Black Heirloom Tomatoes

I'll be growing some black heirloom tomatoes this season for the first time. Black Prince and Black from Tula. Although I never tasted a black tomato I hear they are very good indeed. As a tomato lover, I'd like to hear from others who may have tried them. I really enjoy a tomato that has a lot of flavor and not so much on the mild side like some yellow tomatoes I have tasted. We use most of our tomatoes fresh as slicing tomatoes. I do realize that most heirlooms don't produce a large crop as do hybrids. My crop will be a mix this year between heirloom and hybrid varieties. I have never grown heirloom tomatoes up till now and I'm not quite sure what to expect. The hybrids will kind of be like my insurance policy so I at least end up with a few tomatoes for the table :)
Rich
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Marglobe
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Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA



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Please do let us know how these black heirlooms' turn out for you. Always fun and interesting to learn about something one has never tried. I've never heard of black heirlooms....did you find these thru a catalog? by seed?
I have had a different experience with red/yellow heirlooms. My plants were great producer's and even the yellow ones were tasty and meaty.
Donna in WA 8&9
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Hi Donna! I'll be starting my black tomatoes from seed this year. I just went to Google and searched heirloom black tomato seeds. Here is the site where I buy most of my seeds :) .......... Rich
http://www.tomatogrowers.com/black.htm
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White_Noise snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (EVP MAN) wrote in

I've grown the Black Cherry tomato for several years. They are vigorous vines and highly productive. The fruit is slightly large for a cherry tomato, very nicely rounded, and the plants are loaded with them. This is my favorite of all the tomatoes I grow. The flavor is delightful - very rich classic purple tomato flavor.
I've grown Black Krim and Carbon, but they came in late in the season, and the frost caught the plants loaded with huge green tomatoes. If you have a longer growing season or if you start them early, they can produce quite a bit. I'm going to try to space them further apart this year, as the plants are quite large.
Baker Creek also has a lot of heirlooms, it's worth looking over their site - www.rareseeds.com.
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A number of studies have been done in Australia on the yield of heirloom tomatoes vs hybrids. The result is that heirlooms produce more lb of fruit per bush than hybrids and they do it steadily over a long period so you don't get the glut of the hybrids all coming ripe in a short time. If you go to here: http://www.diggers.com.au/articleWhatsNewIsOld.shtml and scroll to the right you will see details of one company that has done one of these trials. I do have the figures of one of their trials and the reports on the taste from public tastings rates the heirlooms higher than the hybrids and the yield from their trials is interesting as the heirlooms beat nearly all of the hybrid varieties.
I've always grown heirlooms but didn't know I was growing them till recently as the variety which is called Grosse Lisse is also one of the more popular tomatoes grown by home gardeners in my area. Yield has always been good.
But to your Black toms.... I've grown a number of Black toms over recent years - black Russians, Black Krim and they are very, very good. Good yield (except this year is not great but than none of my other tomato varieties are doing brillianlty this year either for some reason but still to many to eat fresh). They are flavoursome and delish in anything I've used them with. I've had them on salads, on french bread with olive oil garlic and basil, in soups, added to casseroles, added to sauce (ketchup), made with other varieties into chutney, just frozen with various other toms, in spaghetti sauce etc.
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Thank you Farml for your post :) Sure makes me feel better about growing some heirlooms this year and especially the black tomatoes! I can hardly wait to taste my first one. I'm also growing some Cherokee purple and Pruden's purple. I hear Pruden's purple does very well in my area and tastes quite a bit like Brandywine but produces much earlier. What I'm doing this year is planting quite a few different varieties. Then each successive year, I'll plant a few extra of the ones that done well and eliminate the ones that didn't or the tomatoes I didn't care much for. I want to reach the point where I only have to put out about a dozen and a half plants each year that are the very best tomatoes I can grow in my garden. I know it's going to take more than a year or two to get it right but I'm willing to invest some money and time for my labor of love to grow some fine tomatoes :)
Thanks Again For Your Post! .........Rich
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On Sat, 27 Feb 2010 16:38:57 -0500, White_Noise snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (EVP MAN) wrote:

I've grown several "blacks"...Tula, Paul Robeson, Krim, Nyagous...the best flavor was from a True Black Brandywine. Coulda been the years and conditions, but they have been the best in two years running for us.
As far as what to expect from heirlooms, expect fantastic flavor and vigourous vines. If all you are after is table fare, heirlooms will keep you in 'maters longer than hybrids might.
You want " real tomato" flavor and lots of it, be sure and include Brandywine in your garden.
http://www.motherearthnews.com/Organic-Gardening/Heirloom-Vegetable-Advantages.aspx
Charlie
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On 2/27/10 4:38 PM, in article snipped-for-privacy@storefull-3173.bay.webtv.net, "EVP MAN"

that's the name)
Very tasty
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I'll be growing four different cherry tomato plants this year. Husky red cherry, yellow pear, red pear and also chocolate cherry which I can't wait to try. The chocolate cherry looks very dark so I guess it would be considered a black tomato also. Nothing like snacking on a bowl of fresh picked cherry tomatoes :)
Rich
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White_Noise snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (EVP MAN) wrote:

Well, they're not black, Glacier Tomato, http://seedrack.com/10.html but the shuck and jive description is tomatoes in 45 days! How can a feller resist? Bought these (and Caspian Pink, and Hawaiian Pineapple) after throwing out other excess tomato seedlings. Guess I'll be shoe horning tomatoes in again this year.
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Wildbilly;878842]In article snipped-for-privacy@storefull-3171.bay.webtv.net, White_Noise snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (EVP MAN) wrote: - I'll be growing four different cherry tomato plants this year. Husky red cherry, yellow pear, red pear and also chocolate cherry which I can't wait to try. The chocolate cherry looks very dark so I guess it would be considered a black tomato also. Nothing like snacking on a bowl of fresh picked cherry tomatoes :)
Rich-
Well, they're not black, Glacier Tomato, http://seedrack.com/10.html but the shuck and jive description is tomatoes in 45 days! How can a feller resist? Bought these (and Caspian Pink, and Hawaiian Pineapple) after throwing out other excess tomato seedlings. Guess I'll be shoe horning tomatoes in again this year.
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merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini.
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IIRC the safest way to can tomatoes is with a pressure cooker. Sauces are usually made with "Roma" type tomatoes. Romas are low in juice which make them good for canning. Acidity may be more important at lower temps. Why not check at rec.food.preserving ?
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I'm growing some Cherokee purple tomatoes also this year. Some people say it's the very best tasting tomato ever. I don't think the black tomatoes are very firm so I would imagine they are best for fresh eating. Another tomato I'm growing is Pruden's purple. Some say it tastes a whole lot like Brandywine but is earlier. Tomatoes are my favorite so it's a lot of fun to give new ones a try each year along with the ones that you already know will do well in your garden.
Rich
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