Well, this is one of the six varieties we’re growing this year. The sizes range from those of a large grape, to these pictured (plum-sized) to large slicing tomatoes.
Why heirloom? Mainly, because these breeds are all open-pollinated, meaning they will reproduce from seed every year so long as minimal care is used to gather and treat the seeds. More on this below.
Heirloom tomatoes come in a huge variety of sizes and colors. Many produce fruit that”s multi-colored. Some of ours are red/black, orange, deep purple and red/purple. Many are not smooth-skinned and can be all manner of skin textures. That’s part of the experience. You will learn to use the varieties in a number of ways since they call out for creative use.
Taste? In our opinion, any tomato grown and ripened on the vine is fantastic. Once you have had them, you will be hard pressed to buy any tomato (heirloom included) in the store again. Why? For details, just type into a search engine: “truck ripened tomatoes.” You’ll be a little shocked at how tomatoes become red (not ripened) through creative use of ethylene gas at points along their route. No scaremongering here, just the facts.
Tomatoes ripened on a plant that you can see or that a trusty neighbor can see, are about the best things summer has to offer.
To capture future generations of heirloom plants, simply collect a few whole fruits and wash them. Mash them into a small glass jar (no more than 1/3 full) and occasionally shake and rinse with fresh water. After 2 to 7 days, the seeds will collect at the bottom and the pulp on top can be discarded. Rinse and clean the seeds again, and dry them on a towel in open air. Once dried fully, save them for germination next spring.