[Market-farming] Indterminate vs determinate tomatoes

Del Williams delannw at dlogue.net
Mon May 12 17:13:10 EDT 2003

Indeterminate vs. tomatoes generally have different uses... such as paste tomatoes (often determinate) vs. large slicing tomatoes (indeterminate).  

There are tomatoes that seem to act like a cross.  They flower, set a ton of fruit... have a waiting period and start all over again.  Are they determinate or indeterminate?

Not clear on that.  

Taste is in the tastebuds of the beholder.  I've hear it all this year selling tomato plants.  Brandywines, Jet Stars (anyone know those?), Celebrities, Rutgers, Beefsteaks, Striped German, etc.

Here in the midwest, I've been asked a lot of questions about canning tomatoes and have heard several people remark that hybridizing is taking the acid out of tomatoes so canning them is a pain in the butt.  That's true.  I add lemon juice to my hybrids when I can them.  

I think that like strawberry taste... so undermined by those who make strawberry flavoring for drinks and such... people who don't eat fresh fruits and vegetables have lost the sense of what a good tasting tomato tastes like.  I still think that the greenhouse grown tomatoes are the only option in the winter.  Hydroponic tomatoes can actually smell and taste like a tomato.  Smell is more important than taste.  Better than those tomatoes that are gassed to make them red.  They never develop a decent taste/scent in my book.  Uh, in my mouth.

Ya know, commercial hybridizers are looking for a good keeping tomato for the produce section.  The best tasting tomatoes I've run into were indeterminate and, generally, open pollinated indeterminate.  

what's your experience?

As growers, shouldn't we know?  We eat what we grow, don't we?

Del Williams
Country Fruit and Floral (with a Farmer in the Del influence)
Kankakee, IL

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