texture, seed always produced some normal leaf plants, an old Glecker's Seed variety.

AZTECA- from the SSE, drought tolerant ind. vines, tangy red 3-4" fruit, smooth, firm, no cracking, productive and good flavor. A nice tomato with a loyal following that keeps the seed in trade.


BASKET PAK- ind., large "two bite" tomato, 1 1/2", bright red non cracking fruit, heavy continuous fruiting, good flavor, firm and solid for shipping. A Burpee variety from the 1980's.

BASKET VEE- early determinant, sister line to VEEBRIGHT, replaced PIC RED as a green pick shipper, for colder Canadian Maritimes and Ontario, notable breeding for disease resistance, ripens from inside. Nipple tipped fruit disappears as they ripen, never any blossom scar. 2-3" solid, thick flesh. Sold by Vesey Seeds in 1980's

BELGIUM ORANGE- 3" deep orange round fruit

BELLEROSE- ind., early and productive deep pink-red 3" fruit, round to slightly heart shaped, tender , meaty and nice. Bred by R. Doucet

BELLSTAR-originally, BELLESTAR- determinate vines, early producer off large firm plum tomatoes to 3 1/2", crack resistant and acclaimed by short season gardeners as a good salad type, Bred by Jack Metcalf, Smithfield Exp. Farm, Ontario, released 1981. Johnny's was an early commercial source of this seed.

BENEWAH- compact determinate released by the N. Idaho Seed Foundation for cooler mountainous regions, prostrate plants lay low in cold weather protecting 2- 2 1/2" juicy, bright red fruit. Small vines produce well, Peace Seeds made this unique variety available in the 1980's.

BIG BEN- large 4-5" oblate pink fruit with few seeds, relatively smooth, quality fruit, from Quisenberry collection

BLACK KRIM- 3 1/2" x 4" slt. flattened, smooth fruit, greenish gray at top, rosey pink-brown at bottom, red interior flesh has overtones of green, pink, brown, meaty beefsteak interiors

BONANZA- short stake, leafy plant with thick stems, good yields on sandy soils, tolerates heat well. Large, smooth red tomatoes. Clusters of 3" fruit, maintains fruit size, developed in South Dakota and sold by NK Seeds in the early 1980's.

BONNY BEST- condidered same as JOHN BAER, large open plant with poor leaf cover bears many medium sized red tomatoes, slight tartness, old time variety favored by northern gardeners, especially in New England, for canning, general purpose. Predates WW l.

BOUNTY- compact but vigorous plants, deep to flattened globes, few seeds, rich flavor, developed by ND/AES/1941 for northern interior plains into Ontario for dry, hot summers. Productive. Seed came from Pacific NW Seed Co., Vernon, BC and produced some variation in fruit shape in 1980's.


BUSH BEEFSTEAK- great name for selling in packs, apparently used for several similar cultivars, determinate, medium sized red tomato with meaty interiors, we grew seed from several sources that showed variations.

BRANDYWINE- crimson pink 3-4 " beefsteak tomato with rose-red flesh and wonderful flavor, highly acclaimed "century" tomato. From the Quisenberry collection. Strong indeterminate vines, potato leaf foliage. Seeds were distributed often as "free gifts" by seed saver Ben Quisenberry who did much to introduce tomato buffs all over to this fine old variety. Many potato leaf tomatoes came over with European immigrants to the US in the 1800's and crossing among other tomatoes in the tomato patch (potato leaf tomatoes are great outcrossers) have blurred the history of this Brandywine. My gift of BRANDYWINE came from Ben Quisenberry in a mix of other tomatoes that he grew together in his "Big Tomato Garden", undoubtedly it had been crossing for Ben and then when I grew it (not far from my bee hives) I'm sure it also was crossed and so it followed an honorable tradition of mingling and then being selected for whatever favored characteristics the gardener wanted to maintain.

BRIMMER- similarities to Ruby Gold and Georgia Streak, large yellow beefsteak with red at blossom end, red straks into the giant meaty yellow fruit, unlike RUBY GOLD, potato leaf foliage, may be same as Shah from Henderson Seed Co., late 1800's which is also described as a potato leaf type.

BRIN DE MUGUET (Lily of the Valley)- ind. vines with long clusters of 1" red fruit

BUDAI TORPE- 1 1/2" red tomatoes in clusters, productive HR (heavy stem, self supporting, rugose leaved), similar to RUSSIAN RED which was popular in New Zealand in the 1980's


CABOT- developed at the Kentville Research Station in Canada by E. Chipman in the 1950's, a selection from SCOTIA, slightly earlier, extra firm 2 1/2" tomato, for Maritime Provinces, bright red, round, good flavor, early compact determinate.

CALYPSO VF- compact semi determinate, flattened red fruit for slicing, bred for humid, high temperatures, tropics, similar to SHYENNE, multiple disease resistance, jointless (picks without stems), shipping at firm pink stage.

CAMPBELL 1327- sold by NK Seeds 1981, vig semi det., concentrated set of bright red 3 " round to slt. flattened tomatoes, larger than HEINZ 1350 and earlier, bred for disease resistance (VF) in cooler, wetter tomato growing regions, all purpose kind, good flavor, resists cracking.

CANABEC ROSE- 2-3", very firm pink tomato, very little juice, released in 1976 by Roger Doucet, one of the last in a breeding program that emphasized early determinate pink (rose) tomatoes favored by people of Quebec.

CANNABEC (ROUGE)- released in 1967, red, round, sprawling determinate, 2 1/2" very meaty, crimson interior, blight susceptable, was the parent stock that was used to breed the famous early determinate pink tomatoes from R. Douct's breeding program at Quebec. ROSABEC was released in 1975 and came out of this program.

CANNONBALL- early compact, short stake plant, open vine, developed in N. Dakota (State U/ 1973) for the open prairie, large, firm 3" red globes that are juicy and tart.

CARO RED- somewhat compact ind. vines, Orange-red 2 1/2" fruits supply 150% of an adults RDA of vit A (10x the provitamin A as a standard red tomato), distinct flavor, musky, mealy (or was that meaty), a cross with L. hirsutum resulting in the normal lycopene pigment being replaced by Beta carotine. Heavy stem plant, strong branching. Leaves had a purplish bronze tinge. Developed at Purdue University.

CARO RICH- More vitamins (named for increase in Beta Carotine), lower acidity, 3" orange fruit, meaty beefstak interiors, golden exterior,carrot colored interior. An improved CARO RED, lower vitamin A, less meaty but better flavor.


CHEERIO- red, small fruit similar to STOKESALASKA, determinate branching plants, very firm, not very productive but yields under colder conditions, marketed by Johnny's in 1989

CHELLO- 1990, Taiwan, marketed by Harris, bright large 1 1/2 " yellow cherry, indeterminate, good flavor, stabilized easily as a non hybrid 1992

CHERRY GOLD- a Stokes variety, 55 d, dwarf HR, 6-8", bright yellow, 1 " fruit, sold as a companion ti Tiny Tim (red fruit).

CHICO III- sold by Orol Ledden Seeds in 1980's, compact vines, larger and firmer than ROMA, A heat and drought tolerant plant bred by Texas AES, canner, processing kind, if used fresh wait several days(always at room temperature) after harvest when it develops a nice flavor and texture.

CLIMBING TRIP-L-CROP- I never had a tall enough ladder, long vining potato leaf type which may be same as ITALIAN TREE, medium sized flattened deep pink-crimson fruit, vines are disease susceptable. The ads in the 1960 garden magazines were just great! Expect bushels of tomatoes from one vine. There appear to be pink and red strains about. I grew a pink variety in the 1960's, Porter's sold a bright red fruited kind under same cultivar name in the 1980's.

COEUR DE VELOUR- (VELVET HEART), very large plum shaped red tomato, very soft flesh

COLD SET- developed by Ontario Agricultural College at Guelph, 1963, to set fruit and hold fruit under cold conditions, good flavor for an early compact determinat tomato, juicy, 2", deep interior red color, red exterior, not disease resistant. Interest in this variety peaked with claims that seeds could be directly sown at temperatures of 50° F and that seedlngs have withstood 18° F temperatures, something I have not tried to verify.

CRIMSON TRELLIS- Indeterminate version of HIGH CRIMSON for staking or greenhouse culture, slightly flattened 3" red globes, good crack resistance, low acid flavor, never became popular. Available for a short time through Johnny's around 1980.

