Most Americans don't realize the diversity of colors and shapes of tomatoes. I personally feel that the Pink and Purple types are much undervalued and overlooked. On my list of favorite tomatoes, nearly all are this color.
I have had people say "why isn't that tomato ripe?" when they are expecting a red tomato, never realizing the hidden gifts and fabulous sweet rich flavor of most Pink fruited varieties. Take a look at these beauties and read the great stories behind some of the best heirloom tomatoes that exist right on this page! I think I can make you a believer in "pretty in pink" in the tomato world.
Two of my most exotic tomatoes are pink in color, and are listed on this page. The very rare "Togo Trifle African Tomato" is the only African tomato I carry. Also, my personal favorite for beauty, the strangely lovely, scalloped beauty "Zapotec Pink Pleated Tomato" ,which hails from what is believed to be the botanical birthplace of all tomatoes, the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico. Be sure to have a look at the Belarusian/Ukrainian/Russian Tomato page as well for more Pink / Purple selections.
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*NEW FOR 2013* PRIDNESTROVSKIY PINK UKRAINIAN TOMATO~ Monster Pink Fruits!!~ These humongous Ukrainian tomatoes were the big surprise of the summer for me. I got my original seed to this from my great Ukrainian gardener friend, Lydmilla whose mother still lives in the Ukraine and sends her seeds every year. Despite its nearly unpronouncable name, this is just a fabulous tomato. If you want to have "braggin' rights" for the biggest, heaviest tomato from your garden, this one is a hot contender. Very early for such a huge tomato and borne on small vines, mine were no more than three and half feet tall at most. Needless to say the weight of the fruit just bent them pretty much in two and they splayed onto the ground. My fruits weighed one and one half (1-1/2 lb) POUNDS each or more! Fabulously beautiful raspberry pink color too. Lydmilla said they were resistant to fusarium wilt as well. Nice sweet creamy taste. Just a perfect beefsteak type of tomato in my opinion. You won't a huge number of fruits per plant but each fruit is 3 times as big as most others. To the best of my knowledge, I am the only commercial source of these rare tomatoes in the United States.
10 of my own fresh organically grown seeds.
*NEW FOR 2013* KORNIIVSKIY UKRAINIAN TOMATO~ Monster Pink Fruits!!~ These were the second kind of humongeous Ukrainian tomatoes that I grew this summer and were another big surprise for me. I got my original seed to this from my great Ukrainian gardener friend, Lydmilla whose mother still lives in the Ukraine and sends her seeds every year. Despite its nearly unpronouncable name, this is just a fabulous tomato. Just like the similar looking PRIDNESTROVSKIY PINK UKRAINIAN tomato also from Lydmilla, if you are looking for "braggin' rights" for the biggest, heaviest tomato from your garden, this one is another hot contender. Very early for such a huge tomato and borne on smallish vines. My plants were 4 feet tall at most. Needless to say, also like the PRIDNESTROVSKIY PINK UKRAINIAN the weight of the fruit just bent them pretty much in two and they splayed onto the ground. My fruits of KORNIIVSKIY UKRAINIAN also weighed one and one half (1-1/2 lb) POUNDS each or more! The fruits had a rather odd matte pink color and tended to have some slight ribbing. Quite sweet and very meaty. Just another perfect beefsteak type of tomato in my opinion. To the best of my knowledge, I am the only commercial source of these rare tomatoes in the United States.
10 of my own fresh organically grown seeds.
*NEW FOR 2013* VERNISSAGE PINK TOMATO~ Unique Pink From the Ukraine~ Last march I received the most fabulous surprise. In a large padded envelope was a gift of many seeds from Ukrainian tomato breeder, Ruslan Doochov (as he spelled it in his letter -evidently it is also spelled Dukhov when translated). He enclosed a rather badly Google translated letter with his all his breeding history and credentials and a personal note to ask me to grow them.
I was so excited I could hardly contain myself. Also in the package were his own photos of the tomatoes he enclosed. The “Vernisagge" ones were the most beautiful. At first I thought the word referred to their lovely stripes but at last I found out it means “a special advance showing for an art exhibition, originating from a celebration of the completion of a piece of artwork." That is such a way wonderful way to say his own original breeding produced such “artworks" of fruit!
I immediately started these precious gift seeds even though it was late march, way late in the season to start tomatoes in Pennsylvania. I certainly shouldn't have worried, as like most of the tomatoes from the Ukrainian area, they are super fast growers and can take many hardships. This tomato like its 3 other namesakes, positively jumpstarted and was able to catch up to the plants started 6-8 weeks earlier! I never saw such speedy growth. The “Vernisagge Striped Pink Tomato" was the second earliest of the series to throw out ripe fruit.
The fruits were all around 2 to 3 oz (ounces) and all were just perfect. No cracks, no catfacing, nothing but pure artistic beauty. Bigger than a cherry sort but not quite what is called “saladette" sized. They did exceedingly well especially considering the awful weather as we had record breaking heat and drought this 2013 summer here in Amishland.
Ok, you know its gorgeous and a true masterpiece of breeding work, but how about taste? That's always the clincher. These “pretty in pink" beauties had a very sweet but complex taste. They had tiny greenish yellow stripes that didn't really show up in the photos well. Nice and juicy too. And wowie zowie, prolific doesn't even begin to describe how many fruits these basically short vines threw out. The plants were about 4 feet high at most, but smothered in fruit. I mean smothered!! I guarantee you will be a delighted “art critic" with these tomatoes. As Ruslan promised, they are truly little artistic masterpieces. My photos don't do justice to their swirls, stripes and colors. I can't thank you enough, Ruslan Doochov, for sharing your artistry with my little seed company. It was truly the highpoint of my gardening season growing out all your creations! To the best of my knowledge, I am one of only two commercial sources of these rare tomatoes in the United States. Be sure to look for the rest of the series: Vernissage Green, Yellow and Black, each listed on the pages on my website for those colors of tomatoes as well as on this Belarusian/Russian/Ukrainian tomato page.
