Heritage Tomatoes

Heritage tomatoes are available in a huge range of sizes, shapes and colours and have fantastic flavor.

April 8, 2015 | | The Flower Farm

Heirloom Tomatoes with Buffalo Mozzarella This multicoloured salad looks beautiful arranged on a large platter. Photo by Pete Paterson.

Heirloom Tomatoes with Buffalo Mozzarella. This multicoloured salad looks beautiful arranged on a large platter. Photo by Pete Paterson.

Heritage or heirloom tomatoes are old style varieties that have been in production for at least 50 years. Over the years, advances have been made to plant breeding and production methods and these varieties are now rarely grown commercially. Heritage tomatoes are available in a huge range of sizes, shapes and colours and have fantastic flavor. However, they are not resistant to a wide range of diseases like most hybrid varieties are. They breed true to seed, meaning that seed can be kept and started the following year again. Most are indeterminate plants, which need to be staked, growing very large and producing fruit for several weeks on long vines.

This is a list of heritage tomatoes Cut and Dried Flower Farm will be offering in 2015

CHEROKEE PURPLE – Late. Large sized 12oz fruits. Productive plants that are good in dry conditions. Both the skin and interior of this flat, globe fruit are a unique dusty rose colour. Flavourful, with a sweet rich, low acid smoky flavour that rivals Brandywine. From Tenessee, pre 1890.
GREEN ZEBRA – Late. Medium sized, 2” or 4oz yellow and green fruits with dark green vertical stripes. Emerald green flesh is juicy, sweet and mild with a slight tangy taste. Very productive plants. Plants stay fairly small. Unusual!
ISIS CANDY – Mid to late season. Small sized 1” yellow – gold cherry tomato with red / pink marbling and a sweet fruity taste. Productive plants. Beautiful in salads.
MORTGAGE LIFTER – Early. Large, many over 1lb, meaty and vigorous red beefsteak type. Great flavour and good slicer with few seeds. Plants are highly productive and disease resistant.
ORANGE BANANA – Mid season. Large, 4” banana shaped orange paste variety. Sweet citrusy and fruity taste. Perfect fresh, dried, canned or as a paste for orange spaghetti sauce! Unique!
PEKING PANDA – Early. Small sized, sweet and juicy pear shaped yellow fruit. Very prolific. Low in acid and easy to grow.
RED BRANDYWINE – Late. Large, up to 1lb beefsteak type. Ideal for slicing or salads. Pinkish red fruit. One of the most famous heirlooms (1885, Amish) and the winner of many taste tests. Bright tangy flavour. Reliable performer.
RED PEAR – Late. Small sized, red, pear shaped fruit. A very old variety, known since the early 1800s. Flavourful and perfect for gourmet salads. Productive with long rambling 6’ vines.
SAN MARZANO – Mid season. Large, deep red Italian paste tomato. 3” long and 1.5” thick. Good crack resistance and great productivity. Excellent for sauces, canning or drying. Medium sized plant.
TIGERELLA – Early. Medium sized, 2 – 3” sweet tart red fruit with orange stripes is a good producer. A delight in any garden!

Writer Nancy Falconer interviewed me for her article on heirloom tomatoes in the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of Food In The Hills. Check it out, grow your own varieties and then try the yummy recipes below.

About the Author More by Katie Dawson

Katie Dawson and husband Chris Martin own the Cut and Dried Flower Farm, a family owned greenhouse business located close to Glencairn, Ontario.

Related Stories

The Heirloom Tomato Club

May 18, 2012 | Nancy Falconer | Farming

How a couple of avid tomato lovers are helping preserve the amazing variety of their favourite heritage fruit.

Related Recipes

Heirloom Tomatoes with Buffalo Mozzarella

May 16, 2012 | In The Hills | Recipes

There’s just no comparison in taste! If you’re a foodie, you must move towards heirloom tomatoes. You’ll get completely spoiled once you move to the heritage tomato camp.

Pappardelle with Marinated Heirloom Tomatoes

May 16, 2012 | In The Hills | Food
Roasted Heirloom Tomatoes

Roasted Heirloom Tomatoes

May 16, 2012 | In The Hills | Food

Use the small varieties of heirloom tomatoes for this. They collapse on the trays and the taste is deep, rich and oily after roasting for 2 to 3 hours.

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