CURRANT TOMATO- see RED CURRANT or YELLOW CURRANT, Lycopersicon pimpinfolium, also called raison tomato, grape tomato, in catalogs as early as 1859, considered a type for pickles or preserves such as a sweetened tomato relish which was an early way of preparing these for the winter. Fell out of favor in the 1900's. Originally from Brazil and Peru. Alberto's Currant is an early, low growing, bushy and somewhat speading plant. Peruvian Wild, a landrace that Charlie Rick collected from Peru, holds it's fruit and grows very long vines with great vigor. There is considerable diversity in this group made more complex by the rampant crossing between Currant tomatoes (L. pimpinfolium) and Cherry tomatoes (L. esculatum). Most named currant tomato varieties available in catalogs today are currant crosses.

CZECH'S BUSH- HR type, similar to RUSSIAN RED, 20" ht., variable 2" red fruit, productive, med. early bearer, tends to throw odd fruit types, ovals, round, pinks.


DAD'S MUG- this is a Quisenberry Tomato, nice 3" x 2 1/2" oval pink, in clusters, solid, few seeds

DELICIOUS- large 4" red fruits on leafy indeterminate vines, a quality beefsteak selection by Burpee Seed Co., Fruit has a reputation for being smoother and more crack free than other selections, also was promoted as the largest tomato in the world at one time. Very nice meaty slicer but never very productive or consistant in fruit quality.

DINNER PLATE- ind., pretty pink 3-4 " fruit with pronounced heart-shape, constricted at stem end

DOUBLE RICH-seedy, medium 2 1/2" size fruit, beefsteak interiors, ascorbic acid tartness but pleasant enough flavor, contains twice the vit C than other tomatoes (50-60 units), juicy and early. ND/AES and NH/AES co-development. Plant has heavy stem, upright growth.

DUFRESNE- originated pre 1938, from Raymond Dufresne, Quebec, possibly also known as SAVIGNAC, mid-season indeterminate medium large pink tomato of very high quality, this is the favorite of the reknown Canadian tomato collector Raymond J. Tratt.

DUTCHMAN- sprawling vines bear firm, pink cannonball shaped fruit with cracks at stem end, very solid fruit, old Glecker's variety

DR. MEEK'S SELF SOW- late tomato, selected from cherry tomatoes with a tendency to reseed on Long Island. Very good flavor. From Dr. Meek, an oncologist and tomato grower.

DWARF PINK CHAMPION (DWARF CHAMPION)- Rose Pink 2 1/2" fruit, on HR (heavy stem, self supporting plant- rugose leaf), ornamental 20" plant. Stokes Seeds carried this until the late 1980's, in commerce since Harris Seeds offered in 1890.

DWARF YELLOW CHERRY- a selection from Goldie F2, rugose foliage, heavy stem, concentrated set of 1' fruit, plants 10-14", gold color fruit.


EARLY RED CHERRY (AGWAY RED CHERRY)- standard determinate cherry, compact, developed for early production, concentrated set and close 12-16" spacing in the field. Red (to orange), firm slight oval fruit.

EARLY RED CHIEF- early, determinate, but with less concentrated set, 2-3" red fruit, longer period of production, small clusters of fruit, could work on short stake production, meaty, juicy 3" bright red fruits and productive, some radial cracks develop around stem.

EARLIANA- I remember "Old Man" Shumway (looking a lot like one of the Smith Brothers on the box of 1950's cough drops) peering out from the tiny little advertisements in the Garden Magazine classified ads of the 1960's asking every reader to send him 10 cents. I never sent my dime probably because I thought it was creepy that he was asking or my money even though he had been dead for half a century. That's the way a 10 year old's mind is. I finally got around to ordering it from Olds Seeds in 1980. Initial fruits ate 2-3", flattened red, later clusters -smaller size, leafy sprawling lines, close internodes make it more like a vigorous bush. Not that early as I recall.

EARLIBRIGHT- developed by J. Metcalf, Smithfield Exp. Station, Ontario in late 1970's. Commercial canner for Southern Ontario, compact, leafy bush, produces 2 1/2" pleasantly sweet fruit with a nice aroma. An early determinate that sets well early in the season. Good all purpose early season kind with a concentrated set. Not disease resistant.

EARLIROUGE- Smithfield Experimental Station, larger, more uniform fruits than EARLIBRIGHT- bush determinate, firm, slightly flattened 2-3" tomatoes, high crimson interiors, some verticillium wilt tolerance, crack resistance, sweet flavor, good leaf cover.

ELEVENTH HOUR (11iem Heure)- A red indeterminate tomato which may have originated in France. Subject to stem radial cracking. European.

ENSENADA- from market in Baja, California, probably California kind, compares to Pearson, productive vigorous plants, heat and drought tolerant, meaty large 3 1/2" oblate fruit of good flavor.

EVERGREEN (EMERALD EVERGREEN, TASTY EVERGREEN)- vig, ind. vines, 2 1/2" - 3" sltightly flattened bronze yellow to green fruit with meaty light green beefsteak interiors, nice flavor, from the Quisenberry collection. Nice slicing type, mild.


FIREBALL- introduced in 1952, early compact bush that can be closely spaced, good foliage cover, globe shaped firm 2" fruit, solid red, good interior color, crack free. Developed for early basket trade northern US and Canada. Before this variety most large midwest tomato growers grew fruit on tall stakes (indeterminate). After Fireball, determinates dominated field plantings which meant less labor and opened the door to mechanical harvest. NEW YORKER did the same for northeast tomato growers. FIREBIRD- a high quality Japanese dark pink tomato, stabilized easily from a F1 hybrid to a 2 1/2" round tomato harvested with attractive green sepals, always rated highly in flavor.

FLORADEL -firm orange-red 3" fruits have thick walls, large oversized leaves protect fruit from sunscald, developed by U of Florida/AES as a slicer for home gardeners in the south and also greenhouse production. Resists blossom end rot and cracking. Recovers nicely from water stress conditions. Usually harvested in pink stage for market. Porter Seeds in Texas recommended it as an income producer for late fall to winter unheated greenhouse structures in the deep South.

FLORIDA PETITE- the University of Florida, "World's Smallest Tomato Plant" very dwarf even by today's standards, HR (rugose foliage, heavy-stem, self supporting) plant. Red 3/4" fruit.

FOURNAISE- early sub arctic type, determinate, 1-2", red


GARDENER VF-early, very productive 2-3" red tomato on healthy long lived vines, marketed by Burpee

GARDENER'S DELIGHT- SUGAR LUMP is very similar or same. German bred, indeterminate, bears small cherry size fruits which are very sweet but still have an old fashipned tomato flavor. Clusters of up to 12 fruit, crack resistant, great snaking type. Prizewinner in Great Britain Royal Horticultural Society Trials. Tiny seeds. Very productive.

GARDEN STATE- sprawling, bushy plants you can cage or allow to spread, 3" bright red globe-shaped fruit, thick walled with good, rich flavor. Free of cracks even under water stress. This was obtained by a SSE collector from USDA seed bank in 1980's. I assume it was developed at Rutgers/AES.

GEM STATE- an early compact HR tomato developed by the University of Idaho. Although intended for field culture in the northern Rockies, like Russian Red and other HR types, more suited to container culture than field production, small 1-2 oz. fruits on 14" plants.

GERMAN STRIPED- probably the same as STRIPED CAVERN, mature fruit is orange with red stripes, considered an "century variety", unchanged for more than 100 years. sprawling ind. vines, good bearer, older angular fruited type with hollow interiors around a seed core, good stuffer.

GIANT TREE- see also Jungs Climbing Tomato, Burgess Trip-L- Crop, maketed by Chas. Hart Seed Co., large deep red to crimson red tomato, Potato leaf type

GLAMOUR- restrained vines, short stake, fair cover to protect fruit, developed by Birds Eye for midwest farmers in the 1950's, canner, mild red fruit, similar to SIOUX. Red globes, thick walled, mild flavor.

GOLDEN DELIGHT- developed at South Dakota U., an early compact det. tomato, spreading stems, concentrated set of fruit, tomatoes smaller that Taxi, attractive golden yellow fruit, very nice flavor, some cracking, thin skin, globe shape.

GOLDEN DWARF CHAMPION- a companion variety to DWARF PINK CHAMPION, bright butter yellow 2" fruit, HR Plant Characteristics, an old 1950's Shumway variety said to go back to the 1890's.

