)(*&*^&$%&^(& "heirloom" tomatoes

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Thought I'd be adventurous this year and investigate heirloom tomatoes. Plants bore a few delicious tomatoes, then decided to take early retirement.
They had food, appropriate water, and sunlight. Climate is So. Calif. coastal.
Curious if anyone else had this kind of experience, or did they keep on bearing?
HB
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On 7/7/2014 6:54 PM, Higgs Boson wrote:

I'm working on one but yet to fruit. I assume all heirlooms are different in different regions. I started mine from seeds from a local vendor who used his same seeds year after year to produce the tomatoes in his road side stand. I figured they would be ideal for the region but found them very slow to start and get going and now recall that he was not selling tomatoes until well after I was getting mine.
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On 7/7/2014 3:54 PM, Higgs Boson wrote:

The reason "heirlooms" have largely been replaced with modern hybrids is that the latter seem to bear better and are more tolerant of differing climates and soils. That does NOT mean modern hybrids taste better; it merely means they are more productive.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
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On Mon, 07 Jul 2014 16:52:03 -0700, "David E. Ross"

Taste is highly subjective. The lure of all heirloom veggies is aesthetic and emotional... I've personally found none that taste better than modern hybrids.
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On Monday, July 7, 2014 5:55:16 PM UTC-7, Brooklyn1 wrote:

So it sounds like, from all replies, that my grand experiment was way behind the times. I've also heard minor & major put-downs of the heirloom cult, but this was my first time, and like many virgins it leaves me somewhat disillusioned...
HB
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On 8/07/2014 11:15 AM, Higgs Boson wrote:

I have been growing heirloom toms for decades. I prefer then for taste and trials here in Oz indicate that yield is not lower on heirloom toms. I've found the season has more to do with whether I get a good crop or not. If I'm not getting a good crop round here form my heirloom toms, neither are the people who grow hybrids.
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On 07/07/2014 08:49 PM, Fran Farmer wrote:

From what I can tell, the heirlooms are harder to ship and that is why the hybrids are grown on conventional farms so much. I could be wrong.
The local full circle organic farm, when they were still in business, grew both and I loved them all. I think the hybrids are just as tasty, if they are grown to vine ripe on a full circle farm. I could tell the heirlooms apart as were really fragile.
Come to think of it, all tomatoes were hybridized at one time. What we call heirlooms were just the first iteration before the onset of huge commercial farms. First hybridized for taste, then later for picking green and shipping without bruising.
And I still contend that the reason people don't eat produce is that it tastes like crap (commercial farms). Home grown tastes the best. Can't get enough of it. Local full circle organic farms, second best.
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Higgs Boson wrote:

No Yes
What cultivar were they?
D
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Higgs Boson wrote:

Don't decide based on one climate, one soil, one cultivar and one season. Real life is more complex than that.
D
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On Monday, July 7, 2014 9:06:16 PM UTC-7, David Hare-Scott wrote:

You're right; thanks for the heads-up. If I'm still around next season.. <g> Wonder if it would make any difference if I started on time, for a change, and grew from seed instead of buying plants like last two years...
HB
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Depends on many factors.
In a climate totally unlike yours (western Ohio), I've had very good results with Black Plum. The vines are currently about 3 feet up the cages, heavy with fruit clusters and just starting to turn red.
As noted in another thread, they also have a good case of (I think) Tomato Leaf Spot. I am hoping that I treated it early enough to get a good recovery.
On the other hand, I didn't get such good results with Amish Paste. It is currently being given a second chance (2 cages, rather than 4) in case that was just an off year.
Both of these are being compared with two years ago. Last year was terrible (mostly my own fault), and I hardly got any fruit despite 17 cages of 5 different varieties.
The main downside on heirlooms is that they (mostly) haven't been through all the crossing to get the disease resistance that many current hybrids have. The upside is that there is a much larger variety of flavors. If your tastes align with Burpee's, they may not be worth the trouble.
Natural resistance varies. The Tomato Leaf Spot is on all of the Black Plum plants, but hardly to be found on the others (Amish Paste, Federle, German Pink, Dr Wyches Yellow).
--
Drew Lawson Some men's dreams
for others turn to nightmares.
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You're casting too wide a net there.
Most of the hybrids that you find in a garden center also are unsuited to industrial farming. They might work for market gardening.

The produce section in ly local supermarket is at least twice the size of my house. I worked in Kroger's headquarters long enough that they are cheap as hell (or focused on optimizing returns, if you prefer). If people weren't eating produce, that space would be filled with Cheetos and pork rinds in a heartbeat.
--
Drew Lawson For it's not the fall, but landing,
That will alter your social standing
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On 07/08/2014 06:04 AM, Drew Lawson wrote:

