It's that time of year...
........time to choose the best heirloom tomatoes in the garden to save seed.
Not just for the following summer, but summers to come and seeds to share. I have been saving heirloom tomato seed for over 30 years. The majority of my seeds are over 50 years old.
I started saving seeds from Ed's gramma in southern Illinois back in the early 70's. Who knows how old her seeds were that she saved year to year. She always had the most wonderful tasting tomatoes, the flavor pops in your mouth just thinking about them. The seeds I have saved year to year from his dad are a bit similar, yet a different blushing on them.
This year I bought a couple different varieties of tomato plants from the Athens Farmers Market in Southern Ohio and have added seed from the best ones to my collection.
"Purple Russian"...they were an interesting purple black plum like tomato, very meaty and flavorful. They originated in the Ukraine.
"Mortgage"... dates back to the 1930's. It is a cross between German Johnson, Beefsteak, Italian and English varieties.
Bethany introduced me to "Orange Oxheart".. a very flavorable orange heart shaped tomato, "Golden Plum" and "Black Brandywine".
Although I started out with 91 tomato plants in my garden, I lost quite a few to drought and groundhogs. My soil conditions were a bit bleak as well. We just picked up a testing kit to take soil samples in our garden and send them in to get tested at a lab in Holmes County.
I am dreaming of lush bushy plants in 2010.