GOLDEN QUEEN- this is an old Landreth Seed Company variety from the 1890's, described as canary yellow, round and smooth. My notes describe a slight to moderate ribbed large golden yellow fruit with green shoulder and large stem scar, somewhat flattened and late maturing. Ind. plants, much branched, sprawling, productive.

GOLDEN SUNRISE- an early ind. greenhouse staking type perhaps of English origin, prolific vines, clusters of 3-4 small 2" fruit, bright yellow, round and smooth. Tangy, juicy and attractive.

GOLDIE- vig. vines, a beautiful golden large, 3-4" slightly flattened beefsteak type tomato with golden skin and deep orange meaty interiors which are full of flavor. Moderately furrow and prone to cracking around stem as many of the larger fruited kind do. From the Quisenberry collection.

GOLD NUGGET- James Baggett, OSU/Corvallis, low spreading bush sets fruit very early, many are seedless, then continues producing over a long timespan. Little fruit an inch or so long, slightly oval with good flavor.

GREEN AND YELLOW BELL- this is a sister line from GREEN ZEBRA that was developed by Tom Wagner and offered by his Tater Mater Seed Co. as a mix of experimental F4 or F5 generation crosses. It is a big green with light yellow stripes slightly flattened hollow bell type, usually 4 or more lobes, produced normal seed and very tiny non-germinating seed. Also known as GREEN CUP.

GRANDPERE- much branched semi-det., large clusters of 2 1/2- 3" red tomatoes early in concentrated set, then later set as it sprawls , juicy, very nice flavor

GREEN CUP- vig, ind, clusters of 2-3" green, bell shaped tomates with hollow interiors, stuffing. The kind we grew was a large lobed green zebra colored fruit.

GREEN GRAPE-small vines, productive, oval, green cherry, Tater Mater Seeds.

GREEN ZEBRA- original from Tater Mater; now there is a RED ZEBRA and a BLACK ZEBRA

GROSSE CERISE- large red determinate cherry, 1 1/2", resembles SUB ARCTIC MAXI, small compact plant, firm fruit, bred by R. Doucet.

GROSSE DE LUZERET-productive clusters globe to top-shaped fruit, red, thick walls, ind. Similar to a SSE variety known as BROWNS PLUM

GROSSEILLE- small fruit, possibly a CURRANT, drops its fruit when ripe (shatters), ripens to an odd dull orange with greenish tones, sour.


HARBINGER- Old English variety for forcing under glass, ind. vines, early but continuous bearer even in heat of summer, of 2" red fruit, some green shoulders, quick ripening, good flavor, juicy and seedy, sparse foliage, plant habit is similar to GOLDEN SUNRISE which may be closely related.

HAWAIIN-65- University of Hawaii, 2-3" orange-red, nice balance between juice, seed and meat

HEINZ 1350- introduced n 1963, H.J. Heinz Co., red canning type, crack tolerant, red, 3", good interior color, compact but productive semi-determinant which has less concentrated fruit set than HEINZ 1439. Became popular canning type, a nice disease resistant variety soon discovered by gardeners. Similar to CAMPBELL 1327, good performer on sandy, dry soils, good slicer.

HEINZ 1439-vigorous semi-determinate, ground culture, good leaf cover to protect fruits, red, 2 1/2" - 3" round fruit, VF resistant, solid and meaty fruit, good slicer. Earlier than HEINZ 1350 and very similar.

HEINZ 2653- det. vines, 2" plum shaped fruit, firm processing kind, concentrated set, the earliest of the HEINZ processing kinds. The Heinz series is notable for their disease resistance. Stocky transplants have survived late spring frost. Like most of the early determinants, rich soil is important for the best crops. While you may go low on the nitrogen for most of your tomato varieties to prevent more leafiness and the expense of fruit set, the little early determinate plants need to produce as much foliage as they can (never a lot) to produce the best fruit crops.

HOLLAND RED- this was developed as a F1 breeding line for Dutch Hydroponics, this is a stabilized selection from the F2's that we marketed for many years, ind., 2" round red, perfect tomatoes, very productive and healthy vines.

HOMESTEAD 24- flattened 3" globes, bright scarlet,some green shoulders, meaty, firm, good keeper, drought tolerant. Hot and dry allows this one to really perform, semi-det., short stake, dense foliage cover. Fruit resembles WALTER, bright scarlet, some light green shoulders. Developed for Florida and Texas. A popular one for the Porter Seed Co. at one time.


IDA GOLD- University of Idaho, developed for short seasons, cold, open dwarf plant in ways, similar to the sub arctic series, same very early ripening, orange 1 1/2" fruits, tart, concentrated set ripens over 2 weeks.

IDEAL- ind, red, 3"

IMUR PRIOR BETA (IPB) or IMMUNA PRIOR BETA, similar to SPRINT and GLACIER if not the same, very early tomato from Norway. Seed distributed by Tom Butterworth, Butterbrooke Farm from the Edw. Louden collection. Short, wirey potato leaf plants with sparse foliage that could be short staked, not branching. Very early, continue to produce into summer, 2" red fruit, juicy, harvest when completely ripe for best flavor. We found that there was quite a bit of variability in this tomato which often threw out surprises.

INDIAN RIVER- late season, heavy crops of smooth, 3-4" red globes, smooth and firm, developed to cope with humid conditions of the southern states. Upright semi det., with vigorous growth, smooth, firm red globes, disease resistant.

INFAILLIBLE- red indeterminate, round, globe, medium 2", radial cracks develop at stem end, healthy vines

ISLANDAISE -a large cherry to 2-bite size tomato, red, small vines, determinant, very early production often the first in the garden to produce serious salad tomatoes.


JUBILEE (GOLDEN JUBILEE)- AAS winner of 1943 by Burpee, attractive 3" organge globes are meaty, miild and thick walled, semi-determinate. Narrow leaves and fair coverage, ground culture or short stake. Later than Sunray, not wilt resistant. Resembles SUNRAY.

JUMBO JIM- Waltham Exp. Station, Mass, leafy productive plant continues to frost, solid meaty bright red juicy fruits which can become quite large.



LA BOURGEOISE- semi det., dark pink, round 3" fruit, pretty but tart, earthy flavor

LA CAROTINE- orange-red fruit, bright orange interiors, smooth 3", slightly flattened

LA TROPHEE- big red tomato, indeterminate vines.

LEDOUX - Pre 1960, older pink variety from Quebec , 4" smooth beefsteak kind, green shoulders, some cracking around stems, ind.

LEMON BOY- this F1 hybrid was easily stabilized to become LEMON GOLD, 2-3 " yellow fruit, ind., which we produced seed of and marketed.

LIBERATOR- firm, meaty beefsteak interior, productive, round red tomato. Large leaves protect the fruit from sunscald. Developed by the Ferry Morse Seed Co.

LIBERTY BELL tall ind. vines, bears a large crop, good for stuffing, from the Quisenberry collection. 2-4 lobed fruit. Walls are sweet, juices are acidic. May be different from BURGESS STUFFING TOMATO because of vine more than fruit.

LILLIAN'S YELLOW- large oblate light yellow tomatoes with green shoulders, meaty and rich flavor, potato leaf, ind. vines, SSE introduction by Lillian Bruce, TN.

LONGKEEPER- when planted late (seed direct into garden), produces big, almost ripe tomatoes before frost that can keep on the shelf for up to 3 months. Firm, supermarket type tomato when ripe. Burpee produced the seed and popularized this variety.

LONG TOM- aka RED CHINESE, vigorous vines, 1 1/2" wide and long to 5", red-orange plum that tapers to a point, thick walls and dry interiors with few seed, similar to PALERMO and others. Can lose fruit to blossom end rot if conditions are not optimum. We have seen strong indeterminate types as well as determinate types with Long Tom type fruit. Long Tom is a Quisenberry tomato.

LORISSA- 3-4", meaty to seedy tomato, quite variable, ind. vines, subject to fruit rot as it ripens


MACPINK- early pink fruited round globe, released at MacDonald Agricultural College/McGill Univ., Montreal 1973, R. Doucet was developing a line of pink cold resistant tomatoes not far away, compact plant.

MANALUCIE- late indeterminate with finely cut foliage, 3 1/2" red fruit, and good tolerance to heat and drought, developed as a staking type, U of Florida. This is the tomato that started to reduce MARGLOBE's prominance in the mid-Atlantic because of some bred in disease tolerance and larger fruit. Ripens slowly from pink stage.

