Heirlooms vs hybrids vs protected genetics

seedcorn

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Green tomatoes don’t sound good as in sweet and some juice. Never had a white worth giving garden space-tasted like vines smell. I like an in your face flavor. Mild flavors are a turn off for me.
 

Zeedman

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This could quite easily evolve into a tomato thread, which is not necessarily a bad thing at this point in the season - especially when we are discussing heirlooms vs. hybrids.
Remember, no black. I wonder if Seed' could be persuaded to go in the pink direction. My wife had interest only in red cherries, years ago. I finally realized that I should try to tone down the flavor and tried some pinks. I'd never eaten a pink tomato. Even though I'm not so tomato-persnickety, I'm glad tried them ... still can't think of one I've grown that is especially meaty.
+ 1 for Hungarian Heart. I could recommend two other large pinks. "Slankards" (ind., reg leaf) is a huge oxheart type; 1-2 pounds, the largest tomato I've grown. "Tiffen Mennonite" (ind., potato-leaf) is in the 10-14 oz. range, with a few larger. Meaty (though not as dry as a paste) and good flavor.

While I agree in principle with the description of most yellow/orange tomatoes as relatively tasteless, this one might break that rule. "Nicoviotis Orange" (reg. leaf, semi-determinate) gets nearly globular, bright orange tomatoes in the 6-10 oz. range, with a few larger. It is a beafsteak type, surprisingly meaty, with few seeds, and good flavor. I like the restrained vines, unblemished fruit, and high productivity. This is one of my favorites for tacos.

For reds, I tend not to like the traditional beefsteak varieties, instead preferring the firmer large paste varieties. "Czechoslovakian" (from SSE's collection) and "Cipolla's Pride" (indet., reg. leaf) are very large plum tomatoes, in the 8-9 oz. range. Both are recessed on the blossom end, and so similar that they could be the same tomato. They are nearly flawless, exceptionally firm, and don't break down into juice when chopped... two of my favorites for making thick canned salsa.

I should probably mention that I'm not a fan of most cherry tomatoes, the gush of jelly when you bite into one is a turn-off for me. I prefer the much meatier grape tomatoes. The hybrid version is ind., grows as tall as most cherry tomatoes, and bears heavily. There is an OP version, "Elfin", which has nearly identical fruit, but on more restrained det. or semi-det. vines. It has one more really good trait - it produces huge terminal clusters at the end of some branches of 50 or more blossoms, nearly all of which will set. The production can be phenomenal in spite of the smaller vines, and the tomatoes keep for weeks after harvest.
Green tomatoes don’t sound good as in sweet and some juice. Never had a white worth giving garden space-tasted like vines smell. I like an in your face flavor. Mild flavors are a turn off for me.
So... why no black? Or does that prohibition only apply to slicers? I don't grow any black slicers, but I do grow "black" (actually chocolate brown or brick red) varieties for paste or sauce. "Black Pepper" (indet., reg. leaf) is similar to "San Marzano Redorta" in size & shape, with a stronger (or at least different) flavor. "Snickers" (vert indet., reg leaf) has fig-shaped tomatoes tapering toward the stem, with larger ruffled megablooms common, 4-12 ounces. Ugly looking things (what people expect an heorloom to look like) but very strong flavored - and cook down quickly to sauce in the kettle. I like to use them in soups & stews, where they add a lot of flavor to the broth. "Snickers" is also one of the most rampant & productive tomatoes I've grown.
 
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seedcorn

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Why no blacks? 1). The varieties the local “purest” (another story) uses could not stand up to my situation-diseased out and blossomed rotted. 2). No one-including family-would even try the few I got. For once, I decided to not imitate Don Quixote.

I’m only interested in indeterminate tomatoes. Will have to see if I can find the Czech or Pride variety as well as the “Heart” varieties. They sound interesting. I’m with you on cherries.

