Big Red Tomatoes

 

Red Mamba

 

IMPORTANT NOTE!: Please remember to water sparingly or moderately when your tomatoes start to ripen. Otherwise you'll have a waterlogged, mushy, cracked tomato! This goes for ALL of your heirlooms!

 

 

 

 

Anthony's Passionate Heart ($7.95)       

 

Chosen by my friend Gary Ibsen to honor Anthony Bourdain, here is our premier presentation for 2020.

 

In our garden it withstood heat waves in the high 90's when other plants gave up the ghost. No cracking, high production, dreamy texture, disease free. A proven winner.

 

In Gary's words: "Anthony's Passionate Heart produces beautiful big, red heart-shaped 1 lb. fruits with particularly bold fruity-sweet flavors and good acidity for a perfect balance."

 

"Anthony Bourdain was an American celebrity chef, author, and television personality who explored the cuisines, culture, joys and essentials of human existence around the world. He was an icon to me, and many others, who love food and cooking as a most enjoyable way of gathering people together to celebrate our humanity."

 

"Naming this tomato is our tribute to Anthony Bourdain’s life by honoring his legacy with a tomato heretofore unknown... 'Anthony's Passionate Heart' tomato. We found it suitable that 'the world’s most popular fruit', a tomato, would carry the message of Anthony's valued and storied life through future generations in a way that would enrich the lives of many."

 

 

 

 

 

Bear Claw ($8.95) 78 days     (BBB)

The Bear Claw tomatoes in the photographs weighed 2.14 lbs, 2.9 lbs and 3.5 lbs. Always a winner in Big Tomato contests with fabulous flavor to boot!

 

Bear Claw is a huge fruit with incredible flavor. The plants grow very big and very fast -- like being in a time warp.

Huge plants. Stems like tree trunks. Give it extra support!   

I plant Bear Claw in a huge 30 gallon pot by a palm tree. As it grows, we lash it to the tree trunk. Palm trees make excellent tomato stakes. J

 

The first tomatoes reach about one pound. After that, with proper care, they get bigger and bigger producing lots of deep crimson fruits with incredible flavor.

 

PROPER CARE:

1. Plant in deep rich soil.

2. Feed every 2 to 3 weeks without fail, using a granular organic fertilizer like our Happy Frog.

3. Water moderately but deeply.

4. Be sure all of the soil volume is damp but not soggy.

5. Spray every week with our Monterey Neem to control bugs and disease spores.

 

Photograph 1 by Dianna Theyssen of Ingalls, Indiana.  Used here with her kind permission.

 

 

 

 

 NEW FOR 2024!

Classic Beefsteak ($8.95) 78 days   

 

Here is the original old time classic tomato from which subsequent big tomatoes got the description "beefsteak".

 

Why 'Beefsteak?"  Cut a big, thick slab from the center of a big tomato, lay it out on a plate, look at it carefully... it's the shape of a juicy steak. And that' the origin of its name!

 

Beloved for more than 100 years, Classic Beefsteak plants are big, hearty and lush producing 4 to 5 inch brilliant, bright red tomatoes with sweet delicious flavors and great disease resistance.

 

These big beauties give you meaty, thick, fragrant slices for your tomato sandwiches and salads. 

 

Great for canning and sauce, too.

 

Photograph copyright: Tomatofest.com Gary Ibsen 1999-2024

 

 

 

 

 

                                     Sliced Brandywine OTV property of  www.heirloomtomatoplants.com  © 

Brandywine OTV ($7.95)  (B) (E)  72 days. 

A truly marvelous stand-out member of the great family of Brandywines, this one arose in Craig LeHoullier's garden years ago. Big 1 pound red fruits with orange shoulders and complex rich flavors.

An outstanding tomato for your garden; it also sets fruit very well during high temperatures and bears all season. A reliable producer, very disease resistant, and easy to grow; OTV stands for Off The Vine, which was a wonderful online tomato newsletter published by Carolyn Male and Craig LeHoullier. 

They describe this tomato as "the best strain of Brandywine set apart from others by its smooth, creamy, almost buttery texture, and harmonious sweet flavor." It originated from a natural cross-pollination of Yellow Brandywine and an unknown red parent, and was further developed and stabilized by Carolyn Male.

 

  

 

© Photograph property of Terroir Seeds and Underwood Gardens

Cuostraleé ($7.95) (Koh struh LAY) (BBB)        85 days.

 

Big, hearty, prolific plant, with HUGE red beautiful beefsteak tomatoes, up to 4 lbs. I have to use both hands to pick them. Gigantic fruits have a superb, classic tomato flavor. Very easy to grow, disease resistant and a reliable producer, in my top 10 favorites. 

 

Another hot weather favorite which will grow easily and wonderfully in all gardens.

 

Don't worry; nobody knows how to pronounce it but it's so good, you won't care.   :)

 

 

 

  NEW FOR 2024!

Druzba  (DROOZ Bah) ($8.95) 78 days.             

 

The Perfect Main-Crop Red Tomato

 

This is your perfect main-crop red, round tomato. A favorite for gift giving! Druzba is a Bulgarian word meaning friendship. It is the perfect gift for the gardener who has everything!

 

Very robust, highly intense tomato flavor in  smooth, perfectly round, deep-red, blemish-free 7 to 10 oz. fruit with outstanding disease resistance.

 

Bright sparkling color, huge flavor, rich meaty texture. Reliably easy to grow, every Druzba tomato is a magical treasure.

