tomatoes- brandywine and a question of saving seed.

Miranda Smith Miranda.Smith at
Tue Oct 3 17:17:09 EDT 2000

Yes, it's because of style length. But you can cloak the blossoms with
reemay --well before they are ready to open--and hand-pollinate with a tiny
little brush. That is easy to do  and reliable. Use twist-ties to keep the
covers over the blossom cluster and re-cover them after you pollinate them.
Don't remove the covers until the petals fall. Then tie ribbon around the
stem to let yourself know which tomatoes were hand-pollinated.


> ----------
> From: 	Scott Franzblau
> Reply To: 	market farming
> Sent: 	Tuesday, October 3, 2000 4:10 PM
> To: 	market farming
> Subject: 	re:tomatoes- brandywine and a question of saving seed.
> 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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