Where to get unique tomatoes?

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yuppicide
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Where to get unique tomatoes? - Mon, 07/22/13 11:41 AM
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Where to get unique tomatoes?

I live in the Garden State (New Jersey), but 99% of the time all I see are your standard redish/orangish tomatoes. Occasionally I see brown ones or green.

But what about Purple? What about zebra (green / white striped)? What about yellow?

I'd love to get my hands on some already grown and ready to eat.

I'm going to a Tomato Festival next month, where I will be able to sample over 60 kinds of tomatoes, but that's only for a few hours.

CCinNJ
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Mon, 07/22/13 12:36 PM
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Black cherry tomatoes are unique. They have deep rich tomato flavor without being very very sweet. Many of the tomatoes we see (especially grape & cherry) are sooo very sweet. These are wonderful and different.

Check Farmers' markets...




I found these at a local Farmers' market...in California.



They are most certainly Roadfood tomatoes.
<message edited by CCinNJ on Mon, 07/22/13 1:21 PM>

bartl
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Mon, 07/22/13 12:46 PM
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In Stop & Shop, this time of year, they often sell "heirloom" tomatoes, at "heirloom" prices. Also, I don't recall seeing more than about a dozen at any given time. I have seen far too many tomatoes sold at so-called "farmer's markets" with the supermarket stickers still on them.

CCinNJ
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Mon, 07/22/13 12:48 PM
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Know you Farmer...know the farm.

The notion of resale of Supermarket tomatoes at a Farmers' market is crazy. I don't know who would go to the trouble or expense of that.

Here's a list of excellent Farmers' markets in NJ. Including the no-nonsense <<<Hoboken>>> market...

http://njmonthly.com/arti...trip-to-bountiful.html
<message edited by CCinNJ on Mon, 07/22/13 1:22 PM>

Twinwillow
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Mon, 07/22/13 12:57 PM
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yuppicide, Here in Dallas, We'd kill for good ole vine ripened beefsteak tomatoes from New Jersey. We're lucky a few stores get NJ blueberries for a very short time during the summer. Count your blessings
 
The "heirloom" tomatoes we see in the stores are usually $4.99 lb!
<message edited by Twinwillow on Mon, 07/22/13 1:00 PM>

jm199
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Mon, 07/22/13 3:33 PM
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Try local produce markets that have Amish farmers selling their homegrown produce. Many of them grow "heirloom" tomatoes, and while not good looking, they are delicious. These old time tomatoes fell out of favor to big ag industry truck farms, but are making a comeback among small local growers. I especially like the purple and yellow varieties myself, as they have lower acidity.

yuppicide
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Tue, 07/23/13 9:37 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions.. I'm browsing that farmers market site now. I've been two two farmers markets, but they didn't have any interesting varieties of tomatoes.

You can definitely tell the difference between a Jersey tomato and one of those crappy ones from Florida. We stay away from those.

But I was browsing a website that sells seeds and they showed two that I mentioned Ukrainian Purple tomato, and Zebra Tomato, but tons of other ones. Each one has a description that seems to make your mouth water with excitement!

@twinwillow: My Mom moved to Hawaii. Every year we send her Jersey tomatoes. We use the USPS flat rate priority boxes. We usually pack them in something, such as a chinese food container. This helps protect them. We do the same for my Aunt in Florida.

You can order Jersey tomatoes online from Delicious Orchards.. $15.99 for 6.. they're a trust worthy company, so I say order from them with confidence.. I've been going there for a long time.. over 20 or 25 years I think? They have a lot of gourmet foods and their vegetables look great every time I go there.

https://www.deliciousorch...dView.asp?idproduct=94

Look up online, there's a few places that at least have Jersey Tomatoes in cans.. I know it's not the same, but maybe you have a use for it. There's also a place making ketchup out of Jersey tomatoes, but I didn't really like the flavor.

CCinNJ
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Tue, 07/23/13 9:52 AM
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<<<Hoboken>>> also has an heirloom tomato festival every year in August. I'm not sure what the date is for this year...but there's always a little variety to be found....and it's a fun event!

http://theboken.com/hobok...ugust-26th-from-1-5pm/

I think traditional "Jersey tomatoes" sell so well market growers concentrate their focus on the most popular well-known Jerseyish players.

