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2009 Tomato List

April 21st, 2009

Many of you commented on how many tomatoes I had yesterday. Let me explain why I have so many plants. I have 22 different kinds that I’m growing this year, I will only be growing one plant for most of these varieties so many of these plants will be given to family and friends (any locals interested let me know, I’d be more than happy to share). I’m growing several plants of a few varieties for canning and preserving, mainly Mama Leone and Constoluto Genovese for canning and Principe Borghese for drying.
I’m most excited about my 2 San Marzano’s which were generously sent to me by Chicago Mike. I may be growing lots of these next year, they’re supposed to be great for canning. Most of the remaining varieties will be for eating fresh, we’ll decide which ones we like best and grow those next year. I’m hoping to have lots of extra fresh tomatoes to take in to the local food bank (and I’m hoping to have extra plants to take in as well). I’m sure throughout the summer I’ll lose a few plants to disease and pests, which is more common with heirloom plants.
Here’s a list of all the tomatoes I’m growing this year. Some of them have very details descriptions so the list is quite long. Feel free to add a comment if you like or dislike any of these varieties.

Principe Borghese – The Italian heirloom that is famous for sun drying. Small 1-2 oz. grape-shaped fruit are very dry and have few seeds. They have a rich tomato taste that is wonderful for sauces. Determinate vines yield clusters of fruit in abundance, perfect for selling in fresh markets and making specialty products. Determinate, 70-75 days.

Stupice (Czechoslovakian heirloom, early & delicious) – An extra-early, cold-tolerant tomato similar to, but much better than, Glacier tomato, Kotlas and IPB in terms of fresh flavor and yields. The vines are more vigorous than other extra-early, potato-leaf types; and, in part, this may account for the consistently good, sweet and tangy, tomatoey flavor that you get from the first juicy fruit to the last. From north to south, east to west, this 2-4 oz tomato is on the “Best Choice” list for its flavor and season-long production. Indeterminate, 55 days.

Wapsipinicon Peach -This unusual, cream-yellow tomato has a fuzzy skin. The 2″ fruits are very sweet with a nice, fruity flavor. The plants are highly productive. Wapsipinicon Peach tomato originally came from Dennis Schlicht and was named after the Wapsipinicon river in Iowa. Indeterminate, 80 days.

Zapotec Pleated Tomatoes – (Lycopersicon esculentum) Rare/Traditional. Named for its creators, the Zapotec people of Oaxaca, the pink fruits are large, with ruffles like a pleated dress. They can be stuffed and baked like a bell pepper, or served raw. Sow seed in flats indoors and plant out in garden in 6-8 weeks when all danger of frost has passed. Plant in rows 24-36 inches apart. Needs trellising. Harvesting tips. Pick individual fruits as they ripen. When frost threatens, entire plant can be lifted, including roots, and hung upside down indoors to ripen remaining fruits. (Soil Temp. for Germ.: 70-85°F, Days to Germ.: 10-14, Plant Spacing: 2′-3′, Days to Maturity: 80-85, Full Sun/Moderate Water)

Dr Wyche’s Yellow – Named after Dr. Wyche who supposedly lived in the mountains and fertilized his garden with manure from a nearby zoo. Undoubtedly one of the best tasting yellow tomatoes to be found. A beefsteak heirloom that produces slightly flattened, smooth, blemish-free, golden-yellow fruit with a meaty interior and few seeds. It’s rich flavor and larger size sets this variety apart from other yellow heirlooms.

Black Krim Tomato – Dark red-purple fruit, rich sweet flavor. One of the best. It always places high in tomato taste trials. It’s very juicy. An heirloom from Russia with very unique looking, large fruit. I really like the wonderful flavor. It’s popular at many markets on the West Coast; also a favorite of many fine chefs. 80 days.

San Marzano Tomato – For canning, paste, and a killer spaghetti sauce, it’s hard to beat ‘San Marzano’, a sought-after heirloom from the Campania region of southern Italy. A highly prized Italian heirloom tomato for its fruit with firm pulp and thick skin, used in the concentrate industry as well as for canning ‘peeled’ tomatoes. This is truly the Italian standard for sauce and paste and a heavy producer. The fruit are long, often mistaken for large peppers from a distance. Fleshy with few seeds, often with ‘dry’ seed cavities, and with an authentic flavor that will take you back to Italy. A vigorous grower (we couldn’t believe the size of the harvests even in zone 5), vines start bearing later in the summer but then come on fast and furiously, producing heavy, 3½-inch-long tapered fruits in clusters of five or six. ‘San Marzano’ is low in sugar and acid, which gives it superior flavor when cooked. The vigorous plants are extremely prolific and produce until the first hard frost. Indeterminate, 80 days.