MANAPAL- Florida/AES, deep red, thick walled fruit in clusters, disease resistant vines, ind. for staking or greenhouse production, bred for humid South.

MARGLOBE- an old favorite developed by USDA in the 1920's, bushy and productive. This was the all purpose tomato my Mom used to put up in jars in the 1950's and the first tomato I ever ate fresh and warm from the garden when I was 5 or 6 years old! It had the perfect balance of sugar and acids. Nice round 2-3" red fruits. Once considered the most valuable tomato ever developed because of he number demand for seed. There have been many selections over the years since it's release.

MARMANDE- very old European variety that has been reborn every once in a while (MARMANDE VF, MARMANDE DE REHOVET, SUPER MARMANDE), small flattened beefsteak with moderate ribbing and good flavor, compact plants. Probably of French origin. Very nice color and taste.

MASKABEC- bred by R. Doucet, determinate, 2-3" red tomato

MEXI-RED- large 3 1/2" red fruits with a great flavor. From Baja Mexico probably from Southern California.

MICRO TOM- dwarf HR (rugose leaves) plant, small 1" tomatoes, for small containers, bonsai-like

MINI ORANGE- constrained ind., small 1" orange cherry tomato, fruit tends to crack, Glecker's variety

MIRABELLE BLANCHE- an heirloom white cherry from France, nice 1" white fruits mature to a cream color. Ind. vines.

MOIRA- determinate, canning or juice processor, very meaty, firm red, nice interiors, oblate, deep 2-3", early, a compact development from HIGH CRIMSON, a cultivar with dark crimson, red interiors (ripen from the inside out). Developed in 1972 by Jack Metcalf, Smitfield Experimental Farm/Agriculture Canada. The original source of the high crimson gene used to breed HIGH CRIMSON was KANATTO, a selection by Canadian breeder T. Graham of an ungainly sprawling Philippines wild tomato. Graham developed HIGH CRIMSON and a sister-line, CRIMSON SPRINTER. Metcalf, in turn used this to genetic material to breed QUINTE, BELLESTAR and EARLIBRIGHT, all sister lines of MOIRA .

MONEYMAKER- round red, 2 1/2", juicy, seedy, soft and pleasant eating, a greenhouse variety developed in England. Tall grower, ind. vines, sets well in most conditions, sparse cover- in low latitudes summer sunscald is a problem, heavy producer.

MORTGAGE LIFTER- a large pink beefsteak type tomato (many red variations as well) with solid flavorful interiors and deep crimson flesh, some green shoulders, tends to prefer hot, dry conditions.

MOUNTAIN DELIGHT-3-4" round, firm red fruit, semi-det, short stake kind, commercial, tough skin, shrivels as it ages, resists soft rot at overripe stage

MOUNTAIN GOLD- thick flesh, 3" golden yellow fruit, bright yellow interior, meaty and juicy, healthy vines.


NAPOLI- compact plants, concentrated set of 1" x 3" plum or more pear shaped firm fruit, VF resistant, late season canner, for catsup or paste. Similar to CHICO.

NEPAL- large late maturing red 3-4" globes are meaty and tangy, some radial stem cracking, large indetermiate vines, offered by Farmer Seed in 1980, it's doubtful that it originated in the Himalayan Mountains as the story goes!

NEW YORKER- Geneva NY/AES R. Robinson, compact, sturdy plants are reliable producers early in the season, meaty and of good quality for an early determinate tomato, resists blossom end rot and some disease resistance. A productive tomato whose genetics have been incorporated into many other early tomatoes. One of the first successful determinate field tomatoes in the northeast.

NOIRE DE COSEBOEF- considered by some to be same as PURPLE CALABASH, closely related but not the same, very flattened 3" fruit, ridged, moltilocular, flavor is not bad.

NOVA- a determinate plant, cross between ROMA, a popular plum and NEW YORKER, a popular round fruited early season canner in New York, developed for greater solids, paste and puree. Fruit is 1 1/4 x 3", an inspired cross by NY/ AES, R. Robertson


OLYMPIC- developed from Traveler Tomato in early 1970's, popular staking tomato for the Quebec market, pink, firm, crack resistant.

Oregon 11 (OREGON ELEVEN) very early productive sprawling determinate tomato, 2" red spheres are produced even if there aren't any pollinating insects (therefore sets fruit early), can be seedless, fruit is tart. Developed by James Baggett, OSU. An early development in the parthenocarpic line of tomatoes OSU is known for.

ORANGE QUEEN- plant habit is compact like GOLDEN DELIGHT but fruit is bright orange, not blight tolerant. I believe there may be different strains of this, an early compact version and also a much older ind. kind with larger fruit.

OREGON SPRING- OSU, J. Baggett, early, compact plant, large 3" or larger tomato with multilocular interiors, meaty, early sets are often seedless. Home garden interest, not firm.

ORANGE STRIPED CAVERN- very large somewhat flattened hollow "bell" tomato, red and orange striped fruits.

OXHEART- very late, big heart-shape (more of a top shape) globe, deep rosey pink, solid, meaty flesh with few seeds and tender skin. Very mild flavor but excellent texture. Introduced by Livingston Seed in 1920's.


PASETTE- 1 1/2"-2" red fruit, long sprawling vines, ind.

PAUL BUNYON- received from Barbara Humes, a small farmer from Orcas Island in Canadian Pacific recommended this vigorous determinant, an early producer of quality large round red tomatoes. Large seedy locules but surprisingly firm fruits, immature fruits are very light green and resists sunscald, Farmer Seed Co., described this as the "Giant of the North" although fruit is generally less than 3". Some disease resistance. A bit later than TANANA but similar.


PEARSON- vigorous, open and branching semi det., 3" red tomatoes might have green shoulders on occassion but the sweeet juicy fruit have a pleasant acidic tang which makes it a favorite. Nice "old fashioned" flavor.

PEARSON IMPROVED- considered same as PEARSON, with added disease resistance.

PERSIMMON- large ind. plant, late, deep orange flesh like a persimmon, mostly oblong but also top shaped fruit, lightly ribbed and attractive. When I grew large crops of Persimmon and BRANDYWINE in the 1980's, people were split in their choice as the favorite. From the Quisenberry collection.

PERON- smooth 3" red, nice looking tomato, slightly acidic flavor, a well known Gleckers Variety, 1980

PETITBEC - small 1" cherry that is juicy seedy, similar in ways to SUB ARCTIC PLENTY, Tomato PI 197159 from Guatemala, from the Charlie Rick collection at UC/Davis contributed to the variety 'Petitebec' released in Canada in 1976.

PIERRETTE- ind. vines, large clusters of 2 1/2" red, oval fruit, meaty, soft interiors

PIERSOL- 3" orange-red round fruit, firm fruit, ind. vines

PINK PEARL- small weak (wirey) plants, small round rose cherry, tender, sweet, fruit easily cracks, early, sold by Stokes Seeds in 1987, interesting hanging basket tomato or pots.

PLAISIR D'ETE- red, round to oblate, very nice 3-4" tomato, healthy indeterminate vines, productive in clusters

PLUM 198- campact late season determinate, slightly oval blocky 2 1/2" tomatoes (early set of fruit is round), deep red, meaty interiors, very firm, bred for mechanical harvest, arid conditions, a cooperative project between UC Davis and Hazera Seed, Israel. Canned whole results in very firm, fruity, nice texture. Diced and added to sauces gives clean fresh taste, withstands batter dipping and frying too.

PLUM VF 317- late, compact determinate with long droopy leaves, very firm large red globes, thick walls, disease resistant and drought tolerant, a good producer under extreme conditions, may be salt tolerant, from a cooperative program UC Davis and Hazera Seed, Israel. Not for fresh eating. Similar to Plum 198.

PLUM 82 1-8- Hazera Seed, Israel developed in cooperation with California AES/Davis, heat and drought tolerant, earliest in the Hazera Series, square oval to elongate fruit, very firm mechanical harvest and processing, thick walls are greenish white and solid, little juice. Not a fresh eating kind but nice frying, canning, adding to sauce.

POINTE D'AMERIQUE- this is a large, long plum tapered to the point, solid fleshy, few seeds, similar to LONG TOM and PALERMO

POLE BOY 83- marketed by Twilley Seed Co., used for green or pink ripe shipping, fresh market, vigorous staking type, red flattened globes.

PONDERHEART- round, rough FIREBIRD type with good flavor, some cracking and mottling of the skin, crimson pink, deep globe shape, slight point at blossom end, 2 1/2", attractive green sepals. My notes say a cross between Oxheart and Ponderosa Pink, possible, I guess. Tall staking plant with heavy stems, mild and sweet.