It's pretty easy to grow tomatoes in NJ. Many unique smaller tomatoes also grow well in containers....if space is a factor.
<message edited by CCinNJ on Tue, 07/23/13 9:57 AM>

ken8038
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Tue, 07/23/13 10:41 AM
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I've been aware of this event for the past few years, but it seems every year something comes up and I have to skip it. Hopefully this year.
 
Tomatoes Galore!
 
http://snyderfarm.rutgers.edu/tomatoes.html

CCinNJ
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Tue, 07/23/13 11:10 AM
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Now that's variety!

Kellogg's Breakfast tomatoes sound so cute!

Uncle Groucho
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Tue, 07/23/13 5:03 PM
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Pennystomatoes.com
 

bartl
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Tue, 07/23/13 9:13 PM
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CCinNJ
The notion of resale of Supermarket tomatoes at a Farmers' market is crazy. I don't know who would go to the trouble or expense of that.

Sorry I wasn't clear. They buy tomatoes from the same wholesalers the supermarkets buy them from; the labels are put on the tomatoes by the wholesaler for identification when sold at retail.
 
Bart

ken8038
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Tue, 07/23/13 10:26 PM
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The Costco in Edison currently has a pack of 5 different good-sized heirloom tomatoes for about $5. Unfortunately they are not labeled so I don't know types they are, but a couple of them were really terrific.
 

myterry2
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Tue, 07/23/13 10:29 PM
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I plant and get them my own garden.

Foodbme
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Wed, 07/24/13 1:00 AM
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YUPPICIDE----
You spoiled so n' so!
As Twinwillow implied, you should get down on your knees and kiss the dirt that grows those wonderful NJ Tomatoes. Right about now I'd kill for just one of those beautiful red orbs of delicious goodness.
Some fresh baked Jewish Rye Bread, a little mayo and some salt and a Sliced Beefsteak Sandwich would beat going to a 5 star restaurant any day. 
Be thankful for your blessings!
No fancy schmanchy hairloom tomato can beat a NJ Beefsteak. Period!

Mosca
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Thu, 07/25/13 8:20 AM
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If you drive to PA they have heirloom tomatoes at Wegmans groceries.

tmiles
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Thu, 07/25/13 11:29 AM
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Heirlooms can be a little hard to grow. I've seen them die off in a day or two. Now you can buy grafted plants (or graft them yourself) for better results. I have a few heirlooms in my garden (non grafted) that are doing good so far. Johnny's seed co in Maine has some good "how to" videos on their web site, if you want to try grafting. In my experience, heirlooms don't sell well enough to be worth the effort. Folks like to examine them and ask about them, but then buy the cheaper, better looking modern hybrids.
 
Due to a wet cold spring, I am yet to open my own stand, and will not be doing any farmers markets this year.

SeamusD
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Thu, 07/25/13 11:48 AM
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Mosca


If you drive to PA they have heirloom tomatoes at Wegmans groceries.

I was going to mention that... we have Wegmans stores all over the place, and they generally have a good variety of heirlooms. I like to use them to make fried tomatoes, a la fried green tomatoes.

josefinajoisey
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Thu, 07/25/13 1:57 PM
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Yes, heirlooms can sometimes be difficult to grow.  But you can usually find unusual plants during early May at local plant sales. (Van Vleck in Montclair, Crane House in Montclair, and anything sponsored by the Rutgers Cooperative Extension are good bets)  My favorite farmers markets are in Ramsey (Sundays) and Blairstown (Saturdays).  It's a hike to Blairstown, so we make extra sure to stop at the diner!

Captain Morgan
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Thu, 07/25/13 2:30 PM
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easy!  you be very quiet, and unique up on 'em!

mbrookes
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Sat, 07/27/13 10:48 PM
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Farmer's Market here  in Jackson, MS, has several growers who have heirloom tomatoes. They are really wonderful, especially the purple ones. I can't really enjoy the yellow ones. My brain tells me to expect a mango, and the disconnect is too much.

ken8038
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Fri, 08/30/13 11:41 AM
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Took me a little while to find this thread, but here I am. My wife and I did get to the Rutgers Tomato Tasting on Wednesday. Although there was a light to medium rain the whole time we were there, it was very well run, with tents set up for the various tasting stations. There were at least a few hundred people there (suprising on a rainy weekday afternoon) but the crowds were very manageable.
 
