Monday, July 25, 2011

Heirloom Tomatoes 2011!!

So last Saturday at Evergreen's Brickworks I had 4 cases of my Heirlooms!  It was great to see my regular customers come early and get some!  I love seeing the excitement of the first heritage tomatoes at market. Makes all my hard work totally worthwhile knowing how much they are appreciated.
We've been selling heirloom tomatoes in Toronto for years now and I've scaled back the actual amount of varieties.  I used to mess around with over 100 varieties!  I've got about 60 now of the tried and true, best of the best for intriguing looks and taste!  I am happy to report that I did a large field planting along with the 'covered field' planting of about 900 plants. Here's a brush up on what our 'covered field' heirloom tomatoes are all about:
This is one 'covered field'.  They are our old cold farm glass greenhouses.  We have amended the soil with our kick ass field soil and our compost.  The soil is top notch for growing the best tasting tomatoes! This is why I will never call them 'greenhouse tomatoes'.  They are not grown in synthetic soil and fed chemical fertilizers.  They have all the nutrients in this house to last them the entire growing season AND after the fall frost!  Each year I plant a hefty amount of tomatoes in the field but since 2007 we haven't had much success or volume to sell because of blight.  The wet years wreaked havoc on my heirlooms and I needed to do something about this.  That is why the old cold frames have become essential - I can protect my plants from overhead moisture and 'wet feet', keep them dry and the disease at a minimum. I have also been able to extend my tomato growing season this way as well!
I have a lot of favourites - one would be this one up front.  I also love tried and true 'Black Krim', 'Striped German' and 'Green Zebra's.  These are very well known, along with the big ol' Brandywine.  You'll have to visit my table at markets to see the real cool ones and try and learn the names of the new varieties I have discovered recently! ;) See you there!