 

Druzba is a very special favorite of mine which I grow every season in my personal stash. Anyone who tries it goes berserk with tomato love.

 

Perfect texture, firm but not hard. Thin skin, extraordinary flavor and very high production.

 

 

 

 

Florida 91 ($7.95) (Hybrid) 72 days. (D) (E)

 

 

I have chosen Florida 91 as the perfect alternate plant for my customers in extreme high heat areas who want to have a plant that keeps producing in high summer heat. This specialty tomato, a very heat tolerant hybrid variety has the 'heat gene' and produces delicious, bright red, 10 ounce, rich, sweet full-flavored tomatoes in only 72 to 80 days. 

 

This is my favorite big red hybrid. Excellent flavor!

 

A small determinate plant, growing to about 3 feet, this variety sets fruit easily during high heat, when days are up to 97º or hotter and night temperatures are 73º to 82º. Very disease resistant.

 

Ideal for slicing onto sandwiches and salads, these sweet yummy tomatoes ripen to be firm, solid, and resistant to cracking.

 

 

 

 

 

 Goldman's Italian-American ($7.95

)
80 days.    

Heirloom Guru Extraordinaire, Amy Goldman, found this delightful full-figured, big-flavored tomato at a roadside stand in Cernobbio, Italy and named it for her father's Brooklyn, NY grocery store.

 

With very few seeds, Goldman's Italian-American is a terrific choice for cooking--makes a very silky sauce, creamy paste and adds some magic to soups and stews.

 

Pear shaped, blood red, juicy and meaty, growing to about 12 to 16 ounces with a beguiling ruffled shape, it is in high demand with chef's and home gardeners alike.

 

Photograph of Goldman's Italian-American is the property of Baker Creek Seeds and used here with their gracious permission. The second photo is mine.

 

 

 

 

A saucy classic with huge production!

Italian Heirloom ($7.95)       (P-S) 85 days.

 

The name says it all. Unbeatable for production and flavor, thin skinned and easy to grow. I love this guy.

 

A real classic from Italy and a top seller here. Producing loads of big, fat, juicy, delicious, 5 to 10 oz. brilliant red, meaty, elongated, slightly pear-shaped tomatoes with an abundance of rich, complex flavors you'd expect from the best Italian varieties.

 

This tomato is revered by the Italians for its BIG taste and high production. Whether for fresh eating or cooking, you will fall in love with Italian Heirloom.
 

 

 

 

A Laurel's Favorite!

Polish  ($7.95) 75 - 85 days.

 

Polish are big, sweet, rich, meaty and juicy with exquisite flavors. The flavor is simply breathtaking - a word I rarely use.

 

As many of you know, when I am selecting varieties for your garden, I have thousands of heirlooms to choose from. It can take months and sometimes years to grow out and test these tomatoes to be sure you are getting only the best.

 

My criteria are: Fabulous flavor, excellent texture, reliable production and gorgeousness. Polish is ALL OF THAT...and more!

 

This is our premier variety for 2022.  Huge, brick red to dark pink, heavy 1 to 3 lb. fruits growing in extraordinary clusters of 3 to 5 giant tomatoes, all with superb flavor.

 

There are many heirloom tomatoes with 'Polish' in their names. But I have chosen for you the classic Polish. Don't miss it. You will love me for it.

 

This beautiful, disease resistant, potato leafed plant gets big! Give it extra support -- when it's loaded with tomatoes it will be heavy and unruly.

 

 

 

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Red Mamba ($7.95) 80 days.

 

In a patch of Black Mamba plants, we were stunned to see several plants producing huge, gorgeous, deep red and pink 2 pound tomatoes!

 

Some were even heart-shaped.

 

"I remember saying, "What are you guys doing here?"

 

The flavor was heavenly! Classic old time rich yummy tomatoes with a fabulous mouth feel, flavors that explode in  your mouth!

 

Made the best dang tomato sandwich I ever had. I don't know if the tomatoes had crossed last season or if this was a spontaneous color mutation or what?

 

But we loved it so much we grew them out, saved seeds and here it is for you: Red Mamba!

 

 

 

 

 

  

Tati's Wedding ($7.95 ) 80 days.      

 

This big luscious beauty -- the most flavorful variety I've come across this season and my top pick for 2017, was discovered by my customer Dan Stein of New York as he drove through the Kazbek mountains in the Caucasus of Georgia, south of Russia. He was there on a special day, his friend Tatiana's wedding, when he stopped at a roadside produce stand and discovered this fabulous tomato.

 

The farmer had not name it, so Dan called it Kazbegi Red. After hearing this beautiful story, I couldn't resist naming it for Tatiana, whose nickname is Tati. 

These tomatoes are luscious, meaty and silky with big sweetness and just enough tang to make it the perfect all purpose tomato and one of the juiciest I've ever eaten.

 

So productive, you'll get dozens of delicious tomatoes in varying sizes and shapes on the same plant, from 5 oz. up to16 oz. or more.  This is one of the most delightful traits of the heirloom tomatoes.

 

The tomato in the photograph weighed 16 ounces and was grown this season by my customer and friend Barbara Kraus of Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. After our Tati's Wedding plants were demolished by rampaging raccoons, Barb came to my rescue and grew out some plants in her garden.

Without Barb we would not have any photographs or seeds or plants of this incredible for you!  Yay, Barb!

 

 

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