I can't thank you enough, Ruslan Doochov, for sharing your artistry with my little seed company. It was truly the highpoint of my gardening season growing out all your creations!
10 of my own fresh organically grown seeds.
*NEW FOR 2013* UKRAINIAN BEAR CLAW TOMATO~ First of all, this is NOT the famous Quissenberry Bear Claw tomato which I am already sold out of for 2013. This is a Ukrainian tomato and is a unique and unusual shade of pink. It was very hard to photograph the exact color. I got my original seed to this from my great Ukrainian gardener friend, Lydmilla whose mother still lives in the Ukraine and sends her seeds every year. Very productive and prolific, it threw out big 1/2 lb fruits all summer long until hard frost. They grow in bunches or trusses which is in itself unusual for such large fruit. Just packs them on! Huge yields per plant.I probably got more fruit, in weight, off of each of these plants than any others I grew out this hot and drought ridden summer. Just nothing stopped them. The fruits were very meaty and sugary sweet. Be the first to grow this big sweet "teddy bear" of a tomato in your garden. To the best of my knowledge, I am the only commercial source of these rare tomatoes in the United States.
10 of my own fresh organically grown seeds.
*NEW FOR 2013* VELMOZHA RUSSIAN TOMATO- aka Budyonovka or Budenovka( translates as "Budyenny's Cavalry") RARE SIBERIAN HEIRLOOM TOMATO - Only USA Commercial Seed Source This was the coolest sounding tomato. Like many of my rare and exclusive Russian and Ukrainian tomato varieties, I got my original seed to this from my great Ukrainian gardener friend, Lydmilla. It is heart shaped and supposed to grow up to 2 lbs (pounds). It is a Russian heirloom cultivated in Siberia and South Urals regions since the 1950s. But, alas, it wants it homeland and never sized up like that for me! I think our record breaking heat and drought this summer made it very unhappy indeed. It made little cute hearts about half a pound or less. Great raspberry pink color but not the size I was hoping for. Meaty with few seeds and super sugary sweet flavor. The plants were short maybe 3-1/2 feet high. I think maybe you northern gardeners may have better luck. Alaska, or Wisconsin, or Upper Peninsula Michigan anyone? I do not have a photo of this as I lost most of my photos when my computer crashed in November. I was able to save some pics off of my camera but this one was lost. So, if you are adventurous and live in a colder climate than zone 6a try the little (soon to be large!) pink Velmozha. To the best of my knowledge, I am the only commercial USA source of this tomato.
10 of my own fresh organically grown seeds.
*NEW FOR 2013* MAZARINI HEART RUSSIAN TOMATO ~ Rare Russian Tomato- A sweet Valentine of a tomato! - Only USA commercial source of seeds. Like many of my rare and exclusive Russian and Ukrainian tomato varieties, I got my original seed to this from my great Ukrainian gardener friend, Lydmilla. It is heart shaped ie Oxheart shaped. I put this one in the latest of all my tomato plants but it still caught up. Its support gave way as it was rotted so it sprawled all over the ground but was still happy. Rather wispy foliage and like I said, this summer it fruited late, not its fault, mine. Nice and meaty with very few seeds. Pink on the side of red in color. It had, like most of the Russian heart shaped tomatoes I have grown,a very sweet flavor. Mazarini hales from St. Peterburg and in my opinion, it's the "royal flush" of hearts. Just adorable fruits in the 6 - 8 oz (ounce) range. I do not have a photo of this as I lost most of my photos when my computer crashed in November. I was able to save some pics off of my camera but this one was lost. To the best of my knowledge, I am the only commercial source of these seeds in the USA. So, here is your valentine from the Czar (ok his palace was in St Petersburg) to you.
10 of my own fresh organically grown seeds.
*SORRY SOLD OUT ALREADY FOR 2013 SEASON-Look for this again in 2014* GRANDMA'S LOW ACID PINK TOMATO~ Exclusive Amish Heirloom~ This splendid, huge sweet tomato was the star of my otherwise lackluster summer growing season. I got a number of plants from
a young Amish woman who had a little "mom and pop" greenhouse operation near the town of Strasburg. She highly suggested this heirloom from her own family. The Amish usually won't give out names so this is all I have. While most of my other tomatoes struggled with the early cold, then super hot and drought ridden summer here in Amishland, this one was bountiful and deleriously happy! These huge, strong plants had very long side branches loaded with 1/2lb to 3/4lb fruit. Some so heavy they drooped to the ground. The exteriors were a lovely deep pink with an amazing deep, brilliant cherry red interior. Oh, and the taste? Well, the name low acid says it all. They were just so sweet and creamy with no trace of acid at all. I'm thrilled to be offering this local Lancaster County Amish family heirloom to all my gardening friends. *SOLD OUT*
WOLFORD WONDER Oxheart Tomato~ Max Wolford, this tomato's namesake, won a "Big Tomato" contest with this big pink. Weighing in over one pound each, these were exceptionally heavy and firm fruits. Nice and juicy, it just plain runs all over your chin. These are huge, lovely oxhearts (heart shaped). In fact, they are hands down the biggest and heaviest oxhearts I have ever seen or raised. These truly won my "heart" as my second best producing tomato this hard growing season here in Amishland. They were one of my earliest and kept on pumping out huge sweet "hearts of wonder" all season long despite the high heat and drought conditions. The plants were so loaded down with the rich, big fruit that I even had to stake the side branches to keep them off the ground. I got my original plants of this uncommon, hard to find tomato from the same young Amish woman I got the great "Grandma's Low Acid Pink" tomato from (see above). She said I'd love them and she sure didn't steer me wrong. You'll wonder how you lived without the Wolford Wonder this long.
10 of my own fresh organically grown seeds.
