Tomatoes

Everybody loves tomatoes!  Here at Hole In the Woods Farm, we grow several varieties of heirloom tomatoes, suitable for slicing, salads, sandwiches, snacking, saucing, and more!  Here is the list of our 2013 tomato varieties:

Beefsteak

Icon of Slow Food USAAunt Ruby’s German Green

A large green to yellow-green beefsteak tomato, often weighing more than a pound each!  Sweet, tart, juicy, a little spicy.  Considered the best-flavored green tomato, rivaling even the best red tomatoes!  Good in salads, fried, or make a salsa verde that still tastes of tomato!

Black Prince

A new variety for us this year!  A Siberian heirloom black tomato, reputedly one of the best looking tomatoes available.  Should have a flavor similar to Black Krim, for those who like that smoky tomato flavor, but much less fragile, and less likely to crack.

Icon of Slow Food USAGerman Pink

A new variety for us this year!  A Bavarian heirloom, one of the original seeds that started Seed Savers Exchange.  Large 1-2 pound, sweet, meaty tomatoes with few seeds.

Halladay’s Mortgage Lifter

Large, pink heirloom tomato, grown by the same Kentucky family for at least 3 generations.  Extremely meaty, with an olde fashioned tomato flavor.

Icon of Slow Food USASudduth Strain Brandywine

Our most popular tomato (even though one of the latest ripening ones), and the standard by which other tomatoes are judged.  The Sudduth/Hill family protected this tomato for over 100 years, and it’s the one that started the heirloom “craze.”    Thin skinned and a bit fussy, they often come out blemished and cracked.  But their meaty, tart flavor reveals true inner beauty.

Cherry

Black Cherry

We discovered Black Cherry tomatoes by accident, when we had to purchase seedlings from a friend (organic tomato seedlings are awfully hard to find at a reasonable price in large quantities!) after a mishap involving mice in our seedling room.  But it is our favorite cherry!

Large for a cherry tomato – truly a 2-bite snack.  But be careful taking that first bite, ’cause you’ll dribble all over your shirt!  Dull purple-black color with green tinge, with a rich, almost smokey flavor.

Blondköpfchen

A new variety for us this year!  An heirloom from East Germany, small, gold-yellow fruit, reportedly sweet, with few cracks.

Green Doctors Frosted

Back after several years’ absence from our garden!  Low acid, very sweet green cherry tomatoes, with a bit of a dusty white frosting, tinged with gold.

Principe Borghese

This one we largely grow for ourselves.  First learned about it from Barbara Kingsolver’s book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. An Italian heirloom, known as the best variety for dried tomatoes and tomato powder.  We love making a bagel schmear with neufchatel cheese, a couple of dried Principe Borghese tomatoes, a few leaves of basil, and a serano chile, all taken for a spin in the food processor.  Mmmmmm, summer in cheese form!

Red Fig

We had to have a red cherry tomato!  This one is new for us this year, but comes highly recommended.  A Philadelphia heirloom over 200 years old, pear shaped.  Apparently dried and used as a substitute for figs by gardeners of the past.  We might have to try that, too!

White Cherry

A sweet, fruity, pale yellow heirloom cherry tomato.  Sweet and fruity flavored.  Makes a nice contrast, both visible and in flavor, to black cherry in mixes.

Paste/Sauce

Icon of Slow Food USAAmish Paste

The tomato for canning!  Great for sauces, it’s almost solid when you slice them fresh.  Thus, even though they’re moderately small, you get a lot more tomato or sauce for your work when canning: there’s simply less water to cook out!   Yet still delicious for fresh eating.  We have several customers who love them for salads.

An Amish heirloom with history in both Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, putting us right smack in the middle of where it developed.  Even so, in 2012, a June storm came through with strong winds exactly parallel to our tomato rows.  We lost all but 4 of the 75 Amish Paste seedlings we had planted, making for a winter with limited tomato options.  Here’s hoping this year will give a bumper crop!

Super Sauce

A new hybrid tomato first released in 2013 by Burpee.  We’re not very keen on growing hybrids, but then, few breeders try for good sauce tomatoes.  This one may yield big dividends in canning efficiency, as it promises to be very large and almost spherical.  This means less skin to remove for more pulp when making sauce.  Of course, we can’t save our seeds from hybrids, so the cost to grow it will also be higher.  Join us as we determine whether it lives up to its hype!

Slicer

Pineapple

An outstanding salad tomato, low acid, fruity and sweet.  Looks like a pineapple when cut in half, except for some red marbling.

Peach Blow Sutton

A new one for us this year!  An heirloom from Reading, England, with fuzzy pink skin resembling a peach.  Low acid and sweet flavor.

Icon of Slow Food USAChalk’s Early Jewel

An early, moderately small red heirloom from Norristown, Pennsylvania over 100 years old!  Balanced, acidic, spicy flavored, an earlier ripening variety.

Jetsetter

One of our few hybrid varieties.  Fairly early, large, red,, pretty-looking tomato, that nonetheless tastes good.  Great for sandwiches, burgers, and the like – usually the center few slices are conveniently about the same size as a hamburger bun.  Disease-resistant, and a reliable producer of the attractive, regular fruit the market often demands, that ensures we can at least get folks in the market booth close enough to hear the glories of the ugly heirlooms.

Icon of Slow Food USACherokee Purple

An heirloom from Tennessee, believed to have originated with the Cherokee Indians.  Dusty brown-purple skin with green shoulders, with dark red flesh.  Rich and juicy, tasting a bit of earth and wine, perhaps like a good Cabernet. Tends to crack a lot, but typically eaten fast enough that it doesn’t matter – shelf life is irrelevant when you eat ‘em today!