Hi Drew,
You have a point.
You haven't heard the constant barrage of "eat more fruits and vegetables"? See the idea is that you buy the stuff out of guilt, stick in the the refrigerator, then once a week take it out and shake it. If it becomes rubbery, your can guilt free toss it in the trash.
Can you imagine how much more of the stuff they'd sell if it tasted good? (One of the things I have learned out of teaching myself to cook is that you have to start with good tasting stuff. You can't cover it up.)
Oh by the way, there is a disease associated with that "cheap as hell" thing you describe. It is called CABDs (cheap assed bastard disease). I run into it all the time in my business. (He who spends the least, spends the most.)
-T
I have a cute little bunny to introduce to the true meaning of hot food!
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Todd wrote:

You're wrong. Whether hybrid or heirloom commercial tomatoes are harvested before they ripen so that they can survive shipping. You are not going to find vine ripened tomatoes at market, not even at farmers markets. Farm stands typically sell vine ripened because they are grown on premises so there is no shipping... only other way is to grow ones own. Heirlooms are not sold at market because they are more expensive so few people will buy them and there'd be a lot of waste. Gardeners like to grow heirlooms more for personal interest than as a food crop... some varieties taste different, I can't say they taste better... many hybrids are of unique appearence and taste different too. The main plus of hybrids is that they are more disease and insect resistant, they are also developed for a growing habit that makes commercial harvesting easier.
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On 7/8/2014 10:24 AM, Brooklyn1 wrote:

That was the heirloom seed I referred to from a guy a mile away that grew his tomatoes in the yard next to his house and sold them at a stand there. He picked red and they tasted as good as home grown. Seeds from his tomatoes very fertile and figured that him growing there so close by would be good for me but now am not certain. Tomatoes just coming on and I won't have an opinion until the end of the year but so far they are coming on slower.
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On 07/08/2014 07:24 AM, Brooklyn1 wrote:

Hi Brooklyn1,
Our local Raley's supermarket gets Heirlooms from California (over the hill) every summer. They do a good job of getting them as ripe as they can without risking damage. They are very good. I love them all, except the green varieties.
From what I can tell, Raley's jumps through hoops to protect the heirloom in shipping (something they can be a lot more lax on with the hybrids). And, then again, it is a short trip over the hill from California.
Raley's does get special buys and manages to get the cost under $3.00 a pound on special deals. (Organic tomatoes typically run $4.00 a pound.)
It is once a year for about three months. The rest of the time it is back to picked too green, plastic produce.
When the heirlooms get a bit too ripe, I make my own special, home make tomato sauce out of them. The differences in flavor make for a killer sauce.
You are correct about the expense. This is truly a marketing problem.
-T
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On Mon, 7 Jul 2014 22:26:07 -0700 (PDT), Higgs Boson

I grow some of each, for insurance... I don't like putting all my eggs in one basket/I only have one growing season and it's relatively short.
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Higgs Boson wrote:

cultivar of heirlooms, and one of hybrids, where there are more likely hundreds of each. I grow mine from seed, and I plant a row of heirlooms (brandywine) and a separate row of hybrids (beefsteaks).
My experience is the brandywine is an ugly tomato, invariably misshapen, but with a superb taste. They also bear only a single crop.
The beefsteaks are a pretty tomato, with good taste, and produce for a long time.
So I'm happy with what I get, but given the opportunity, I would eat a brandywine rather than a beefsteak.
The seed catalogs I get do a pretty good job of describing the characteristics of their offerings, so I can look, for example, for a tomato that has more or less acidity, or will mature faster or slower, or is more or less juicier.
Taste may be subjective, but it is real, and I can certainly tell the difference between those I grow, and those plastic ones from Canada and Californis that the supermarkets sell.
Since you are in California, I wonder if you could plant a second crop? In cold Ohio, I can still get two crops of beans.
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On Tuesday, July 8, 2014 8:11:55 AM UTC-7, Not@home wrote:

t.

Yes, I plan to do just that. Our climate (well,everybody's!) is so screwed up due to global warming, that we just doesn't know how long the tomato gr owing season will last. So I'm going to throw some tried & true tom seeds into the ground and see what comes up.
HB
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On 07/12/2014 01:51 PM, Higgs Boson wrote:

Hi Higgs,
"Global Warming" is junk science at its best. Politics at its worst. Not a single prediction has happened and they have been caught falsifying data. Sea level have not risen, yada, yada. The models are so bad they couldn't predict the sun rising in east.
Here is a much better science based, not politics, explanation of what is happening. Explains why the oceans have cooled for the last 11 years too.
Why Should We Be Concerned about the Next Cold Climate Era? http://www.spaceandscience.net/id68.html
This new era called a 'solar hibernation' or 'grand minimum' is caused by a repeating 206 year cycle of the Sun. These hibernations are accompanied by historic reductions in the energy output of the Sun. SSRC research shows the next solar hibernation will bring a long period of cold just as it has done before every time this cycle 'turns over' from its global warming phase to its global cooling phase.
The 206 year cycle theory has got a lot of honest solid science behind it.
Since you say you like science and the Higgs Particle has preliminarily been located, awaiting reproduction by others, may you could change your moniker from "Higgs Boson" to "206". Just an idea.
According to the 206 year solar cycle theory, we have had a smooth ride for a lot of years. Humanity will thrive, as we always have.
If you want to have a good long term weather prediction, try the "Farmer's Almanac".
-T
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