How to tell if a green tomato is ripe and not just an unripe fruit?
Close your eyes and feel it; if it's soft, it's ripe. Ripe green tomatoes are sweet, luscious and a little tangy, just like a perfectly ripe red or pink or orange or black or purple tomato. :)
Don't be shy. Give it a try.
Aunt Ruby's German Green ($5.50) (B) (E) 75-78 days. You're going to love this beautiful Tennessee tomato. Big, sweet beefsteaks, bursting with a fragrant, complex, spicy-sweetness with a touch of tang. A gorgeous green-when-ripe color, this much sought after variety is a real treat to have in your garden, and is said to be the very best tasting green. Reaching an average of 1 lb, Aunt Ruby's German Green grows in clusters of 2 or 3.
With its intricate, earthy, unforgettable flavor, this one will broaden your tomato horizons. Very adaptable, and easy to grow with good disease resistance. From Ruby Arnold of Greeneville, Tennessee who passed away in 1997.
Green Giant ($5.50) (E)
60-70 days. Occasionally a tomato comes along which deserves very special attention.
We had the immense pleasure of tasting Green Giant at the 2007 TomatoFest in Carmel, California where it captured the hearts of tasters and garnered a great deal of attention. I have not been this impressed by a tomato for many, many years. On a flavor scale of 1 to 100, Green Giant is a resounding 100. Incredible. Unforgettable.
It arose originally in the garden of Reinhard Kraft of Germany in 2000 when he planted 30 seeds called 'Green Giant' from a friend in Canada. 29 of them grew out regular leafed except for one which had big potato leafed foliage. Reinhard cultivated that one, selecting the best fruit for several seasons, and continued to save seeds. Yay, Reinhard. My original seeds were from my buddy Cynthia Sandberg, owner of Love Apple Farm in
Ben Lomond, CA. Cynthia grew the magnificent Green Giant fruits we tasted at TomatoFest and graciously let me use her photograph here.
Photo: property of Cynthia Sandberg, owner of Love Apple Farm in
Ben Lomond, CA. who has graciously allowed me use her photograph here.
Green Zebra ($5.50) (E)
72 days. Visually enchanting, abundantly productive, this 2-inch round fruit ripens to a beautiful amber gold with dark green zebra-like stripes over the amber background. Inside, the flesh is beautiful, sparkling green. Another wonderful variety from Tom Wagner, it is gorgeous to behold, tangy and deeply sweet with lingering flavors, like fine wine. This exquisite tomato was chosen by chef extraordinaire, Alice Waters, for her restaurant, Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. In my top 5.
Lime Green Salad ($5.50) (VSM) (D) (E) 52 days. This tomato has become one of my passions. I grew only one Lime Green Salad plant the first season and wish I'd grown 10.
This petite plant, about 18 to 20" tall--great for small containers like 2 to 5 gallons, or in your main garden, produces early abundant harvests of luscious tangy-sweet 3 to 4 oz. round lime-green tomatoes which literally burst with intricate, sweet refreshing citrusy flavors when you bite into them. The flesh inside is a gorgeous chartreuse, juicy...the flavor lingers. Unforgettable.
NEW FOR 2014
Zebra Rita ($5.95) 80 days.
Another fabulous variety from Tom Wagner. Twice the size of Green Zebra and somewhat sweeter, this heirloom from about 20 years ago was named for Tom's friend Rita DeClercq of Belgium. Hearty plant produces fruits of green and gold striping, about 8 to 12 ounces. Abundant production, this perfect-for-sandwich size tomato is also fabulous in salads and for sauce. A deliciously distinctive tomato -- worth a sunny spot in your garden.
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