ROSALITA (GRAPE TYPE) TOMATO~ As my market grower friend says, "these are freakin' great". This is a fairly newly introduced, open pollinated, pink coloration of the popular grape type tomato. If you like grape tomatoes you are gonna LOVE these tiny little morsels called "Rosalita". They are way sweet and the skin literally shimmers in a rosy pink, opalescent, almost metallic kind of way. But who cares how pretty they are, right? You want good taste and ease of growing, and these pretty babies have it all. They bear scads of little fruit on long trusses. And they don't drop off the vine like so many tiny types do. "Rosalita's" taste has floral highs yet gets earthy, too. Hard to describe but way wonderful. Unbelievably sweet but not like candy, more complex. Remember Bruce Springsteen's 1973 song "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)"? That's what you'll be singing while waiting for them to ripen in your garden, and you won't wait long as they grow quickly, usually only 60 days from transplant.
10 of my own organically grown seeds.
GHANA LAITI WOTE AFRICAN TOMATO~ Exclusive!~ Rare~ A. R. of South Africa wrote to me that he was sending me seeds for several African Tomatoes as part of a seed trade. He wanted some of my rare eggplants. Here is what he wrote me when I asked for more information on those tomatoes:
"I am afraid I have very little info on tomatoes. I collected them from tomatoes bought along the road apart from the Kara, Togo, one which was from a lady at the market who sold some seeds as well as fresh veg. My friend Noeksie is visiting the highest point in each African country and we spent an amazing 3 months in West Africa last year going from mountain to mountain. The seeds come from the most interesting & tasty tomatoes bought for lunch along the way. Going on past experience of seeds collected this way, plants will be very variable; seeds collected from delicious medium tomatoes in Malawi grew out as prolific cherry toms. Along all the fields there grew little ocal tomatoes, so I guess they crossed! Hope they grow wonderfully for you over there. I remember reading somewhere that you enjoyed African tomatoes.
Tjeers! (note: his spelling of "cheers"), Al"
He originally sent me several different kinds (from Liberia, Cameroon, Mauretania, Ghana and Togo) but only about 5 or 6 seeds of each, and unfortunately the germination was poor and I was only able to get fruit from 2 varieties. This was especially exciting because despite all my travels to over 8 countries in Africa, I had not yet visited any of these countries. What a wonderful adventure he must have had!
This, the "Ghana Laiti Wote Tomato" was such a surprise. The cute little fruit looked like tiny pink bell peppers and were basically hollow inside, just like the much larger "stuffer" type tomatoes. These lend themselves well to an appetizer/canape plate of tiny stuffed veggies alongside my red and yellow Amish Stuffer Sweet Peppers. I filled them with cream cheese or pesto or Boursin cheese. And talk about a conversation starter at your next get together! "Here, please have a stuffed Ghanian tomato..." At any rate, any African tomato is rare here in the USA and now you will have a chance to grow some yourself. If you are as curious as I am, please click on this helpful link for more info about Ghana and Laiti Wote, and the mountain that Noeksie no doubt climbed.
Please be sure to see my other rare, exclusive African tomato, "Togo Kara" on my Red Tomato page. 5 of my own fresh organically grown seeds
BEAR CLAW - (QUISENBERRY STRAIN) ~ RARE Heirloom - VERY LIMITED QUANTITIES~ ORDER EARLY
From the late, famed tomato collector Ben Quisenberry's collection. I had heard of this rare tomato and how it had such huge fruit with such outstanding flavor. Boy, were they ever right! Just a fabulous tomato in absolutely every way that you can measure. First of all, it had a huge plants that overshadowed the others early on, with stems like tree trunks. I never saw tomato plants grow so large, so fast. It bore ripe large 1 pound or more fruit fairly early in the season. Then the fruit kept coming in larger and larger until it was the largest of all my tomatoes this season. And I grew out some really huge tomatoes this year. Fabulous deep, rich, pink fruit with pink interiors that beat all others in taste. They grew in so large that the branches were drooping even if only one fruit was on it! They were that darned big! So if you want to win all the contests for size this is the tomato to grow. But, if you treasure flavor above all else, then again this is the tomato to grow. Do you want to have the most tomatoes ever grown on a vine? Then this is the tomato to grow. Do you see a pattern here? Get this tomato and you will never be disappointed.
10 fresh organically grown seeds.
STUMP OF THE WORLD TOMATO, synonym (-aka) - BIG BEN TOMATO VERY RARE - Limited quantities - ORDER EARLY! - I finally found out more information about the strange name of this tomato , one of my personal favorites. Ben Quissenberry, (1887-1986), the legendary tomato grower and collector, who was one of the first to try to save heirloom tomato varieties from extinction. Quissenberry received his original seeds for this in 1967 from Bob Dyke of Boonsboro KY. In Ben's own words: "I didn't like the name for a tomato..." (it was called "Stump of the World") "... so I list it as Big Ben." According to "The Heirloom Tomato" the latest book by Amy Goldman, gardener and writer extraordinaire, the tomato was probably named after a peach of the same name. That peach was described in 1917 by U.P. Hedrick as " melting, juicy, sparkling and rich; it originated on the farm of Samuel Whitehead in Middlesex County , New Jersey in 1825. "So finally I found out a bit about the peculiar name. More research also turned up a theory that the name "Stump of the World" was a homey, old time preacher's way of saying "Stump of Jesse" or "Tree (or Stock) of Jesse," an old testament Bible reference. Interesting stuff. Although this tomato is sometimes described as weighing up to one pound, mine were smaller, more in the 1/2 to 3/4 lb size range. But this was a drought season and an unseasonably cool summer here in Amishland. It is smaller and somewhat more productive than the famous Brandywine tomato, another of Ben's famous contributions to seed saving. It is its outstanding flavor that has earned its great reputation, (despite what may be the weirdest tomato name ever given). Complex, rich, sweet, perfect tomato flavor is the real reason this this super rare , pink variety has been coveted all these years.I feel priveleged to be growing and offering this famous tomato but I still have very limited quantities of seed. I want as many gardeners as possible to have a chance to grow and taste this wonder.
