Wednesday, June 25, 2014

My Favorite Tomato

The Vegetable Freak Staff's Favorite Tomato Varities. Photo Credit: Reed J Petersen.
My favorite tomato is the heirloom Brandywine followed closely by the shorter season Pruden's Purple.

As a farmer you might think I am partial to these two tomatoes because of their superior disease resistance (I pick many varieties because of this). Or maybe outstanding yields, that is another selection criteria for some of our vegetables.

But these are my favorite tomatoes because of only one thing. It is...

They taste amazing like a tomato should taste.

We have overcome the lack of disease resistance by caging these large plants in a five foot tall circular cages made of concrete reinforcing wire with 6 inch openings. This keeps the plants off the ground and we can harvest about 80% of the tomatoes.

To compensate for lower yields we just plant more plants, the cages help with this too. We have about 150 of these cages. Reed and the team made about 100 additional cages this spring. We also add several handfuls of 8-2-4 organic fertilizer to each plant when transplanting.

I am also trying some grafted Brandywines, where the Brandywine top is grafted to a root stock that has good disease resistance. So far, so good, they look pretty healthy.

I know, I know I am telling you this when it is to late to plant some for this year. But I am hoping this will encourage you to try some at the farmers market in about a month. Whether it is for BLTs, fresh eating, salsa or sauces. Brandywine will knock your socks off.

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