What Is An 

   Heirloom Tomato?


Heirloom tomatoes fall into one of four categories:


     The commercial heirloom tomato. Open pollinated tomato varieties more than 40 years old, introduced by seed companies before 1960. In the photograph, Cherokee Purple.


   The family heirloom tomato.  Favorite tomato varieties whose seeds have been  saved and passed down from generation to generation. In the photograph, Aunt Ruby's German Green.


 The created heirloom tomato.  A tomato that's been crossed deliberately using two heirlooms, or an heirloom and a hybrid, to have certain characteristics. After about 5 seasons, if it grows consistently true to what the grower has in mind, you have a 'new' heirloom.  In the photograph, Brown Derby.


   The mystery heirloom tomato.  A tomato which arises accidentally from natural cross-pollination or mutation in the garden. This is the way most heirloom varieties originated. In the photograph, Blood Gulch.


        Why don't tomatoes taste the way I remember?

Although a few hybrid varieties have been developed for great flavor; in general commercial tomato breeders have focused on hybridizing tomatoes to make them perfectly symmetrical and red, with a long shelf life, and durable enough to survive the rigors of automated harvesting and long-distance shipping, picked green, with no chance to ripen on the vine. Something had to go. Sadly, for tomato lovers, it was flavor.

         How can I get that old-fashioned tomato flavor?

Just plant some of these tantalizing heirloom tomato varieties in your home garden this year. They are easy to grow, and as hearty and disease resistant as commercial hybrids.  There is simply no comparison to the dry, grainy, flavorless things you find at the supermarket, where the boxes in which they ship taste better than the tomatoes. They have been compared to eating cardboard. This is an insult to cardboard.

       Are tomatoes really an aphrodisiac?


For more information about Laurel's Favorite garden products, click the link for the Growing Tips and Garden Products page. Growing Tips and Garden Products.


Homegrown heirloom tomatoes have the marvelous mouth-watering, warm-from-the-sun, old-time taste you remember, or may have never experienced...  a juicy, delicious, sweet & tangy, smooth & succulent, rich, elaborate old-fashioned tomato taste.

          " You need more tomatoes."  ~ Laurel

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 original materials, photos and copy contained herein are protected by copyright and are the sole property of Laurel's Heirloom Tomato Plants.

Painting "Two Heirloom Tomatoes" by Tom Hapgood, used with the kind permission of the artist.