10 of my own fresh organically grown seeds.
BRANDYWINE PINK -SUDDUTH'S STRAIN - aka "SUDDUTH'S BRANDYWINE"- sometimes known as "Quissenberry's Brandywine" This is the quintessential strain of the legendary "Brandywine Tomato". Here is the history: In the early 1980's, a Mrs. Doris Sudduth Hill of Tennessee gave seeds that had been in her family for 100 years to the famous tomato collector,the late Ben Quisenberry of Ohio. It had been introduced by Johnson And Stokes in 1889, and the Sudduth family had grown it ever since. It was thought to be an extinct line, until Ben got Mrs. Sudduth's seeds.There is extensive history and information about "Sudduth's Brandywine" in Amy Goldman's new book The Heirloom Tomato. .She devotes an entire page to this tomato and even gives her story of tracking down the then still living Doris Sudduth Hill at age 93. For very detailed information,history and Sudduth family anecdotes, please refer to page 108 of her book. As with the "Red Brandywine", she gives a long list of synonyms for this tomato, that attests to its continued popularity. The large potato leafed strong plants produce an abundance of dark pink fruit with that perfect tomato taste we all seek and seldom find. Excellent, complex flavor like a fine wine. It gets huge, up to 2 pound fruits are what make this strain so special. My fruit did not get as large as that this season since we had a severe drought coupled with a very late cold spring and unseasonably coool temperatures all summer.The fruits tend to vary from round to boat shape, but it is not the looks we are after, it is the fabulous, memorable flavor. All of the Brandywine tomatoes are all super wonderful tasting, but this strain may have the very best classic taste . It is fairly early for such a large fruit as well, 85 days from transplant in my zone 6A garden. Very rare strain, get yours and compare. See if you, like myself, believe this may the best Brandywine strain there is! 10 of my own organically grown seeds
PINK BRANDYWINE TOMATO - Potato leaf (80 days) Ben Quissenberry Strain - While there are many stories about the Amish
origins of this tomato, William Woys Weaver has documented this tomato as being introduced in January 1889 by the Philadelphia seed firm of Johnson & Stokes. Flavor is the sole reason that this Pennsylvania heirloom tomato from the nineteenth century remains available. The large pinkish fruits range in size from 10 to 24 ounces and are borne on vigorous vines. Fruits are flattened and irregular, a pinkish red. This is the true Brandywine from the famous Tomato Guru Ben Quisenberry. This outstanding large pink tomato is considered by many to be the best tasting of all. 10 of my own fresh organically grown seeds
PINK ACCORDIAN TOMATO - Hollow Stuffer type - You will want to play some Cajun zydeco "squeezebox" (accordion) music and dance with joy with this tomato in your garden! So, put on some Clifton Chenier and celebrate this winner. Of all the tomatoes I grew out this hot and drought ridden summer, this was clearly the winner. It out produced all the other varieties I grew out. Not only was it earlier than nearly all of my tomatoes, but it kept on pumping out stunning, perfect fruit all season long. As of Oct 14, when I write this, it still is. The large rose pink fruit have a wonderful ruffled look. Just like the name says, it is truly like a big pink accordion. Very ornate and showy fruit. It is basically hollow inside and so perfect for stuffing with chicken or tuna salad. It presents itself so beautifully on the plate and if sliced is it very pretty indeed. I think restaurant owners will love this tomato. You can also bake/roast this one with chopped Portobello mushrooms or such and drizzle with olive oil and cheese. My mother always baked tomatoes stuffed with green peas at Christmas time to serve a holiday colored side dish. She would have gone nuts over the Pink Accordion. It always looks lovely. Nice and sweet with flavorful, thick flesh on the outside of the hollow area. 10 of my own fresh organically raised seeds.
TLACOLULA PINK TOMATO - ~RARE Mexican Heirloom~ I just loved this silly looking tomato! It was so weirdly shaped it made me laugh every time I saw another fruit on the vine. Kind of pear shaped with deep ribs and pleats and no two fruits were even remotely the same. This is a rare heirloom tomato that hails from Tlacolula, in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. Any name with a "Tl" in it denotes it is of Aztec parentage. The name probably comes from the Nahuatl phrase Tlacolullan, which means “place of abundance.” However, some trace the origin to the Nahuatl phrase Tlacololli, which means “something twisted.” Nahuatl is a group of related languages and dialects of the Nahuan (traditionally called "Aztecan") branch of the Uto-Aztecan language family. Sweet flesh is very mild and not acidic. It is slightly hollow and dryish inside with the seed encased in the gel so that is is near the center of the tomato. Great deep pink color inside and out. I am particularly fond of the "ruffled" or "pleated" sorts of tomatoes as they are so unique and wild looking. These are the identical ancient fruits that have been grown by the indigenous peoples of Mexico. You will really love showing off these silly looking but yummy beauties to all your gardening friends. Plus, they are very long season and very prolific. As of October 22 when I am writing this, the vine is still pumpling out ripe fruits. The Tlacolula is rather similar looking to 2 other Mexican heirloom ribbed tomatoes I offer, the new for 2011 "Pink Accordian" and the "Zapotec Pink Ribbed" which I have loved and grown for year. 10 of my own fresh organically raised seeds.
EVA'S PURPLE BALL TOMATO - 1800'S German Heirloom No, this is not from my local Eva of Schoeneck PA. This is an heirloom pink tomato that hails from the Black Forest region of Germany. Joe Bratka of New Jersey donated it to a seed saving organization in 1992. He said it was his grandfather's dating back to the 1800's. This is just the most perfect deep pink (not really purple) tomato that there is. It is crack resistant but not tough. Each fruit is absolutely perfect, round and easy to pick, sometimes even dropping off the vine when they are the perfect ripeness. This is an all around great tomato, suitable for eating out of hand, and in salads. Have it on your sandwich or try it for canning or cooking (it peels easily). Outstanding flavor. This is also one of the easiest tomatoes to grow, and with its perfectness it's super for a market grower. It even does well in the humid south. Fruits average 4- 5 ounces. I grew this years ago and decided to try it again this past season and as always, Eva's Purple Ball never disappoints. Can you believe I never got a photo of it separately? I had gazillions of fruits every day ,all season long and just plain kept telling myself, "oh yeah, get a pic tomorrow". Sheesh, how could I have been so dumb? At any rate try this “pretty in pink" tomato and just have a “ball" eating scads of lovely tomatoes every day. 10 of my own fresh organically raised seeds.
