tomatoes- brandywine and a question of saving seed.

Scott Franzblau imblau at hotmail.com
Tue Oct 3 16:10:19 EDT 2000


Yes, brandywines can be cracked, unsightly and unusual looking to consumers. 
  Yes, they are disease prone.  Yes, they will sell.

We are able to sell half-rotting multi-pound brandywines FULL PRICE at 
Farmer's Markets to dedicated customers.  Our only issue at markets on 
seacoast of NH is an oversupply of brandywines.  Yes, sometimes I walk 
around market and can't believe how many people are growing brandywines, 
striped germans, and other big, unusual heirlooms.  Still, they nearly 
always sell since everyone who I can convince to buy one comes back and 
makes a scene right there at the stand: "oh my god thank you for 
recommending this, this- what's its name again? tomato.  I told my husband 
how enthusiastic you were and I just laughed.  After eating it I can't 
believe that I laughed.  What does heirloom mean again?  I'll take 5 lbs."  
And we still sell out.

You may want to try Prudence Purple, another great, large, pink tomato.  I 

am almost positive that it is open-pollinated.

We keep all our heirlooms seperate  (by some distance) from the rest of our 
tomatoes and never pick the heirlooms before the hybrids from fear of 
passing on fungal spores.  We have the luxury of having seperate fields.

One question I have is about saving seeds from potato-leaf varieties such as 
brandywine.  I half-remember reading that potato-leaf varieties are among 
the only group of tomatoes that you have to isolate from other tomato 
varieties in order to ensure pure seed.  This is because the styles of all 
other tomatoes are long enough to keep the self-pollinating flowers 
isolated.  Is this true?  Tell me more.

Scott Franzblau
Heron Pond Farm
South Hampton, NH
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