The tasting stations were set up by tomato type (cherry, beefsteak, slicing, medium, plum, etc). We sampled about 60 different tomatoes, with several outstanding ones. They did give us a goodie bag upon entry with a checklist for tasting notes, but with the rain it was hard to take any notes. I did take some pictures of tomatoes I especially liked. The two I liked best were a juicy red one called  Rose De Berne and Yellow Peach (yes, it tastes like a peachy tomato).
 
There were also a few booths with light tomato dishes, such as brushetta, salsa, and 6 different basil/tomato salads. These seemed to have the longest lines, but we did manage to sample each.
 
All in all, a great way to spend a late afternoon in the beautful farmland of West Jersey (NJ is not all like the opening scenes from the Sopranos..). Get on the E mailing list for next year:
 
http://snyderfarm.rutgers.edu/tomatoes.html
 
 

CCinNJ
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Fri, 08/30/13 12:12 PM
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Amen to that.

lleechef
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Fri, 08/30/13 12:15 PM
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Ohio ranks 5th in the nation for production of fresh market tomatoes and 3rd for production of processing tomatoes, so we are surrounded by them.  I like the heirlooms, especially in a restaurant where you can do some cool presentations.  But for a good tasting, everyday eating tomato I still say you can't beat a big beefsteak......very few seeds, lots of meat and good tomato taste.  We go to the farm once or twice a week for beefsteaks and green ones for frying.  I hate when tomato season ends.

Sundancer7
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Fri, 08/30/13 5:36 PM
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Joe Rogo sent me some heirloom seeds.  I am not sure what type they are.  I will start them in January to try to get a head start on the summer.  I will do the same with my peppers.
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN

tiki
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Fri, 08/30/13 8:26 PM
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so--exactly what is a "JERSEY" tomato--is it any variety grown in Jersey?--do they feature a particular variety ? I know i have lived all over the USA  and can always find "Homegrown" tomatoes---especially in my yard---but almost any good Farmers market---BUT--no matter where you are--tomatoes in winter SUCK!--commercial toms just cant get the attention good SUMMER tomatoes do and are usually hybrids created for PACKING and shipping not eating! I know that i hav3e had Jersey toms in the summer at my daughters in Brooklyn from a Farmers Market in Manhattan--and they where good--but so was every backyard tomato that anyone has shared with me for the past 50 yrs!
 
 

MetroplexJim
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Sat, 08/31/13 11:21 AM
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Years ago in Arlington, VA I asking our CC's executive chef - who only used 'real deal' tomatos where to find them - I was directed to the DC Farmer's Market on 5th. and FL, NE in WDC.  Sadly, I see that it had closed.
 
The equivalent here in Dallas is spottly on the quality side, so we go to Central Market and every now and then get some 'home run tomatos'.  For produce, they beat even Wegmans, though overall I prefer Wegmans and wish we had them here in the Big D. http://www.centralmarket.com/Home
 
 

CCinNJ
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Sun, 09/1/13 1:27 AM
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There are certain New Jersey tomato varieties like Ramapo & Rutgers...but any tomato grown in New Jersey qualifies as a Jersey tomato.

We didn't get lessons about BBQ...biscuits & gravy...pie etc. We got lessons about tomatoes.

Mosca
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Sun, 09/1/13 8:45 AM
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Hey yuppicide, how was the festival?

tiki
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Sun, 09/1/13 11:24 AM
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Thanks!!!   have wondered re that for a while
CCinNJ


There are certain New Jersey tomato varieties like Ramapo & Rutgers...but any tomato grown in New Jersey qualifies as a Jersey tomato.

We didn't get lessons about BBQ...biscuits & gravy...pie etc. We got lessons about tomatoes.



CCinNJ
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Sun, 09/1/13 12:23 PM
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You're welcome!

Jersey tomatoes are sweet...tangy...& a tad winey.

yuppicide
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Thu, 10/3/13 10:42 PM
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Oh sorry guys.. I have a full review online here.. some pics too..

Next year I'm growing my own. My Cousin has a garden.. we pay $5 a year for a 20x20 plot of land and $25 for water. This year he fit in 64 plants of 17 varieties and we were bringing home like 80 pounds of tomatoes a week or so!
 