“PURPLE DOG CREEK TOMATO"- KY HEIRLOOM - This super big deep pink tomato was the biggest surprise of the season. Not only are they huge and everything wonderful in a tomato, but there is also truly heartwarming story about where they came from. This tale is what makes hunting for heirlooms such fun."Purple Dog Creek" is a very rare family heirloom tomato from the tiny community of Dog Creek near Munfordville, inn Hart County, Kentucky. At a picnic supper given for a Martinsburg, West Virginia preacher and members of his church, these were served as a ”thank you" gift. They had gone there to help do some home improvements for the low income elderly people in that area. The tomatoes were such a hit that the preacher asked if anyone had seeds to share. One of the men at the church supper said he had grown those tomatoes and he went home to fetch the seeds. He gave those seeds to this preacher. They were then passed along to a friend of someone in his WV congregation who had heard about the Dog Creek charity work. And they continued to be passed along until I received them from my southern tomato collector friend, N.M. They are without a doubt one of the best big pinks I have ever had the privilege to eat. And trust me, I have eaten my share of wonderful big pink fruits. Indescribably delicious, I can't come up with enough superlatives to cover their taste. Meaty and lovely and oh so large. Complex blend of sweetness with a deep purplish pink hue. (I am sorry that my photos don't do justice their color, my camera tends not to get the purple/pink range of colors decently). These fruits were 1 pound (lb) or more and this was a very bad growing season here in Amishland with severe drought and unseasonably cold weather. I bet that in a good summer they would go up to 1-1/2 luscious pounds easily. I can't suggest a new-to-me heirloom tomato with higher regard. Very scarce and hard to find.
10 of my own fresh organically grown seeds
THE DUTCHMAN TOMATO
This tomato purports to grow up to 3 pounds! The history on "The Dutchman" fascinated me. It was sold by one of the first of the rare seed sellers in America, Melin W. Gleckler of Gleckler's Seedmen. Described in their 1958 catalogue as: "Here is an extremely old, large fruited pink-skinned tomato. It is practically extinct as far as securing seed. In fact, it is doubtful if seed has ever been sold by any seedsmen. Only by handing down by generations of one family has this tomato existed." This is the story of so many heirlooms, that they are saved from being lost forever only by being lovingly saved by families. Very sweet fruit and lovely color. This summer, this huge baby did really well and sized up almost as large as it was described to be. Since I don't know more about its history, I don't know where it was discovered.
Since it did so well this summer, I am increasing seed count this season to 10 of my own fresh organically grown seeds.
CHIANTI ROSE TOMATO ~VERY LIMITED QUANTITIES~ ORDER EARLY! This was a nice addition to my pink line of tomatoes. With a very intense rose pink color, Chianti Rose had early fruit with a bit of variance in size and shape, as you can see in my photo. This pretty pink has potato leaf foliage. It comes from an open pollinated cross of good old favorite Pink Brandywine with an unknown, unnamed Italian heirloom variety, possibly a paste type. So it has the attributes of the famous Brandywine taste with the more of the solid meatiness of a paste tomato. Great rich flavor and earliness make this one a good early sort to try. I found the fruit to be juicy but creamy and flavorful with very thin skin. This season here in Amishland was very hard. It was unseasonably cold and wet in the early season, then followed by drought, more coolness and many cloudy days. We hardly had a day over 80 and seldom any of that hot sunshine that tomatoes need to be happy. It did well this cool short summer but I feel that in a better season this tomato could be a real standout in your garden.~VERY LIMITED QUANTITIES~ ORDER EARLY! 10 of my own fresh organically raised seeds.
ROYAL HILLBILLY ~VERY LIMITED QUANTITIES~ ORDER EARLY! I had heard nothing but supreme praise for this huge pink tomato, so I got some seeds for planting from my "source", my southern seed collector friend, N.M. Wow, he was right, it’s right up there in the top 10 taste wise! This great 'mater was introduced by the late, great Oklahoma grower, Darrell Merrell, in 1997. Darrell selected this tomato from some of his variations of the bi-colored Hillbilly tomato. Fabulous coloration of a deep purpley pink which almost tinges on violet in certain lights. Sorry, but in my photo it looks kind of reddish, and it definitely is very pinkish. But who cares how pretty in purple it is, it’s the flavor you get excited about! With a complex, perfect ratio of tangy and sweet, it has a flavor that Darrell Merrell called exquisite. And this was a man who had grown hundreds of tomato varieties. This season here in Amishland was very hard. It was unseasonably cold and wet in the early season, then followed by drought, more coolness and many cloudy days. We hardly had a day over 80 and seldom any of that hot sunshine that tomatoes need to be happy. So I did not have the prolific bumper crop that this tomato is famous for. But I am confident that in a "normal" hot summer this pink/purple whopper would exceed all expectations.~VERY LIMITED QUANTITIES~ ORDER EARLY! 10 of my own fresh organically raised seeds.
BLOSSER PINK TOMATO ~VERY LIMITED QUANTITIES~ ORDER EARLY! Virginia Mennonite Heirloom - I got my original seeds for this in a convoluted seed trade through the efforts of my southern tomato seed saver friend, N.M. I am always on the lookout for Mennonite, Amish and PA German/Dutch heirlooms and he found me this rare beauty. despite my research, I wasn't able to find out much history on this one, only that it is a genuine Mennonite Heirloom from Virginia. Nice old fashioned tomato flavor like you thought was a figment of the past. As you can see from my photo, this is one big ole 'mater in that traditional "boat" shape with some ribbing like many of the best of the old timers. Just sublime, creamy , sweet, balanced tomatoey taste. You will love this rare beauty. Due to the very hard growing season this year I have VERY LIMITED QUANTITIES~ ORDER EARLY! 10 of my own fresh organically raised seeds.