PONDEROSA PINK- large 4" rose colored beefsteak type, flavorful slicer. Probably same as PINK BEEFSTEAK or often interchanged with. Always notices variations among sources and years.

PONDEROSA RED- large 4" red colored beefsteak, dark crimson interior, offered by Peter Henderson Seed Co. in 1800's. Probably same as RED BEEFSTEAK or ofter interchanged with. Always noticed varations among sources and years.

PORTER- vig., indeterminate, productive, 1" x 2" deep globe shaped red tomatoes make a thick fruity juice and can be used as a paste type, thin skin, developed by the Porter Seed Co., Stephenville, Texas who described it as "pullet egg size"

PORTUGUES GRANDE- collected from a small seed store in Portugal in the 1970's, the plants are stocky with heavy foliage, large tomatoes are tasty.

POTENTATE- popular tomato from New Zealand and Austailia, via England. Probably used as a greenhouse kind. Red, round 2" tomatoes on ind. vines. There was a major problem with nematodes especially in NZ and if these were planted in soil, it was customary to graft the seedlings to a rootstock that had some resistance such as POTENTATE, a good staking variety onto RUSSIAN RED or HIRES ROOTSTOCK, good root varieties. There are small plastic clips that are used at the seedling cotyledon stage to keep the little seedling stems aligned and in contact.

PRECOCIABEC- Early determinate, red, small fruit, bred by R. Doucet

PRESTO- Dwarf HR plant (heavy self suppporting stem, rugose foliage) wih 2" slightly oval red tomatoes

PRINCIPE BORGHESE- indeterminate tall vines, good caged, productive, slight oval 1 1/4" x 1", meaty, good flavor, preserve by hanging vines downand allowing fruit to dry (I am told), good sauce. Once leathery, preserve by storing in olive oil. These were introduced into the SSE.

PRITCHARD- AAS 1933, compact but rugged plant also known as "SCARLET TOPPER" is determinat, tops out with a flush of 3" thick walled fruit.

PRUDENCE PURPLE- good quality large pink beefsteak, potato leaf. Similar to BRANDYWINE.


QUEBEC 1121-aka CARRE, early determinant, produces an abundance of bright red 1 1/2 x 2 1/2 " fruit with deep red interiors, larger than Veeroma, a great performer under cold, wet conditions. Bred by R. Doucet at St. Hyacinthe Research Station, Quebec, released in 1978. Tomato PI 263726 from Puerto Rico, a tomato brought back by Charlie Rick UC/Davis contributed germplasm to 'Quebec 1121, as well as 'Canabec' (1967), 'Yorkbec' (1974), 'Usabec' (1974), 'Superbec' (1976), 'Ultrabec' (1976), 'Canabec Rose' (1976), 'Canabec Super' (1975), and Rosabec' (1975).

QUEBEC 13- from same breeding as QUEBEC 5, selected for larger fruit by J.O. Vandal at St. Hyacinthe in the 1960's, ind. vines for saking, bright red frut, needs fertile soil for productivity. Sold by W.H. Perron Seed Co., Quebec in the early 1980's.

QUEBEC 200- extra firm red- crimson paste or juicing tomate, bred by R. Doucet in 1987. R. Doucet made hundreds of crosses and selections to produce good commercial cold tolerant field tomatoes. Raymond Traitt, an apartment dweller and retired postal clerk from Montreal made daily trips to the countryside to save the seed of many of the unnamed crosses from R. Doucet's breeding work when the breeding program ended and worked to get the material in the hands of other tomato collectors.

QUEBEC 309- Red determinate, bred by J.O. Vandal of Quebec City, Quebec.

QUEBEC 473 (FORME DE COEUR)- determinate heart-shaped red

QUINTE aka "EASY PEEL" as marketed by Park Seed Co, in the 1970's., Smithfield Exp. Farm, Canada, 1976, high crimson interior gene, skin peels off without hot water, firm, deep globe 2 1/2" red fruit. Determinate, healthy, heavy vines wih many fruit.


RAHARTS JUMBO RED- a SSE variety, heavy bearing ind. plant, slightly flatened large, smooth red fruit, foliage has a slight bronze color similar to the original strain of ABRAHAM LINCOLN marketed by Shumway in the 1960's.

RAISOTTE- pink indeterminate, potato leaf, european

RAMAPO- easily stabilized from the F1 hybrid developed at Rutgers AES, large plants for short stake or field produce well through the season, large red fruit, disease resistant.

RED BEEFSTEAK- a "century" tomato, probably similar or same as PONDEROSA RED. possibly CRIMSON CUSHION, large solid multilocular fruit with thick flesh, ribbed, irregular and often rough fruit, sweet, low acidity. Marketed (and named by) Peter Henderson Seeds Co., vigorous vines, bears sparingly. There are probably dozens and dozens of beefsteak variants from numerous selections which have recognizably different traits. SUPER BEEFSTEAK incorporates multiple disease resistance.

RED CLOUD- NE/AES 1944, medium sized slightly pointed fruits in clusters, red, slightly acidic, good canner, developed for drought tolerance for Great Plains. Early determinat growth. Porter Seed Co., in Texas maintained this variety for many years.

RED PEAR- clusters of tear drop shaped fruit over an inch long, I have seen both determinate and indeterminate vine types, Little pear tomatoes were used as preserves in the mid 1800's. MEXICAN RED PEAR is a selection of a very small fruited kind.

RED ROBIN, 55 d., a red version on Yellow Canary, dwarf, 6-8" plants, HR foliage, 1" red fruit

RED ROCK- sold by Herbst Seed Co in 1970's, the poster-boy for everything wrong in modern tomatoes, bred to withstand shipping (said to withstand a fall from a 5 story building without damage). Strangely enough, one on my best-ever selling varieties.

RED CUP-vivid red 3" blocky stuffing or "bell" hollow tomato, ind. vines, similar to RED STUFFER


RED CURRANT-SHATTERS- renamed ALBERTO'S CURRANT, from Alberto Vasquez who was an early member of SSE and was the first to introduce this very old tomato into the exchange. Low growing, much branching bush sprawls and produces the smallest tomatoes known, the size of petit pois peas from early in the season. This is the true L. pimpinfolium. Drops it's orange red fruit as they begin to ripen. The fruit is hard, crunchy and adds texture in salads, not much flavor though. New techniques of growing this tomato makes it much less labor intensive to harvest fruit than non shattering tpes. RED CURRANT- HOLDS FRUIT- also introduced by Alberto Vasquez into the SSE. Identical to ALBERTO"S CURRANT except that it doesn't drop the fruit as easily. Most people like this one and prefer to hand harvest the fruit.

RED PEACH- light pinkish red, dull fruit because of fine peach-like fuzz, soft and very tender, juicy, 1 1/2", indeterminate open, branching vines, gray green foliage which also have the fine fuzzy "bloom", a "century" tomato from Vaughans Seeds and W.H. Maule Seedsman.

REINE DE STE. MARTHE- nice looking red indeterminate

RODADE VF- 3" red, very hard, bland to tart, resists high temperatures and sunscald, dev. in South Africa

ROMA VF- compact vines, midseason plum tomato developed by USDA for high solids and sweetness (4.7-5.2 brix), one of the most grown garden variety plum tomatoes since they yield well under a variety of conditions and can be used for canning whole or cooked into sauce or chunked into salads. More extended harvest than CHICO.

ROSABEC- pink determinate, no green shoulder, named in 1975

ROYAL CHICO- sold by Twilley Seed in 1982, developed by Petoseed, big 3" x 2" red pear shape, thick wall paste type, tapered to stem, few seeds, more compact than ROMA. More uniform than CHICO III, improved set at high temperatures and greater yields although all the CHICO types look very similar.

RUBY GOLD- large, vig, normal lvs, very large golden beefsteak like fruit with a patch of red on the blossom end. Interior is a very fine quality solid deep orange or yellow with various degrees of deep crimson streaking or marbled flesh, ribbed shoulders, prone to cracks. From the Quisenberry collection.

RUSSIAN RED- HR Plant Characteristic like GOLDEN DWARF CHAMPION, 2 " fruit, upright, self supporting plant to 20", said to be frost resistant, seed was popular in the 1970's- New Zealand.