So, every year they have a tomato starter plant sale the Sunday before Mother's Day up in Bridgewater, NJ. They told me they sell just about every variety I was able to taste.. which was like 120 kinds.  Only day of the year they sell.
 
http://www.seriouseats.co...rs-tomato-tasting.html
<message edited by yuppicide on Thu, 10/3/13 10:45 PM>

Twinwillow
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Thu, 10/3/13 11:30 PM
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My local Wholefoods is selling incredibly delicious Early Girl
tomatoes. They're truly fabulous! But, they cost (are you sitting down) $6.99 LB. Highway robbery!

Ort. Carlton.
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Thu, 10/3/13 11:56 PM
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Dearfolk,
   You're buying mass-grown Florida tomatoes. The vine-ripened kind are wondrous, especially if you find them from Hardee or Desoto County. Publix stores usually have Florida homegrowns; they squish when you bite into 'em, unlike them crunchy kind that tain't nothin' but cellulose.
      Wholeheartedly, Ort. Carlton in Amazing Athens, Georgia.

Ort. Carlton.
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Thu, 10/3/13 11:57 PM
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P. S. You'll pay a tad extra, but they're worth it. Remember you can grow tomatoes virtually year-round by the time you get as far south as Hardee County.

yuppicide
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Fri, 10/4/13 8:17 PM
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Florida tomatoes are terrible compared to New Jersey. There's just something about the taste and I can tell the difference. During the season I'll have a tomato sandwich almost every day.

Twinwillow
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Fri, 10/4/13 10:01 PM
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yuppicide


Florida tomatoes are terrible compared to New Jersey. There's just something about the taste and I can tell the difference. During the season I'll have a tomato sandwich almost every day.

 
I'm sorry but I respectfully disagree. As much as I love New Jersey tomatoes, I've had some vine ripened beefsteak tomatoes in a restaurant while in Florida that were truly amazing!

yuppicide
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Fri, 10/4/13 10:09 PM
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Every Florida or Canada tomato I've had was not good. Sometimes I find a good package of Kumato's. Wegman's grocery store carried some unique colored tomatoes from Canada. $3.99 for ONE freakin tomato so I put it back.
 
My Aunt lives in Florida now and my Mom lives in Hawaii. We ship them tomatoes every year.

leethebard
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Fri, 10/4/13 11:27 PM
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yuppicide


Florida tomatoes are terrible compared to New Jersey. There's just something about the taste and I can tell the difference. During the season I'll have a tomato sandwich almost every day.



Ort. Carlton.
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Sun, 10/6/13 9:50 PM
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Dearfolk,
   Once I ate a vine ripened Hardee County tomato on a sandwich. My father's late Cousin Jack remarked "Now THAT'S a tomato!" "Those store-bought ones aren't tomatoes, Jack; they're doorstops," his wife Mae Frank quipped. I have used the phrase "doorstop tomatoes" ever since for that crunchy, pale kind. Mae Frank is alive and decently well; she'll be 101 next birthday.
      Wholeheartedly, Ort. Carlton in Occasionally Crunchy Athens, Georgia.

ces1948
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Thu, 10/10/13 12:03 AM
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Unfortunately the weather is about the only thing in our favor for growing tomatoes here in South Florida. As an experienced gardener and a tomato grower I have to say between the virii, wilts and their seeming ability to destroy otherwise healthy plants almost instantaneously I've almost given up. The ones I have gotten to true vine ripened  status have kept me hanging on. Neem oil and Daconil are truly the gardeners friend here in steamy Florida

mhill95
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Sat, 10/19/13 2:03 PM
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The Florida tomatoes you are getting in NJ are mass produced and shipped green to prevent damage. If you could taste the vine ripes from around here (Tampa East and South) you would think differently and when they are about .69-.89 lb you think twice about growing them.
 
mike

tmiles
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Sat, 11/23/13 12:02 PM
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Yesterday, I saw in WAL*MART (of all places) a prepak with 4 different kinds of heirlooms in it. They were grown in Mexico, and variety was not stated. There was a red, a brown, a yellow, and a black. A month or so ago, I bought a prepak of black tomatoes (Canadian greenhouse) at the supermarket. Again, the variety was not stated.

