Heirloom « Archive

Posted on 24 February 2009 by tomatocasual.com

One Man Who Turned His Heirloom Tomato Hobby Into a Business

texasBy Vanessa Richins

Keith Amelung, a landscaper by profession, started a heirloom tomato business after a hobby turned out to be profitable.

As the Boerne Star reports, “I wanted to go on a trip to Hawaii,” he said, “and I needed $1,000.

So I thought I’d do something organic, eclectic, at the Cibolo Nature Center (Mostly Native Plant) sale.

I planted 1,000 heirloom tomato seeds and sold the plants for Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 21 January 2009 by tomatocasual.com

Bridging the Gap Between Heirlooms and Hybrids

By Vanessa Richinsheirloom-tomato

As anyone who visits Tomato Casual on a regular basis knows, we are very fond of the heirloom tomatoes.

These old-time beauties bring amazing colors and tastes that you simply won’t find in hybrid tomatoes.

Planting them also helps preserve tomato variety diversity and heritage.

However, one of the problems inherent in heirloom tomatoes is that they can be very susceptible to tomato diseases such as Verticillium wilt and tobacco mosaic virus. This is one of the main reasons that people choose to grow hybrid tomatoes.

However, did you know you can have the best of both worlds? All you have to do is graft your tomatoes. Use a hybrid rootstock to give heirloom tomatoes disease resistance.

A recent study confirmed that Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 05 December 2008 by tomatocasual.com

Waldingfield Food Company Producing Heirloom Tomato Sauces

By Vanessa Richins

The Waldingfield Farm in Washington, Connecticut, has seen a lot of crops since it was begun in the 1780s.

Since the late 1990s, the Horan brothers have been growing mainly tomatoes on this family farm.

This year’s crop was about 28,000 tomato plants, of 80 different heirloom varieties, though unfortunately yields were low due to blight and fungus from too much moisture.

Starting in 2006, the farm started making perishable products such as salad dressings and pesto.

Their main focus is producing a shelf stable heirloom tomato sauce. They experimented with many different kinds of Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 12 September 2008 by tomatocasual.com

Attack of the 4-pound Heirloom Tomatoes

By Michelle Fabio

As reported by Jennifer Amato in the North-South Brunswick Sentinel, one corner of New Jersey is being attacked by 4-pound heirloom tomatoes.

OK, maybe they are more like welcome guests in Jim and Lynn Nicoletti’s backyard, which holds three 8-foot tomato plants.

Two of the largest tomatoes have weighed 4 pounds and three and a half pounds.

Jim Nicoletti has a few secrets for growing such large heirlooms. One is about watering: “I realized if I stopped watering the plants and started watering the roots, they grow better.”

Another thing that helps his tomatoes is Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 11 July 2008 by tomatocasual.com

My Favorite Heirloom: Old German

By Vanessa Richins

On the first night of my Master Gardener course, we had a tomato sampling feast. (Lucky me!)

We went out to the experimental tomato patch and were able to try many different varieties of tomatoes.

The one that I was most impressed with was a heirloom named ‘Old German.’

The fruits were huge and the flesh very sweet. I felt like stealing the plate so I wouldn’t have to be polite and leave the rest for everyone else.

We have Old German thanks to a 19th century Mennonite (a religious sect that is somewhat like the Amish) group in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia.

Actually, several of the heirlooms Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 15 June 2008 by tomatocasual.com



By Kira Hamman

What does the word “heirloom” mean to you?

Old, dusty things that used to belong to your great-grandmother, right?

If you’re lucky, maybe your great-grandmother was the funky jewelry type, but otherwise we’re probably talking tarnished silver and dark, heavy wooden stuff. Anyway, heirloom sure doesn’t mean food. At least, it didn’t until recently.

Now, suddenly, in every chic restaurant in the country you can pay $12 for an heirloom tomato salad. Let’s hope Read the rest of this entry »


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