A Foodie's Dream/Obsession
Violet Jasper, Pink Icicle, Green Zebra, Oaxacan Jewel, Moonstone, Black Prince, My Baby and best of all the Black Krim - lots of them! Thirty heirloom tomatoes with exotic names are growing in our square foot garden - also at least five kinds of basil.
The neighborhood bunnies are keeping an eye on our four 3'x10’ beds…
I mostly grew up in New Jersey where the tomatoes were definitely good; my family grew Early Girls, Big Boys, Better Boys, Beefsteaks… Notice the love expressed in the names of the heirlooms.
Over the years tomatoes seemed to lose their flavor and increasingly, while I awaited the tomatoes of August, I would request “no tomatoes”, not trusting that a pale pinkish-orange slice of tasteless mush wouldn’t show up on my plate or in my sandwich. “What? You don’t like tomatoes?” “Actually they are my favorite food!”
I grew tomatoes almost everywhere I lived (except Florida), organized neighborhood gardens, I even grew tomatoes in large pots, on the roof of the row house I lived in, when I first came to Reading. You would have to crawl out a window to water them. I’m not sure what kind of harvest I had that year but I’m sure it wasn’t enough – it’s never enough.
Twenty years ago I discovered the Heirloom Seed Project at the Herb Faire in Lancaster. A game-changer for sure!
A few of my favorites:
- The Pineapple – large, mostly yellow on the outside and yellow, green and red inside.
- The Violet Jasper – small dark red with brilliant green streaks and purplish inside.
- And best of all, the Black Krim - a dark tomato with an indescribable rich flavor that I can never get enough of.
I’m dreaming of August.