Tuesday, November 9, 2010

From Lemon Boys to Brandy Wines, Heirloom Tomatoes are FANTASTIC

They have such names as Lemon Boy, Brandywine, Arkansas Traveler. There are over 100 varieties and lately they have become all the rage. You might have noticed them walking through the garden section of your favorite do-it-yourself center. They’re called………. Heirloom Tomatoes.

A Delicious Heirloom
Heirloom tomatoes are nothing new, in fact before there were Hybrid Tomatoes there were Heirloom Tomatoes. The best way for me to describe Heirloom Tomatoes is that they are like the one’s Grandma used to grow. You know, the kind that were just bursting with flavor and were wonderful to eat sliced with some salt and pepper or my preference, a teaspoon full of sugar. Heirloom Tomatoes are simply tomatoes that have not been hybridized or genetically altered in any way; they are propagated with seeds from earlier crops.

Some of the drawbacks to heirlooms are that they do not produce as well as hybrids and they tend to be very particular about the climate they grow in. However, this does make them an excellent candidate for container gardening because if it’s too hot out side they can be moved to a cooler area, or vise-versa. Heirlooms also tend to have less fruit and more foliage but as a rule, more foliage means better tasting fruit. This is a great tradeoff.

You won’t typically find Heirloom Tomatoes in your local supermarket; this is because most growers prefer hybrid tomatoes because of higher yields, rapid growth, and resistance to disease. The drawback to hybrids is that flavor is sacrificed for rapid growth and yield. Just a note, Heirloom Tomatoes can be found at many Farmer’s Markets, and some organic supermarkets, however, the best way to get them is to grow them!

Until the next time, Happy Gardening!

Search Amazon.com for heirloom tomatoes

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