GRACE LAHMAN'S PINK TOMATO ~ aka LAHMAN PINK TOMATO~ LIMITED QUANTITIES~ ORDER EARLY! This perfectly lovely, perfect pink tomato is a family heirloom from Grace Lahman of Fairview, MO. The fruits are absolutely blemish free and meaty. Very juicy and suitable for canning or eating fresh. The Grace Lahman Tomato is about 6 ounces or so and was fairly productive even in this difficult summer we had in Amishland. It has a reputation among seed savers for huge production, so I imagine the harsh weather was a factor. However, despite its flawless beauty, I completely forgot to take a photo of it! In my defense, I did grow out 54 kinds of tomatoes this summer and was able to remember to photograph all the others. This tomato might be a great choice for a market gardener in a better season.~ LIMITED QUANTITIES~ ORDER EARLY! 10 of my own fresh organically raised seeds.
AMISH MAYBERRY TOMATO Exclusive ~ Only commercial source in the USA ~ cherry/grape type- When I wrote the article on "Saving Amish and Mennonite Seeds " for Farm & Ranch Living magazine in 2007, I received a number of phone calls and letters from plain people all over the United States. Many offered me their family's heirloom seeds. This little tomato was the very best of those very kind gifts. The lady who sent it to me wished to remain anonymous regarding putting personal information on my website. I was astonished at this little cherry/grape type of tomato. It was the first to ripen of all my tomatoes this season and the last to go, right up to hard frost. It just kept pumping out buckets of sweet, succulent little fruits. They were red with a peculiar, almost golden tint to the skin. Most were round but some were more of a grape shape. The great thing was not only were they prolific but they stayed on the bush, and didn't fall off the vine like so many cherry types do. They grew on a compact small plant , only 3 1/2 to 4 feet tall but not a determinate plant in that it produced all season, not once and done like most determinate tomatoes. Nice and sweet yet firm enough to travel, so these would be a market grower's dream. I am sorry, but other than the fact that they came from an Amish community in the Midwest, and are a genuine Amish heirloom, I don't have any real history or any other information on this little darling. But I guarantee you will love the “Amish Mayberry Tomato”. Try this baby, you won't be disappointed. Easy enough for a child to grow, just great for a beginner gardener. They never cracked, rotted, spotted or "catfaced". Each fruit was just a perfect little jewel all season long. To the best of my knowledge, I am the only commercial seed source of this tomato. 10 fresh organically raised seeds.
OPAL ESSENCE PINK TOMATO -I was absolutely thrilled with this little pink beauty! It grows in a rather small almost determinate vine. This tomato hails from Canada so it sets fruit nice and early and keeps on pumping out perfect little morsels till hard frost. It is an almost iridescent pink, the beauty of which just does not show in my photos. Each diminutive fruit is so perfect, round and delicious.
10 fresh organic seeds.
ROSE TOMATO aka AMISH ROSE GENUINE AMISH HEIRLOOM!-
This huge pink tomato rivals Brandywine for taste. In my yearly summer taste test it beat out the legendary Brandywine. A deep rose-red color, usually smoother than Brandywine, and every bit as large and meaty. Normal leaf plants also out-yield Brandywine, and are earlier.
Try this for great tasting, big, sandwich size tomatoes, especially if you grow Brandywine. Seeds from Dr. Grace Kaiser, who was a physician to the Amish in New Holland, Pennsylvania (which is about 10 miles form my home). She was given the original seeds in 1960 by Hannah Lapp, one of her Amish patients. Read more about Dr. Kaiser in her fascinating memoir of her years as a doctor to the Amish community in the book: Dr Frau. 10 of my own fresh organically grown seeds.
*BACK FOR 2013* "LANCASTER COUNTY" BIG PINK TOMATO ~VERY LIMITED QUANTITIES~ ORDER EARLY~ - Potato Leafed - I had received 3 plants in a plant/seed trade. They were supposed to be the fabled "Amish Paste Tomato". I wanted to grow out this tomato again, since I specialize in Amish heirloom seeds. I had grown it years ago but have never offered those seeds for sale on my website. Imagine my surprise when just about the largest beefsteak sized tomatoes I have ever grown started showing up on huge potato leafed vines, extremely early in the season! Now "Amish Paste Tomato” is a small regular leafed rather short vine with fruit about 5 to 8 oz. This tomato was very deep pink and monster sized, especially since it was so early. Most of the amazingly prolific fruit were 1 to 1-1/2 pounds each! Some of the fruit had a bit of green on their shoulders, especially early in the season. The vines grew at least 8 feet or more on very thick strong trunks, like small trees! I could barely stake them, they were so heavy, and I use 6 foot commercial steel farm fence posts for staking most of my tomatoes. In one day I picked about 40 of these giant fruit off of just those 3 plants!
At any rate, I am unable to positively identify these delicious monsters, nor could my seed trade friend. But the good news is that the taste was supreme. They were creamy, sweet, rich, and perfectly balanced. They had that great old fashioned tomato taste we all seek and seldom find. Well, they are still producing huge 1-1/2 lb fruits, even though it is the very end of October here and the weather turned unseasonably cold these past 2 weeks, and we are about to have frost. Nothing has stopped these tomatoes! They won my yearly tomato taste tests I do with my friends each season. I imagine they are one of those great heirloom pinks, possibly German, because they actually ripen early, despite their huge size. But I really don't know which one it is. Take a wild chance and don't miss out on one of the best tasting tomatoes I have grown in years. My new favorite for taste, if only I knew what it was. So, I am just calling it "LANCASTER COUNTY" TOMATO” since that is where I live and grow out my seed stock, until I can get a positive identity. It ripened in about 70 days from transplant. Try it, I guarantee you will love it! I am giving extra seeds for this one .Please let me know what you think and see if you can help me to identify it. I even sent many photos of this 'mater to a fellow seed seller friend who maintains a collection of over 350 varieties of tomatoes and she couldn't help for a positive identity.