RUTGERS- Campbell's Soup bred this in 1928 using Marglobe as a parent, slightly flattened globes are red and medium sized for the all-purpose tomato, refined by NJ/AES in the 1940's and used extensively in New Jersey and Pennsylvania from late 1950's. Large plant with thick stems and nice foliage. I used to get up at 6 am on Saturday mornngs to watch a television program on gardening from Philadelphia. Since we lived east of NY City on Long Island, the picture was very "snowy". Yet at 10 year old, I managed to write down the shows address and as promised, they sent me a free packet of Burpee's Rutgers Tomato.

RUTGERS SUPREME- a selction of Rutgers sold by Park Seed Co., these were the "seeds in space" that were donated by Park to NASA, left orbiting Earth for many years and then retrieved and distributed to hundreds of classrooms around the U.S. in the 1990's to get kids interested in the effects of deep space on tomato seed. I can't tell you how many drawings I've seen of "monster space tomatoes" when kids are asked what the seeds from space will produce.


SAN FRANCISCO FOG- small 2" red fruit with thick skin and two locuoles, thick flesh, and a mild flavor on a semi determinate vine best caged.

SAN MARZANO- an Italian variety sold by Herbst Seeds and Porters in 1970's and many others, elongated Italian canning tomato, whole fruit, paste and puree because of high solids, flat sides, blunt end, 3 x 1 1/2", the true Italian type has ind. vines, provides good fruit cover and is a continuous bearer of clusters of high quality fruit. Dry flesh makes it a candidate for drying (in halves), and for the barbecue.

SAN MARZANO PINK- Looks a bit like a small SAN MARZANO in clusters but with rose pink fruit, juicy, nice flavor, small rambling plant needs staking, from the USDA tomato collection.

SANTIAM- from the OSU tomato breeding program, small compact plants with variable sized medium fruit which are seedless in the early part of the year when there are few insects, surprisingly nice flavor and size for a very early tomato. Developed for the Pacific Northwest.

SCOURSBY DWARF- odd plant branches in three from a young age, low and spreding plant, flattened orange-red fruit looking a bit like an anemic Marmande, seedy, somewhat bland and unassuming, from New Zealand (Webling and Stewart) in 1970's.

SCOTIA- dev. in Nova Scotia at Kentville, dwarf plant, sets well in cool temperature, firm red 2 1/2 " fruit, slt. green shoulders

SEPTEMBER DAWN-short stake type, developed to be planted late as a large fruited, 3" red fall fresh marketing variety, nice full flavor, marketed by Harris Seeds in 1980.

SHYENNE- compact determinate plant, ground culture, tolerates heat well, 2-3" attractive red globe, four locules, first fruit is parthenocarpic, developed at Fargo, ND/AES 1960.

SUPER SIOUX- compact, open vines set well at high temperatures, Thick walls, red globes, nice acidic flavor, Sioux was developed at Nebraska/AES, similar to GLAMOUR. The gene Ve, for resistance to Verticillium wilt, that made Sioux "Super" was also incorporated into many varieties of popular tomatoes (such as ACE, VALIANT, RUTGERS, RED CHIEF and BOUNTY at the Canadian Agricultural Research Station at Summerland BC prior to 1962, using the tomato LORAN BLOOD as the initial source of resistance.

SUNDROP- ind. vines, small, 1 1/2" deep orange globe, little cracking, firm, thick walls, larger cherry size.

SUNRAY (GOLDEN SUNRAY)- a 1950's release of USDA in Beltsville, MD which is disease resistant otherwise very similar to JUBILEE, perhaps richer flavor at one time. Today's JUBILEE could be identical to SUNRAY. Heavy foliage, sturdy vines, very solid 3" golden fruit, beauiful large globe, sweet and mild, Agway selection was very nice.


STAKELESS- Same kind of HR plant characteristic as DWARF PINK CHAMPION, larger and higher quality fruit that RUSSIAN RED, blight tolerant like other HR types. developed by E.P. Brasher of Delaware/AES.

STARFIRE- determinate, early, medium large round fruit with meaty beefsteak interiors, sometimes sold as BUSH BEEFSTEAK, which is similar but not the same at garden centers in the 1980's. Developed in Manitoba, Canada for early season, sandy plains soils. Sometimes considred an improved Fireball, the plant is usually stronger with better leaf cover, the fruit is medium sized, solid, meaty and deep red.

STONE- slightly oval scarlet tomato, 3", solid , good keeper, a "century" tomatoe from the late 1800's, sold by Burgess Seed Co. in 1980's. Historically interesting, Stone is an old tomato appearing in commerce over 100 years ago. Is today's variety, Gregory's "New Stone", or "Livingston's Favorite" or a tomato that competitors sold as "ACME"? It was a very sought after tomato a long time ago.

SOLDACKI- resembles POLISH POTATO LEAF, large pink slightly flattened fruit are similar to BRANDYWINE but average smaller size and are produced 10 days earlier, potato leaf variety, excellent flavor

SUB_ARCTIC-Dr. Harris and J. Wallace of the Beaverlodge Research Station (Alberta, Canada) released Sub-Arctic Early, Sub-Arctic Midi, Sub-Arctic Plenty. Then in 1976 he released Sub-Arctic Maxi and Sub-Arctic Cherry. All small fruited short season cultivars that tend to produce their fruit in the center of the plant as a "birdnest". Johnny's was the first to produce commercial quantities of these varieties. SA-EARLY was the earliest producing several trusses of 1.4" fruit ripening all at once. SA- MIDI is a larger and more refined looking SA-EARLY. Sub Arctic Maxi- short main stem, then lateral branches produce trusses of 1-2" fruit, planted 12" apart, very compact growth, goal is to produce a very early crop before the early blight fungus kills the plant. SA- PLENTY is a bit smaller than MAXI, less tasty but much more productive ripening over 2-3 weeks.

STOKESALASKA- bushy plants, determinate, productive, can bear up to 50 1-2 oz. fruits, early, tough skins, easy to peel for sauce. Stokes produced seed crops and sold many varieties produced by the Canadian Experimental Stations in the 1980's, this may be one of them.

SUMMERTIME- Dev by A.L. Harrison, at Texas/AES for southwest U.S., compact determinate plants with some foliage protection from sun, disease resistant. Med size red round, crack resistant fruit.

SUNSET- U of NH/AES, open, spreading vines, concentrated set of meaty, red, round 2-3" tomatoes of good flavor, later than Paul Bunyan but some similarity.

SWEET 100- one of the first commercial high sugar tomatoes, said to be a hybrid but second generation and third generations were similar to original seed, tall indeterminate vines, prolific bearer of sweet 1" red round fruit.

SUTTON- white, flattened 2" somewhat ridged fruit, early concentrated set, no disease tolerance

SWEETIE- prolific, more fruit than leaves, branching cluster of small 1/2" tomatoes up to 20 very sweet fruit, 12-14% sugar, marketed by NK Seed Co in 1980's, compare to SUGAR LUMP and SWEET 100.

SWIFT- Swift Current Agriculture Sta., Saskatchewan, Canada, 1965


TAMIAMI- improved Walter type, good short stake tomato, good cover, disease resistant vines, produce large fruits 3". easily parts from stem, orange red with green shoulders, completely ripens off vine to red, perfumey flavor, some radial cracking around stem, developed for the South U.S.

TANANA- U of Alaska/AES, Palmer, bred for short seasons, sets 2" orange-red fruit very early, meaty, juicy interiors, slight tip at blossom end pronounced at green stage, flavor has always been variable from poor to good perhaps because of diseases that tend to bring this variety down in it's prime.

TAXI-3" bright yellow fruit, round to slt. flattened, smooth, pleasant, leave attractive sepals on to market fruit, a Johnny's variety, large droopng leaves on determinate plant, early fruiting. Compare to GOLDEN DELIGHT.

TENNESSEE GOLD- sweet, fruity, small cherry, ind. vines

TIGERELLA- aka MR. STRIPEY, early staking kind, novel red and orange striped fruit or maybe more correct to say orange stripes on red, round fruit, up to 3" but often smaller, rich and tangy flavor.

TINY TIM- classic rugose foliage small ( 1") fruited tomato on HR plants, taller 12" plants. Developed as a novelty for pots and patio planters. The first commercial dwarf HR type.

TOMATE RUSSE-big 4" ridged beefsteak type, productive, fleshy, juicy and nice.