Pancho
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Sat, 11/23/13 12:36 PM
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tmiles


Yesterday, I saw in WAL*MART (of all places) a prepak with 4 different kinds of heirlooms in it. They were grown in Mexico, and variety was not stated. There was a red, a brown, a yellow, and a black. A month or so ago, I bought a prepak of black tomatoes (Canadian greenhouse) at the supermarket. Again, the variety was not stated.
They sound very pretty, BUT how did they taste?


lleechef
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Sat, 11/23/13 12:44 PM
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I will not be buying tomatoes until next year's crop.  Boo hoo.  I don't care for all the different striped, crazy colored heirlooms, find them pretty but tasteless.  We ate our share of big, fat, red beefsteak tomatoes this past summer so I'm not complaining.

tmiles
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Fri, 11/29/13 4:07 PM
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Pancho


tmiles


Yesterday, I saw in WAL*MART (of all places) a prepak with 4 different kinds of heirlooms in it. They were grown in Mexico, and variety was not stated. There was a red, a brown, a yellow, and a black. A month or so ago, I bought a prepak of black tomatoes (Canadian greenhouse) at the supermarket. Again, the variety was not stated.
They sound very pretty, BUT how did they taste?

 
I didn't buy the Walmart tomatoes, but the Canadian greenhouse ones were very good for off season. Home garden IS the best, I agree, but compared to the cardboard tomatoes of 20 or 30 years ago, the supermarket kinds are now (IMO) fairly good year 'round. All the "new" colors and shapes make it all the more interesting. I know that most of them are not really heirlooms, but rather look alikes, but they are better than anything growing in my garden this time of year! 

Pancho
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Fri, 11/29/13 4:23 PM
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tmiles


Pancho


tmiles


Yesterday, I saw in WAL*MART (of all places) a prepak with 4 different kinds of heirlooms in it. They were grown in Mexico, and variety was not stated. There was a red, a brown, a yellow, and a black. A month or so ago, I bought a prepak of black tomatoes (Canadian greenhouse) at the supermarket. Again, the variety was not stated.
They sound very pretty, BUT how did they taste?


I didn't buy the Walmart tomatoes, but the Canadian greenhouse ones were very good for off season. Home garden IS the best, I agree, but compared to the cardboard tomatoes of 20 or 30 years ago, the supermarket kinds are now (IMO) fairly good year 'round. All the "new" colors and shapes make it all the more interesting. I know that most of them are not really heirlooms, but rather look alikes, but they are better than anything growing in my garden this time of year! 
Agreed, and I've found that the Roma variety found in supermarkets aren't all that bad. Especially if used for sauces, salsas, etc. Thanks for the feedback!


tmiles
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Wed, 03/5/14 3:11 PM
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The new Johnnys seed catalog has LOTS of tomato seed, but a 2 page spread of a dozen or so new, especially colorful kinds caught my eye.
 
As Johnny is a major seed supplier to growers who sell at farmers markets, I predict a wonderful supply of interesting tomatoes at farm markets, and farm stands this summer.
 
Johnny's is now 100% employee owned, but founder Rob Johnston was at a trade show a few years ago. I've met him a few times, and was one of his earliest customers. I had lunch, a year ago, at the New England trade show, and got to sit with some of the Johnnys staff.........good people.
 
Johnnys is up in Maine, but easy to find on the internet, if you are looking to grow some interesting tomatoes yourself.  
 
Update... I've ordered and started way to many seeds for this season!!!! I'm growing about 20 kinds of tomato, and by the time I get extra plants from other gardening friends, I'll probably have 25!!!! I'm especially looking forward to some new "black" varieties. One is said to be the darkest and most flavorful yet........we will see.
<message edited by tmiles on Tue, 03/11/14 1:44 PM>

scrumptiouschef
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Fri, 03/21/14 10:27 PM
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State by state, heritage seed companies http://www.scrumptiousche...eirloom-Seeds-In-Texas

Foodbme
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Re:Where to get unique tomatoes? - Sat, 03/22/14 2:07 AM
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AZ climate is not conducive to growing tomatoes at home.
I'm find the Tomatoes "On the Stem" at the stores have a pretty decent flavor and if you leave them on the stem, they keep better than those off the stem. Must still get nutrient's from the stems.