[Market-farming] heirloom tomatoes

Lucy Goodman goodows at infinet.com
Sat Feb 12 16:31:04 EST 2005

> Heirlooms definitely have the best flavor and I will still grow my favorite
> heirlooms (and try some new ones!) again this year even though I have
> trouble with cracking.  But, I will also grow the standard hybrid beef and
> early girl types as well to satisfy those customers that want pretty
> tomatoes.  I'm hoping that black plastic mulch with drip irrigation will
> help a bit with the cracking.  Some cooperation from mother nature wouldn't
> hurt, either!
> Vivian

W have been growing heirlooms for the 10 
years we have been growing for market. In the 
beginning we grew no hybrids and our tomato 
sales suffered for it. We now grow 2 or 3 
hybrid red tomatoes and some hybrid cherry 
tomatoes (can't beat sunsugar) because the 
big red orbs draw people in and tna we can 
often get people to try a heirloom either by 
talking them up or giving out samples (either 
a slice of tomato or a whole 'mater).

At our stand each variety has a card with the 
name of that tomato and a sentence or two 
about it's history or taste (some of these 
heirlooms have a boring history but great 
taste!). we try to feature a different 
heirloom each week and the featured heirloom 
gets a whole 8 1/2 "x 11" sheet of paper for 
a description. And we hand out recipes 
(really simple ones).

Vivian, Plastic mulch will make little 
difference in cracking. IIRC, cracking is 
caused by a fruit that has gotten to the 
point its' skin will not grow any more. It 
rains or the plants get heavy irrigation and 
the inside of the fruit takes up water, 
expands and splits the skin. that is why I 
recomend picking the fruits a bit early if it 
is going to rain. For I find my customers do 
not want split fruit and if it is split than 
either I make tomato juice or the chickens 
get the 'maters

Lucy Goodman

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