10 of my own fresh organically grown seeds.
EVA'S SCHOENECK (BEAUTIFUL CORNER) PINK TOMATO ~Exclusive Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Heirloom~ONLY SOURCE !~
Schoeneck is the village where my 89 year old, Pennsylvania Dutch friend, Eva lived. The name translates from Pennsylvania German as "beautiful corner". Eva has given me so many of her family heirloom seeds. She passed away over six years ago (2 days after my Daddy passed) in mid sentence asking her son about how big his fish were on his latest fishing trip. That's the way to go! I miss her so much. I still go to her grave and talk to her about how her gardens and mine have been growing.
Eva gave me seeds of her favorite tomato, the one I sell called "Eva's Amish Stripe" a few years back. I like to always go back to my original seed source when I grow a variety for a few years to make sure it is growing true. Nestled in the same bag was a packet of a few smaller seeds. I grew these out along with the original "Eva's Amish Stripe" seeds that season. And this lovely ribbed pink is what grew out from those extra seeds. Very prolific, growing in trellised bunches and early, this was a standout in the garden this and every year. Medium sized slightly squatty fruit weighed anywhere from 8 to 14 ounces. There seemed to be quite a variance in size even on the same vine. Pretty, bright pink color, tender skin and sweet creamy flavor. These were quite juicy as well. They grew on strong rather branching vines.
I asked Eva's daughter to look at these tomatoes and see if she remembered anything about them. Well, she only recognized them as "one Mum always grew". So, I don't know any more documented history than that. I do know that Eva was an avid seed saver and only saved seeds of what she loved. But my educated guess would be that Eva probably grew these, like her other favorite tomatoes, for at least 40 to 50 years. You are sure to love this special old time pink tomato. You won't find this heirloom tomato anywhere else. Thanks to Eva's generosity, I am the only USA source for these seeds. 10 of my own fresh organically grown seeds
TODD COUNTY AMISH TOMATO ~Scarce, hard to find Genuine Amish Heirloom~
I got my original seeds in a seed trade after I put the word out that I am always looking for genuine Amish Heirlooms. Many tomatoes purport to be Amish but few really are. This came to me from a friend who got it in a convoluted way via a Wisconsin (or possibly MN, I had 2 states given to me as the source) Amish Family who did not want their name given. So it was named after the county where they lived. The Amish family had called it German Non-Acid. It might be assumed with that name to be originally of German origin but there was no trackable, clear history given by the family. Not a very pretty name for a wonderful tomato. These huge tomatoes are way beautiful, and really, really heavy and meaty. They have a totally pale pink interior, very few seeds. They had greenish yellow shoulders when ripe. And yes, it is sweet with very little acid and quite nice rich flavor. Just a fabulous tomato that really did well in our colder than normal summer here in Pennsylvania. The average fruit was over 1 pound and can be up to 2 pounds, and was pretty with little cracking for that large size. I was very impressed with this one. Like all of my photos from this camera, they don't show up as pink as they are in real life. Grow this one if you want tasty big'uns.
10 fresh organically grown seeds.
AMISH POTATO LEAF TOMATO ~Scarce, hard to find Genuine Amish Heirloom
I got my original seeds in a seed trade after I put the word out that I am always looking for genuine Amish Heirlooms. Many tomatoes purport to be Amish but few really are. This came to me from a friend who got it in a convoluted way via a Wisconsin (or possibly MN, I had 2 states given to me as the source) Amish Family who did not want their name given. So it was named after what it looked like. The Amish family had called it just “Low Acid”. I also got the other, new to me, Amish Heirloom "Todd county Amish" from this same source.
There was no other trackable, clear history given by the family. This one also is believed to have a German origin. Not a very exciting name for a wonderful tomato. This tomato also was very large but had Potato leafed foliage. The monster huge pink fruit were really gorgeous and one of the very largest of the tomatoes that I grew out in this season of really huge tomatoes. Fruits were all deep pink in color which doesn't show well in my photos. My camera tends to make all the pink tomatoes look more red. Most were over 1 pound and some were much larger than that. Very flawless with little cracking or catfacing for such a large beefsteak type. Just perfect pink flavor. I am convinced that no red tomato can hold a candle to a pink as far as taste is concerned. And this was yet another winner in the pink category. And very high yield as well, they kept on coming all season long. For such huge fruit it was amazingly early as well. You will love this genuine Amish family heirloom.
10 fresh organically grown seeds.
*SORRY SOLD OUT ALREADY FOR 2013 SEASON-Look for this again in 2014* DEPP'S PINK FIREFLY TOMATO ~ Scarce Kentucky Heirloom ~
This just might be the most poetic name I have ever heard for a tomato. This one I had heard of but it took a few years to track it down. I finally found it for growing out this season. This heirloom dates back to Glasgow KY and has been grown by the Depp family since 1890. It was a potato leafed vine that was rather large with a trunk- like main stem. Deep, dusky pink fruit . It had an indescribably delicious creamy texture you don't often find . Very sweet and strangely heavy tomatoes, that are ever so meaty and with little juice. Most of my fruit was about 1/2 to 3/4 pound although they are supposed to get over 1 pound. We had a cool summer and I am north of Kentucky from where this came so that probably affected its size. It is supposed to have flecks ( the fireflies ) on its skin but only a few fruit did that and it barely shows in my photo. Just a wonderful, sweet, old fashioned pink like you remember. You won't be disappointed with this one. It was described to me " as a gem" and that is exactly what it is. *SOLD OUT*
BRANDYWINE TOMATO-GLICK'S STRAIN STRAIN - VERY LIMITED QUANTITIES ~ ORDER EARLY ~ The Best of the Brandywines !