TRAVELER 76 also known as LE VOYAGEUR- smooth pink flattened globes, 2 1/2-3", of good quality, developed at the U of Arkansas and used by the greenhouse tomato industry in Quebec for many years


TROPIC- dev. at Florida State/AES, large, 3-4" oblate fruit, smooth firm, red, disease resistant vines, market pole type for greenhouse growing of field, good foliage cover, a good heat resistant one for the tropics.


USABEC- R. Doucet variety, determinate, med. red, Canada.


VALIANT- early open, spreading vines, mild flavor, firm 2 1/2" red fruit, suitable for hot and dry conditions, resists blossom end rot, may also be known as REDBIRD, offfered by Mellingers and Burgess in 1980.

VANCOUVER ISLAND- considered a MONEYMAKER variation, productive ind. vines, red round clusters of 2 1/2" fruit with a distinct point when immature, juicy with few to many seeds, the more seeds and juice the tangier the fruit- so there is some variation, nice salad kind, from Island Seed Company, Victoria, B.C., early 1980's.

VANDOR- indeterminate red, medium large size, bred by R. Doucet, Quebec Breeding Program.

VEEROMA- sold by W.H.Perron seed in Laval, Quebec, developed as an early Roma for northern latitudes, similar to ROMA, more tolerance to cold and wet conditions. The Vee series of tomatoes (including VEEBRIGHT and BASKETVEE) come from Ontario /AES, Vineland, Ontario and also at Simcoe, Ontario where Ernie Kerr did his public breeding work.

VENDOR- was developed as part of a program to develop quality greenhouse tomatoes at the Ontario/AES/ Simcoe, 1950's, sturdy staking type, clusters of red, globe shaped 3" fruit are closely spaced along vine. VENDOR VF, Henry Munger/Cornell AES bred disease resistance into this Canadian tomato about 30 years later so that it could tolerate soil culture outdoors.

VICTOR- AAS Winner of 1941 (probably because it was named well for WWll Victory Gardens), acidic 2-3" tomatoes produced on compact self-topping plant


WASHINGTON CHERRY- red cherry, determinate, marketed by Johnny's in 1989

WAYAHEAD-also known as JUNG'S IMPROVED WAYAHEAD, which makes one wonder why they were growing an inferior tomato all those years. This WAYAHEAD is an early producer of 2-3" bright red fruit, round and smooth on a compact determinate plant.

WEST VIRGINIA '63- bright red globes, 3". productive vives with good leaf cover

WHITE BEAUTY- comact semi det., flattened creamy yellow at shoulders grading to white at blossom end, fruit has some ribbing, solid, flattened, 2 1/2", mild taste.

WHITE PRINCESS- 2-3", round to slightly flatteded, white when in the hard, slightly underripe stages

WHIPPERSNAPPER-compact determinate plant with many side branches terminating in clusters of inch long grape-like pink tomatoes, produce in a concentrated set, marketed by Johnny's about 1981.

WILLAMETTTE CHERRY- small early determinate plant or short stake, nice pink tomatoes which were produced in quantity. Odd, since the packet had a picture of bright red cherry tomatoes. Hmm, which was wrong, the picture or the contents?

WINDOWBOX DWARF or LONG ISLAND WINDOWBOX- 12" mound, center stem terminates at 6th node, very closely spaced nodes, the entire plant 12" high, then branches out to 12" or so. Normal long leaves on a very abnormal plant. Not Windowbox developed at NH since this has 2" bright red round and not oval or plum like fruit. Appeared as an oddity in a row of otherwise normal tomatoes. Perhaps mixed in or a true "sport" or mutation. Did not need selection to breed true.

WISCONSIN 55- University of Wisconsin, large open vine, deep red 2 1/2" fruit, green shoulders, sparse foliage, resists blossom end rot.


YELLOW CANDLE-dwarf HR, 10" ht., spreading 14", clusters of 1 1/2"-2" long oval shape to elongate plum, golden color, liseed selected from Goldie F2 generation.

YELLOW CUP- also known as YELLOW STUFFER, vigorous ind., mature fruit is a bright golden yellow, bell pepper shaped, usually 2-4 lobes, hollow stuffing variety

YELLOW CURRANT- base branching, spreading plant, produces great quantities of 1/2" golden fruit. This most likely a cross with L. pimpinfolium.

YELLOW PEACH-small fuzzy tomato, clear pink, ind. vines, heirloom. YELLOW PEAR- tear drop shaped (distinct neck) tomato just over an inch in clusters, variation of the RED PEAR, both indeterminate and determinate strains of yellow pear has been available, productive, known from mid 1800's, used in preserves. MEXICAN YELLOW PEAR is an unusually small variation of Yellow Pear.

YELLOW PLUM- 1" oval in clusters, prolific.

YELLOW RUFFLED- also YELLOW ACCORDON- bright waxy yellow, large oddly ridged (as many lobes of a bell pepper), large core, empty interiors, might be a candidate for stuffing, bland.


ZAK'S- Blocky creamy yellow, 2" angular shaped, slt. hollow interior, Zak discovered this mutation in a row of red tomatoes when he was very young and pointed it out to me.

OSU Tomato Trial 2005

We grew three tomatoes this year from James Baggett, vegetable crops breeder at Oregon State University until his recent retirement. They represent the culmination of over 20 years of breeding work by Jim and his staff. We're evaluating the tomatoes for NOFA- NY along with a number of organic farmers. Jim sent us two breeding lines back in 1982 one was Oregon 11 which is probably no longer available but certainly was a harbinger of what would come from his program. The other was Gold Nugget which is still one of my favorite early cherry tomatoes. Just about all of the tomatoes from his breeding program are parthenocarpic. This allows the tomato to produce fruit without pollination so for the cold and damp coastal region of the Pacific Northwest as well as in other areas, fruit is produced extra early regardless of the right conditions for pollination and fruit set. The result are tomatoes that, under adverse conditions, will be seedless.

The following photos show the OSU determinate tomatoes being trialed this summer at Flanders Bay Farm. Later, we'll fill you in with our findings.

Star- from the breeding program at Oregon State University Star is an excellent plum type. The fruit is very large and fleshy. It is similar to many of the heirloom plum tomatoes that we grow in size and yes, even in flavor. With a compact plant habit that doesn't need staking, Star really was one in our 2005 trials.

Star- from the breeding program at Oregon State University
Star is an excellent plum type. The fruit is very large and fleshy. It is similar to many of the heirloom plum tomatoes that we grow in size and yes, even in flavor. With a compact plant habit that doesn't need staking, Star really was one in our 2005 trials.

Determinate Tomatoes

Determinate tomatoes can be very compact, spreading, bushy or quite sprawling. The stems terminate in a cluster of flowers as opposed to those tomatoes which are indeterminate and produce a cluster of flowers and a stem bud which continues to grow as the flowers become fruit. Indeterminate, are; in a sense, immortal. They will keep on growing until frost or disease stops them and usually can use some support as their vines increase in length. determinate tomatoes "top out". As clusters of tomatoes form, vines are terminated and the plant develops a more controlled growth which may benefit by staking in order to keep the fruit off the ground but not to contain the vines. Usually, you would not want to prune determinate tomatoes.

Legend- from the breeding program at Oregon State University, a fine determinate tomato.

Legend- from the breeding program at Oregon State University, a fine determinate tomato.

Usually, I think of determinate tomatoes as field tomatoes, row after row of them either as floppy, somewhat compact bushes or in neat rows with lines of tomato string providing support on both sides of the bush. As more breeding work continues and determinate - indeterminate hybrids result, sometimes it's difficult to tell the difference between growth forms these days. determinates can be quite branching and can produce as much foliage as an indeterminate.

Most of the heirloom tomatoes and the later maturing varieties are indeterminate. The classic indeterminate is the old "Trip-L-Crop" amazing climbing tomato which of course, doesn't climb. It's the one the Burgess people used to show being harvested on a man on the ladder. Trip-L- Crop was also known as Italian Tree or Italian Potato Leaf tomato.

Determinate tomatoes tend to be compact and early. They are useful for gardeners in colder climates where a lack of summer heat and the short season makes it difficult to grow most indeterminate. The classic determinates were the old Sub-Arctic tomatoes which produced small tomatoes in clusters at the center of the plant. It was a concentrated set so they all matured at the same time, then the plant died. Sometimes the plant died before the tomatoes matured. These compact determinates tend to be very prone to fungus wilt diseases which can thrive in cold, damp soils where these types are often grown.

