This year (2021) was not the best tomato year for me in regards to my plants. At first, they were massive, perfect, free of blemishes or issues, and then we had many repeat rainstorms with abundant rain falls and winds strong enough to bend a metal patio umbrella pole in half on my deck. Most of the tomatoes ripened slower than usual and stayed green for a long time. But some did start to ripen enough for me to to have a few tomatoes and start taste testing. On my list are the following new types I grew this year from seed.
Goldie Heirloom Tomatoes
When my husband sliced one onto a plate last night before dinner, he shook his head with approval and said, “These are good.” I replied with “Yes, and I sure will grow these again next season, hopefully with better weather.”
Reasons I love these Goldies are: They are blemish free (except they seem to have a bit of a sunken stem center but a friend shared her fruit photo from the plant she got from me and has the same look, so this is normal), they are a wonderful large size (perfect for sandwiches) and I LOVE the bright yellow color. The intense yellow color looks amazing with other colors of red or purple hued tomatoes and dark green basil leaves on a plate. This is an heirloom to keep on my growing list for next year. The fruit is sweet, soft, and has a nice texture. I still have seed packets available and if interested in buying some packets, reach out – at least you will have them in your seed stock pile for next season, or you may purchase the starter plants from me next year. I am definitely growing these again.
The Goldie tomato plants are indeterminate and grow to about 6 feet high. The packets indicate they become “richly orange gold” but we had picked them on the golden yellow side. I noticed a green one I placed on my window sill just yesterday is starting to turn yellow already in one day.
CHEROKEE PURPLE TOMATO
The next amazing heirloom I grew from seed, which is a winner for taste and beauty in my book, is the Cherokee purple. It grows a purple-hued tomato with green shoulders. These started to ripen before the Goldies, and the seed packet indicates they are an early-producer. The fruit turns a blush deep purple and shoulders stayed green which is normal. They are super pretty when sliced and placed on the plate!
Again, I wish my plants performed better because we would have had a larger harvest, but at least, I am able to “taste test” these for next year’s growing. It is also an indeterminate plant like the Goldie, and grows to about 5 feet tall. You definitely need good supports on the plant for the wonder fruit. If I was a restaurant owner, these would have to be in my kitchen garden. They are gorgeous.
PAUL ROBESON TOMATO
The Paul Robeson Tomato, named after a famous African-American opera singer, linguist, athlete, and civil rights champion, looks very similar to the Cherokee Purple tomato. It has an orange-green color with purple streaks or patterns. It is a beefsteak size. It resists cracking (which seems to be the case with the Goldie and Cherokee Purple as well) and also is an a tall grower, reaching six feet high. I have one on my counter right now and will taste test it today. The seed packet indicates it has a intense sweet smoky flavor.
Because the season’s growing was impaired, I don’t feel I am getting the true taste of these, because if we had a sunnier warmer summer, I can only imagine how much more intense the flavor would be. I started to ask people who bought plants from me how their plants are doing. Some said amazing, some said, not so good due to weather. However, I also asked, should I grow them again next year? And they all resoundingly replied, “Heck Yah!” This made me happy because I grew a real lot of tomato starts this season and I don’t want folks to be discouraged.
If you love tomatoes home grown, you can’t help but try again and again every season to grow them. It is addicting and you need to be an optimist, or one that can sooth their disappoints with a glass of vino! LOL, JK. But sometimes I think, can I handle another year that wasn’t as expected? Can I do it again? Well, let me tell you, just one tomatoe answered that question to be yes. The flavors can not be beat on these homegrown heirloom tomatoes. Hands-down. Unless you are able to find a big grower locally, you will not find these types of home grown taste in a typical grocery store.
I only grew a few of the Oxhearts this season and sold them to friends as starter plants, and I didn’t keep one for me. I kind of regretted that in ways, but then again, I have only so much room on my deck. So, a couple who did grow the plants from me gave me one Oxheart last weekend when we met up for a kayaking day. I was so happy to take it home and saved it for a sandwich.
These Oxhearts are heavy, nearly seedless, soft to the touch, and really unique and amazing to eat. I mean they just taste so amazing, and for as long as I live, I will never regret growing and eating some of these. I have an Uncle up north in New Hampshire, and he has the most amazing vegetable gardens you have ever seen. I sent him a packet last year and said, grow these. He has been measuring his fruits from his Oxheart plant raving about the sizes. Wait till he tastes them!
NEXT YEARS VARIETIES
I know I will repeat the tomatoes noted above for next year. I will probably get tempted to order another new heirloom seed stock but for now, I have plenty to get my juices flowing in early spring of 2022. I will post again on the other tomatoes I started and grew and a few hot pepper plants soon. In the meantime, today, we witness rain again – all day, but you know what, it will water my new grass seed in a part of my yard, so that is good!
As I’m typing this – there goes the fire sirens in Broad Brook. This means something is happening. Lightening is flashing by my window and the thunder is booming. I better post this before I loose power at the house!
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