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TOPMOST HEIRLOOM TOMATOES

OUR PRICES

Tomato Plants $4.75

ABOUT HEIRLOOMS

Consult our 2017 Heirloom Tomato Plant List for this year’s plant offerings. The greenhouse will open for plant sales on Saturday May 7 and will be open Thursday, Friday and Saturdays from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm through July. We do not ship plants. To be assured that your favorite variety is available, you may reserve plants by email. Cost is $4.75 each. We never knowingly purchase GMO seeds, and whenever possible we purchase certified organic seed. Our plants are grown without chemicals or pesticides in McEnroe Organic Potting Mix.

The term “Heirloom” defines plants that have a history; those that were popular before the industrialization of agriculture. They are all well known for their superb flavor, rather than perfect appearance and the ability to withstand the long trip to the supermarket.

The colonists brought tomato seeds to the New World, and Thomas Jefferson grew them in 1781, but Americans did not embrace the tomato as food until the 1800s. Seed for the ever-popular Brandywine appeared in Burpee’s annual farm catalog in 1888, along with another yellow slicer called Golden Queen.

We owe much to patient and diligent home growers, who have saved and shared tomato seeds from season to season, and also to seed saving companies that promote open-pollinated varieties and refuse to sell genetically altered seeds (GMOs). In a time when species of animals and plants are being lost at an alarming rate, they are all helping to maintain genetic diversity and promise fruits with astounding flavor.

While you are holding history in your hand, you may also want to continue the tradition, assured that any seeds you save from your heirloom tomato plants will grow into a true copy of its parent. This does not happen with hybrids and genetically modified plants. The term “open pollinated” means that their pollination depends on natural factors, such as beneficial insects.

Tomatoes are classified as determinate or indeterminate - most tomatoes are indeterminate, which simply means the plant keeps on growing until frost kills it. By the end of August most new flowers should be removed, since they will never have enough time to mature into tomatoes, and the energy is better used by the plant to ripen the green tomatoes already on the vine. Determinate plants will grow to a particular height, produce its total crop of tomatoes and die. These smaller plants are usually best suited for container growing.

The very top of a tomato is referred to as its shoulder, and the term “catfacing on the shoulders” just means that the top of the tomato has not-so-pretty striations that are brown and dry. Certainly not harmful, and some heirloom varieties are prone to it.

There are differing opinions on the disease resistance of heirlooms. Some claim that they are often more susceptible to diseases, others say that generations of growing have produced plants highly adaptable and disease resistant. Crop failures can be attributed to many factors; under- or over-watering, excessive heat or cold, poor soil fertility, and my favorite – the whims of nature.

Planting and growing advice is available on our Tomato Tips. Tomato plants are often prone to many diseases, some of which prove fatal, while others may simply slow fruit production or occur at a time when fruit is already ripened. Best information is usually found at university websites. Excellent information and photos of the dreaded Late Blight (phytophthera infestans) which caused 2009 to be our summer without tomatoes, is available on the University of Maine website.
 
 

 
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Topmost Herb Farm, 244 North School Road, Coventry, CT, 06238
phone: 860.335.3139  email: carole@topmostherbfarm.com
 
   

 

 



Professor Connolly's
book, The Wisdom of Plant Heritage: Organic Seed Production and Saving" may be purchased online by visiting the NOFA website.

 

Topmost Farm Recipes
Salsa Fresca (pdf)
Basic Pesto (pdf)
Ratatouille (pdf)