I have grown out as many of the fabled Brandywine tomatoes as I can find and this strain was sent to me as the best of the best by a collector with over a thousand tomatoes in his collection. He is right, this is the best of the Brandywines in every way. The history is that the seed came via Glen Brendle, whose family obtained it from Isaac N. Glick, an early seedsman from Lancaster, PA, who distributed seed for Johnson and Stokes Seeds of Philadelphia. Brandywine Tomato was first introduced by them in 1889. This was fabled tomato collector, the late Ben Quisenberry's favorite tasting tomato. This appears to be the most original of the many Brandywine strains, and still the best tasting of all of them by a long shot. This is, as with all Brandywines, a potato leaf plant and it threw out the prettiest fruit. They were as perfect as any large 10 to 20 ounce pink I have grown and just as perfect in flavor. They have that wondrous mix of sweet and tart with rich winey overtones. You will love this great, early and genuine version of Brandywine Tomato.
10 fresh organically grown seeds.
MIKADO PINK TOMATO- LIMITED QUANTITIES-ORDER EARLY! RARE
- - also know as " Turner's Hybrid". I found very little history on this tomato variety. Here is what I found that is commonly said about this tomato : "Mikado: Also known as "Turner's Hybrid" , this variety was developed and released by Henderson in 1889. It is described as a large, smooth pink tomato on a potato leaf foliaged plant. "
This was an open pollinated tomato, so I wouldn't call it a hybrid at all. It did grow on potato leafed foliage and the plant was rather short. I would call it almost a determinate sort, although it did fruit all season, not once and done like a typical determinate vine. It was not really prolific but the fruits were amazingly pretty. They had an almost striped look to them, ( see photo).This pink fruited version of this tomato came mixed in with the very rare pure white " Mikado" or "Shah" that I had traded for. Please look for my rare "Mikado White " this year also. I was sold out the seed, and now can reoffer it again. So that person must have put both Mikado types together in one packet. At any rate this is very pretty , smooth,almost luminescent pink tomato about 6- 8 oz. It had variations on the skin almost like faint stripes. I have a limited quantity of this seed as this is the first time I have grown it out. 10 of my own fresh organically grown seeds.
OAXACAN PINK MEXICAN HEIRLOOM TOMATO I got my original seeds of this great tomato in a seed trade. The guy I got the seeds from said I would love it and boy, was he ever right! From the Oaxacan region of Mexico, famous for its folk art and undisturbed native population. These medium to large light pink flattened fruit really produced for me. This tomato was fairly early and seemed to be particularly disease resistant. Pretty fruits really had a pow flavor, sweet with some acid. Rare variety seldom seen outside of Mexico. 10 of my own fresh organically grown seeds
TIFFEN MENNONITE TOMATO I was just thrilled to find this Mennonite ( religious sect similar to Amish) heirloom tomato. It is rather similar to the famous "Brandywine" tomato, with potato leaf foliage, deep pink color and that rich old fashioned taste we all love and have missed. Slightly oblate, boat shaped, large fruit makes a superb sandwich tomato for slicing. You will stand in the garden munching on these, before you even get them to your kitchen, they are that good. 10 fresh organically grown seeds
“LARGE MENNONITE PINK TOMATO" - I was ecstatic over this huge pink beefsteak tomato. Another great tomato sent to me via my southern tomato collector friend, N.M. I was unable to trace history or anything but this name about this wonderful tomato at all. It was fairly early for such huge fruit set on, surprisingly, not particularly large vines. This was one lovely tomato, a very deep almost purplish hue of pink. In the photo it looks lighter due to the sun. It was very handsome with little cracking and no cat facing, especially for such a heavy, large fruit. Most of mine weighed over 1 pound (lb). This is especially amazing since we had a terrible drought and a very unseasonably cold summer here in Amishland. I would hazard a guess that these monsters would top out up to 1-1/2 to 2 pounds (lbs) easily in a good summer. And the taste is sublime, like so many huge pinks. It was sweet, creamy and rich with a perfect balance of flavors. One slice would cover a sandwich for sure. I get local organic homemade bacon and that, with some Hellman's mayo and this superb tomato makes it the ultimate. BLT heaven, anyone? This was my second favorite tomato I grew out this season, after the wondrous “Grandma Josie's Amish White." Still, Large Mennonite Pink was really so much better than any tomato out there. Easy to size up and the only problem was staking the branches which didn't seem strong enough to hold their way heavy fruit. Ah, we should all have such problems with our tomatoes, eh?
10 fresh organically raised seeds.
BALI TOMATO ~ VERY LIMITED QUANTITIES~ ORDER EARLY ~This is a very rare tomato from the island of Bali in Indonesia. It has small 2-3" fruit in the most splendid shade of bright raspberry pink. The photos don't do justice to the color. The taste is sublime, fruity yet spicy - just perfect. They have a strong sweet fragrance, which just adds to the joy of eating them. Large plants, mine grew up a large sunflower then attacked the fence. It has a lot of ribbing and in shape and color is resembles the tomato I sell "Togo Trifle", but it is totally different in flavor.
10 fresh organically grown seeds.
ZAPOTEC PINK PLEATED TOMATO - ~ VERY LIMITED QUANTITIES ~ ORDER EARLY ~ Traditional Heirloom ~ - My seed came originally from the Zapotec people of Oaxaca, Mexico. The Zapotecs call these "tomate enrrollado rojo." This is a real showstopper tomato! These unusual sweet, mild, fruits are large and pink with ruffles like a pleated dress. You will never see another tomato like this one! Its pleated shape makes it very ornamental. Wonderful sliced to show off its pretty scalloped edges. They can be stuffed and baked like a bell pepper or delicious served raw in salads. About 1/2 lb each or more. Yields are prolific. I truly believe these are the most ornamental tomatoes you can grow. 10 of my own fresh organically grown seeds.