Not all determinate tomatoes are grown simply for an early crop. The ability of these small vines to produce a concentrated set has proved invaluable. One can harvest the entire field of tomatoes in one or two passes. This ability certainly paid off for the large scale tomato grower who can harvest the low bushes with harvester machines designed to do this. The processing industry depends on determinate tomatoes bred especially for their needs.

The Brandywine Tomato

I like telling the story of how the Long Island Seed Company became the biggest seller of "Brandywine" tomato seed in the years between 1984 and 1987. So here it is again, thanks for asking.   In the late 1970's I sold seeds at the local flower show out of the jars and developed quite a following.  This was the Town of Islip show held at Hidden Pond Park.  "How many teaspoons of pole beans do you want", I would ask.  It was fun to talk to gardeners from all over Long Island who were surprised that I raised most of my own seed here on Long Island.  I mixed up seeds of the few Tomato cultivars I was saving and sold them in a small kraft envelope for a quarter.  People liked the tomato blend a lot.

1983 Kodachrome of Brandywine (scan)   

1983 Kodachrome of Brandywine (scan)   

I don't think that I ever realized that there was as much diversity in vegetables until my Latino and Italian customers started to send me seed that they raised in their gardens. About this time, Kent Whealy had started the Seed Savers Exchange and I became an early member. Suddenly it was clear to me that there were many seed collectors across the country doing the same thing that I was. I was introduced to the concept of "heirloom" seeds, those passed down from generation to generation. Handcrafted and treasured, those seeds would provide the basis for my passion for genetic diversity in the home garden.

I looked for interesting new varieties especially of tomatoes and began to trade with other collectors. Ben Quisenberry had a small but amazing collection of tomato varieties. When I began to trade with him, he was probably in his late 80's and the work of maintaining his "Big Tomato Garden" was becoming too much for him. He had sold tomato seed through a small advertisement in the classified section of "Organic Gardening and Farming".   The ad never brought much business but that didn't really seem to be his objective; now, he was happy to pass on the varieties to other collectors. 

Brandywine Tomato in the above glysine envelope (see front and back) that Ben printed on a small hand press with his address and then in his own handwriting, wrote "gift" and a description of the varieties that he included. I called to thank him and ask, "How will I tell the varieties apart"? He responded, "You'll know Brandywine by the leaves, they're unusual".

The Seed Savers Exchange was already listing Brandywine Tomato (Ben Quisenberry was the original source of record) among it's members while I was still selecting the plants and fruit from Ben Quisenberry's seed for desirable characteristics.   Ben noted that the Brandywine seed came from woman named, Dorris who said it was in her family, the Sudduth family for many years.

After three years of selection, I offered the Brandywine Tomato in the 1984 Long Island Seed Catalog.  Like the rest of my tomatoes, a packet of seed was a quarter (no, I didn't make much money). I named my selection (a less cracking and more productive variation of the original), "Brandywine -Quisenberry Strain" after Ben. This was later changed by others to the Sudduth Strain to reflect the Quisenberry source (see seedsaver, Craig LeHoullier's website for a the history of this tomato:

Graciously, Kent Whealy always referred seed inquiries to the seed companies who were producing or retailing seed for sale to the public and I began to receive inquiries about Brandywine.  By that time Ben was no longer selling seed.

There are a number of wonderful, sought after heirlooms known as the Quisenberry Tomatoes because they were on the one page tomato list that was his catalog.  I was fortunate to have received several tomatoes from him as well as Brandywine including "Ruby Gold" and "Persimmon", both outstanding tomatoes in beauty and flavor.  I'm often asked about the mixture I received, a gift of "3 Large Pink".   The other two pink tomatoes were Big Ben and Mortgage Lifter, both normal leaved tomatoes.  Big Ben is sometimes called Stump of the World.   I can't help but wonder though, whether Brandywine which showed some diversity in its initial planting had crossed with other tomatoes in Ben's "Big Tomato Gardens", perhaps even the tomatoes contained in my gift packet.  At the time, most of us accepted the then current idea, that tomatoes were inbreeders.  Many aren't.  In fact, the older large fruited tomatoes produce flowers where the huge multilobed stigmas stick out beyond the flower's cone of anthers.  It's ready and available for pollination from others tomatoes and there are bumblebees ready to do the work.

It's not unusual to save seeds of normal leaved tomatoes grown near potato leaf tomatoes and find potato leaved plants appearing from seed of the normal leafed kind and potato leaved kinds can pick up genetic traits from other tomatoes too and remain potato leafed.   Tomatoes change, especially as they pass from one gardener to another, interact with different environmental conditions and are selected according to the preferences of the seed saver.  I see the Quisenberry tomato "Persimmon" for sale today and many times it doesn't have the persimmon color and persimmon shape of what I saw when I grew it in 1981.  Tomatoes cross.   There are now Red and Yellow Brandywines and potato leaved Ruby Golds.  The plant characteristics of my original seed is often not the same as what I grow today because I don't grow my tomatoes in isolation.  

It's my hunch that Ben selected his three big pink tomatoes as a gene pool perhaps somewhat removed from the other plants he grew.  He probably wanted his pinks to stay pink.  He might have selected from the chance hybrids that showed up in his patch.  Sometimes that heterosis or hybrid vigor is noteworthy.  My guess is that he was selecting for size and I bet, mostly for the flavor he preferred in all three of these tomatoes. I don't know much about the origin of Brandywine before Ben but certainly Brandywine developed some of it's character in the "Big Tomato Gardens" of Syracuse, Ohio.

Saving Tomato Seeds

Originally posted on August 2007

When I was a child, my mother saved seed in a shoebox so it was understood that if I wanted seed for my small garden, I should do the same. Usually she folded the seed into a paper napkin, sealed it with a rubber band and then identified by writing, "Yellow Marigold" or whatever, on the napkin with a ballpoint pen. For saving tomato seed, I learned to squeeze the seeds onto the napkin, spread the gooey mass out, then let it dry in the sun for a day or two and then roll it up and band it. The next year I could tear little strips of napkin into a sort of seed tape and plant it in a pot of soil to start my new tomato plants. It worked fine in the home garden.

Producing seed commercially requires clean, disease free seed.  To save seed that rivals any commercial producer, squeeze the seed and juices into a container.  I leave it to ferment for about two days. By then the liquid is frothy, pungent smelling and often there is mold growing on the surface. From here I dump the mess into a larger container and add water, slosh it around, let the seeds settle to the bottom and then carefully pour the rest out. I'll do this once or twice adding more water each time and at the end of the process the seeds will be clean, free of the sticky gel and tomato pulp. Depending on the amount of a variety of tomatoes you are processing you might use a pail (a bushel of tomatoes) or a small plastic cup (for a few tomatoes).

The clean seed is dumped onto a screen or sheets of newspaper will do and allowed to dry. Voila, classy, clean tomato seed. When I operated the Long Island Seed Company, I would add a teaspoon of Chlorox bleach to a quart of the last rinse water and let it set for 20 minutes. I probably shouldn't have bothered since the fermentation process does a nice job; I'm told, of destroying any seed borne pathogens that could cause disease.

Squeeze seeds and juice

Squeeze seeds and juice

Ferment in open jar for 2 days

Ferment in open jar for 2 days

Pour fermented seed in a bowl and wash

Pour fermented seed in a bowl and wash

Pour floatable pulp out, good seed sinks, wash again.

Pour floatable pulp out, good seed sinks, wash again.

Dump seeds out on newspaper or better yet...  

Dump seeds out on newspaper or better yet...  

onto a screen to air dry for a few days.

onto a screen to air dry for a few days.

Fermenting Tomato Pulp

When you are fermenting your tomato seed, juices and the pulp that gets in to the liquid you may think there must be another use for this pungent bubbly liquid that the seeds have to be washed out from. Actually, unless you visit homes in the tomato growing region of Holland, it probably wouldn't dawn on you that there's another use for the stuff. Some years ago I visited my niece and her husband in the "glass city" part of Holland. He is a hydroponics tomato grower as many folks in this region are. Johan and Andrea took me over to their neighbors who had a little stove-top distillation unit steaming away. Concentrated alcohol would drip out of one end into our little shot glasses. Ah, Genneiva, the Dutch version of vodka. "So what goes into the other end of the distiller as a source of the alcohol?", I asked my hosts. They laughed as they pulled the sofa out from the wall. There were carboy after carboy of fermenting squeezed tomatoes. They were making tomato wine! Only tomato wine is pretty awful and you have to drink so much to get drunk they explained. So what do you do when you have so many tomatoes...