There is a lot of information on gardening online. Some websites I find myself going to almost daily for information. One of my favourites is Tatiana’s TOMATObase. This site lists every OP stable tomato that you can think of. If it doesn’t list it, you can become a member and add it. It is a goldmine of beautiful photos, grower taste & growth reviews for each tomato. I also enjoy visiting a few of the gardening forums. Tomatoville was the first forum that I joined. The site is full of information and helpful, welcoming gardeners. Whether it is plant advice or mailing seeds, the site is full of generous gardeners. Folia is another forum that I joined shortly after Tomatoville. I originally joined to track my seeds, but found a community of kind, encouraging gardeners, posting mini-blogs, called journals that are exceptionally well written. I Dig My Garden is a little more political, but very interesting reading. Homegrown Goodness has great info on amazing breeding work and technical knowledge. Several members have great blogs. I especially love Seasonal Ontario Food. There are so many forums and blogs to wander through. The above are just a few that I visit on a regular basis.
Now for the next set of reviews!
ANNA RUSSIAN I was really looking forward to trying this variety. The last 2 years I ended up with seeds that were crossed or mixed up. This year the plant fell to septoria early and the production was not good. That is too bad because it was a 9.5 taste! Extra sweet with the creamy heart texture and great aftertaste. A wonderful balance of sweet and tang. This is a Russian variety (via Oregon) with wispy foliage.
KARDIA KARPOS is not a stable variety yet. Gary (Tormato at Tomatoville) found this pink heart shaped tomato at an unattended roadside stand. He saved the seeds & got pink hearts on a potato leaf plant. He shared the seeds with other gardeners. Neither of my plants grew true. I grew a pink RL beefsteak, rated a 6 on my taste scale. The 2nd plant was potato leaf with very blunt red hearts. An 8.5 with a good strong, sweet balanced taste.
KARDINAL is a semi-determinate pink heart grown commercially in Russia. It is said to be the same as Mazarini. I tasted them both in the same tasting. They look and taste the same to me. The plants grew very similarly as well. This year both were an 8. Sweet with very little tang. I like Kardinal, but didn’t love it. I will likely not grow it again next year, as I grew Mazarini in 2012 & thought that it was good, but not great. Too many others to try 😉
SPUDAYELLOW STRAWBERRY There is a bit of a debate whether this variety is a potato or regular leaf plant. Bill Malin, who selected the variety says that it is PL. His definition is different than the traditional definition of potato leaf. Sadly, the debate made no difference to me, as mine were not hearts. A 6.5 mealy and bleck. A lovely yellow colour and quite good production. Too bad. I won’t save seeds from this one.
BRAD’S BLACK HEART Yay !!! I love hearts, hubby loves the black tomatoes. The plant is a wispy leaved black heart that was found in a patch of Black Krim tomatoes by Brad Gates of Wild Boar Farms. Outstanding taste. 9.5 Sweet, smokey, tangy all at once! More pear shaped than most of my hearts, (the least heart shaped is pictured). Decent production in a terrible growing year. I loved this tomato. A grow again next year.
ANGEL HEART is an orange heart bred by Millard Murdock, who is featured on the Artisan Seeds Site. Millard has sent me several seeds over the last couple of years & yum! His are some of my favourites. This one was good. A pretty orangish-yellow heart with no cracking or spots with a 7.5-8 ish rating. I think that the weather affected this variety. Good production, but a weak flavour. I think that I will try it again next year.
MORAVSKY DIV was given to me by my friend Rob, who I met at the Buffalo-Niagara Tomato Taste Festival hosted by Remy from Sample Seeds. A Czech commercial variety, posibly a strain of Stupice. Very early with round red tomatoes on a strong potato leaf plant. This one pumped out fruit in spite of the septoria that destroyed the plants around it. Sadly the taste wasn’t there this year. A 6, sour and no sweet. Likely better in a warmer year.
WOW This tomato was supposed to be a large round orange cherry bred from Brandywine, sungold F1 & an unknown grape cherry. Both years that I have grown it, it has shown up as an elongated red cherry with a pointy end. It is thick skinned and meaty with an excellent sweet taste. I made a few jars of salsa from WOW last year & it was excellent. Great production last year, OK this year. It is an always grow in my garden. A solid 9.
GREEN PEAR was introduced in 2009. It is a sprawling regular leaf cherry plant. Great production of small green when ripe pear shaped cherry tomatoes. Mine ripened very early. Like most green when ripes they are slightly amber coloured when ready to eat. This variety has an excellent flavour, sweet and rich, just like a green when ripe beefsteak in a smaller package. I love greens! A plant again next year 8.5.
KELLOGS WEST VIRGINIA This is Mark Korney’s (whom I also met at the Buffalo-Niagara Tomato Taste Fest) cross of Kellogs Breakfast & Akers West Virginia. The tomatoes were much smaller on my plant than other gardeners report. Other gardeners also rave about the taste, but mine were just OK. A 7.5. I think that a lot of the red and pink tomatoes needed more sunshine to develop their rich sweet tangy taste.
GREEN VELVET was my most prolific regular sized tomato plant in 2013. This regular leaf plant made it through the septoria until quite late. It was good tasting, but not great. Too much tang with no sweet. It didn’t have the same depth of flavour that I usually love in the green when ripe tomatoes. It also kept its very dark green shoulders when ripe. A 6.5. Too bad because the production in a bad year was fantastic!
PURPLE HAZE F6 This tomato has interesting breeding lines. Brandywine crossed with Cherokee Purple and grown until F4 as a great tasting potato leaf. The F4 was then crossed with Black Cherry to produce a great tasting black cherry fruit on a potato leaf plant. My F5’s were great, but low production. I saved the seed and got an OK tasting medium sized beefsteak! Ah well, back to the F5 seeds I go for next year’s spring planting.
NOWICKI Is a lovely red heart paste type fruit named for Jan Nowicki. I got the seed for this one from Frances, a gardener who participated in my Canadian Autumn Seed Exchange last year. It was meaty with that distinctive heart shaped texture. Very sweet with great tang mixed in for a very balanced flavour. A 9.5 rating! Many of the hearts were outstanding this year. They must have enjoyed the cool weather a bit more than the beefsteaks.
So once again, the hearts take the flavour award for this tasting! Often the Russian varieties are supposed to be good for colder climates, so maybe the cooler temperatures this year helped out all of the wispy leaved Russian hearts!