Tomatoes-heirloom

Striped German Tomato

Growing Heirloom tomatoes is one of my favorite gardening pastimes. If you have never tasted a perfectly ripened old-fashioned tomato, you just don’t know what you’re missing! The tasteless tomatoes found in the grocery just don’t compare. The striped German pictured here was grown from my own saved seed and they were so huge that I had to fashion small slings as supports so they wouldn’t rip the vines with their weight. The striped German is not as acidic as most tomatoes, so it’s great on sandwiches, in tomato salads, salsa or juiced fresh. I cook and can a lot of tomato sauce each summer and the best sauce I have ever made came from a blend of several different Heirloom tomato varieties. Last summer I also made salsa and tomato juice with about 6 different types and the taste was spectacular! I will share recipes on the Country Living Recipes page soon…

This summer I have tripled the number of Heirloom tomato varieties in the garden and I plan to save seed from the best tasting and healthiest plants. I usually start saving my tomato seed early in August. After choosing the 2 healthiest plants in each of my tomato varieties I mark them with pink nylon marking tape so I don’t forget and when I identify which tomatoes on each plant are the best in appearance, I mark those as well. After they are completely ripened, almost to the point of being overripe, I harvest them for their seed. In another post next month I will go into more detail about tomato seed saving and some tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years.

Pruden's Purple Heirloom

One of my favorite tasting varieties is the Pruden’s Purple. It has a sweet, yet tangy flavor that’s perfect for big thick slices on a tomato sandwich. My kids love to spread a layer of low fat cream cheese on whole grain toast first followed by the tomato slice and a shake of Nature’s Seasoning salt. Oh, so good!!! Pruden’s Purple has very large vines and fruits which need extra strong supports. I found out the hard way after winds flattened my plants last summer! This year I have a newly designed tomato support structure which I will post photos of in the next day or so.

If you like to grow unusual types of tomatoes or Heirloom varieties and would like to share some of your tips we welcome your posts. ’til next time…

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