I’d love to go to a festival where I could sample different types of tomatoes. I’m not married to any variety (been known to put out 12 different varieties looking for a winner) but now I’m about flavor and productivity as I’m supplying way too many people. I enjoy giving produce away to those that can’t but I get mine first... Now IF I could just keep wife out of garden....
 

flowerbug

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Why no blacks? 1). The varieties the local “purest” (another story) uses could not stand up to my situation-diseased out and blossomed rotted. 2). No one-including family-would even try the few I got. For once, I decided to not imitate Don Quixote.
i've only tried one dark tomato as far as eating goes and it was on the smaller side closer to a cherry tomato size than a regular sized tomato. unfortunately i can't get much traction here with trying new varieties of tomatoes. i tried at the seed swap to get Mom to go talk to the guy there who had thousands of tomato seeds to check out, but she wouldn't do that. so we'll again be limited to whatever the local greenhouse has left come time when we pick up the starts.

the rest of what you wrote there i agree with. i enjoy giving garden goodies away. i think more than we actually eat most of them other than the beans, onions, peas, cucumbers, garlic and strawberries. we are trying to figure out how to give away five cases of pickles i made last year that we are not eating and have that all settled. i'm not making too many pickles this year if we're not eating them. Mom decided that she doesn't want to eat fish sticks any more and that was where most of them were going. she doesn't use them in cooking and i don't eat them normally. not that i don't like them, i just don't think of them. very few dishes i put them in even if i remember. old habits...
 

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This could quite easily evolve into a tomato thread, which is not necessarily a bad think at this point in the season - especially when we are discussing heirlooms vs. hybrids.

+ 1 for Hungarian Heart. I could recommend two other large pinks. "Slankards" (ind., reg leaf) is a huge oxheart type; 1-2 pounds, the largest tomato I've grown. "Tiffen Mennonite" (ind., potato-leaf) is in the 10-14 oz. range, with a few larger. Meaty (though not as dry as a paste) and good flavor.
I have tiffen mennonite seeds that I got in a swap. Maybe I'll have to try them this spring!
 

MinnesotaGardening

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Green tomatoes don’t sound good as in sweet and some juice. Never had a white worth giving garden space-tasted like vines smell. I like an in your face flavor. Mild flavors are a turn off for me.
Neither the white or green that I mentioned are mild. But the white doesn't have the traditional tomato flavor, either. The green I mentioned tastes identical to a red to me. But everyone has different tastes!
 

Zeedman

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Why no blacks? 1). The varieties the local “purest” (another story) uses could not stand up to my situation-diseased out and blossomed rotted. 2). No one-including family-would even try the few I got. For once, I decided to not imitate Don Quixote.
I understand those reasons. My first experiences with purple or "black" tomatoes were not encouraging; too much cracking, poor storage ability, and a taste that takes getting used to. I tried a "blue" tomato this year out of curiosity, and would never grow it again, it was horrible. Susceptibility to disease, BER or cracking has caused me to not grow varieties which I would otherwise choose for their flavor. Most potato-leaf varieties seem to be susceptible to late wilt, but the flavor & yield are so great that I still grow at least one & hope for the best. Fortunately, there are so many different tomatoes out there that you can usually find one which suits your taste & conditions, if you look hard enough & do a few trials every year. If that turns out to be a hybrid, so be it, with my blessings.
I’d love to go to a festival where I could sample different types of tomatoes.
You might want to follow Craig LeHoullier's website, he is a tomato expert & has speaking engagements throughout the U.S. (including at SSE below):
Craig LeHoullier

If you would consider a drive to Decorah Iowa over the Labor Day weekend, SSE holds their annual tomato tasting that Saturday, with about 100 or so different heirloom tomatoes either grown on the farm, or brought in by others (usually some heirloom peppers as well). It might provide some possibilities for you to investigate further. There is no charge to attend, and there are usually additional seminars, quite often with tomato experts (I've seen Craig there once). There will be at least a couple hundred other gardeners there with whom to converse, a wealth of knowledge. You are also free to wander almost anywhere on the property, including many of the preservation gardens where they renew or test hundreds of varieties from their collection. They have miles of beautiful hiking trails on the property, too.

In their test gardens, there may be 50 or more varieties of a given vegetable in the same plot, under the same conditions. It was observations of those grow outs which led me to many of the varieties I currently grow, especially for beans, tomatoes, and peppers. Those observations were especially valuable in years where bad conditions were prevalent. When I see a variety that is vigorous & loaded in a year when most varieties are sickly, and has fruit with few flaws, that would be a good candidate for a trial - to see if it actually tastes good. Because regardless of how good it looks, a highly productive but tasteless tomato is just compost.
 
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