Cherokee Purple – Given to heirloom tomato collector Craig LeHoullier by J. D. Green of Tennessee, it is at least 100 years old and was reported as originally grown by the Cherokee Indians. The fruits are large (twelve to sixteen ounces), dark pink with darker purple shoulders. Excellent complex flavor, slight sweet aftertaste, perfect slicer for tomato sandwiches! Try this one for real old-time tomato flavor. Indeterminate, 80 days.

Cold Set – Lycopersicon esculentum. A variety from Canada, plant plant produces good yields of 4″ size red tomatoes. Very flavorful and the easiest tomato plant you can grow. You can sow the seeds directly into garden. The seeds will withstand temperatures as low as 18 degrees in Canadian trials. Excellent for salads and sandwiches. Determinate, 65 days.

Tumbling Tom – Cascades of sweet, juicy cherry tomatoes right on your deck. Don’t let the compact, trailing habit fool you. Tumbling Tom is a heavy yielder of beautiful bright red cherry tomatoes. Perfect for hanging baskets or deck planters, and produces 15-20 gram cherry tomatoes with very good flavour. Begins yeilding early at approx 65 days from transplanting, and continues to produce throughout the summer, Determinate.

Costoluto Genovese – The Costoluto Genovese tomato is an old Italian preserving tomato variety. It’s heavily lobed and often convoluted shape is indicative of early nineteenth century tomato varieties, but makes an oddity in today’s vegetable garden. The Costoluto Genovese’s stellar flavor is intense and acidic. Because of its odd shape, this tomato is best for sauces and pastes where the skin is removed. This indeterminate variety should be started indoors six to eight weeks before the last spring frost. Sow one-quarter inch deep in flats or pots, keeping the soil mix moist, not soggy. When several leaves have developed, harden off seedlings and transplant eighteen to thirty-six inches apart in the garden. Full sun. Has ribbed fruits, about 5 – 7 ounces, Indeterminate, 90 days.

Roller Coaster Cherry Tomato Mix – Delicious and colorful blend made from varieties of cherry, pea, currant, wild types and rarities. Indeterminate, 70 – 85 days.

Azoychka – A very productive Russian heirloom found at the Bird Market in Moscow. (“Azoychka” is a woman’s name.) Produce indeterminate, regular-leaf tomato plants that produce an abundant crop of smooth, 3-inch round, slightly flattened, yellow/orange tomatoes with a sweet citrusy flavor. This is a delightful small yellow beefsteak tomato that matures so early it will be one of the first varieties to ripen in your garden. Beautifully smooth, lemon yellow fruit weighs about 8 ozs. and is very flavorful, rich but pleasantly sweet with a delicious hint of citrus. Heirloom variety from Russia. Our stock seed is from Craig Le Houllier. Indeterminate, 70+ days.

Mama Leone Tomato – A real old-time Italian paste tomato, this variety produces 5-6 oz full-flavored red fruit that are supreme in sauces and paste. The vines set high yields. This heirloom that was brought from Italy many years ago to New York state. 75 days.

Black from Tula – The Black From Tula is a Russian variety of black tomato that hails from the city of Tula in Western Russia. Black From Tula gives a good yield of 12 to 14 ounce beefsteak tomatoes of a dusky brown to a rich black that possess a unique, rich smoky taste. Black Tula was once a widely offered tomato variety, but is now becoming rare. Indeterminate. Matures in 75 days.

Brandywine Tomato – 80-100 days, indeterminate – It is by far one of the best known heirloom tomato varieties. There is a lot of lore surrounding the ‘Brandywine’ category of tomatoes. Reportedly it is an old Amish heirloom, dating back to 1885 and named after Brandywine Creek in Chester County, Pennsylvania. The disease tolerant, regular leaf plants yield fruits that are red, globe shaped, and full of flavor.

White Beauty – Plant produces good yields of 8 oz creamy white tomatoes. Tomatoes are very sweet and meaty. It is creamy white inside and outside, with few seeds! Add color to gourmet dishes, or make a white spaghetti sauce! Creamy white, meaty and delicious, most about a half pound. Indeterminate, 85 days.

Sub-Arctic Plenty or World’s Earliest – One of the very earliest tomatoes, the compact plants produce lots of 2 oz red fruit. It one of the best for cool conditions and will set fruit in lower temperatures than most. It has even been grown in the Southern Yukon. Developed by Dr. Harris, Beaverlodge Research Station, Alberta, Canada. 49-59 days.

Orange Amish Market – This tomato I bought at the Amish market last summer and it was one of the most delicious tomatoes I’ve ever eating. So I saved a few seeds, hopefully these tomatoes are just as tasty as the ones I bought!

Dix Doights de Naples (10 Fingers of Naples) – And Italian Heirloom with “Clusters ” of paste tomatoes! Fantastic yields of carrot/pepper shaped fruit. Tall vines produce plenty of fruits in bunches of 3 or more. This tomato does tend to show some bloom rot on its first setting of fruit, however, they are supposedly beautiful after that and well worth the small “problem”. Indeterminate, 75 days.

Goji Faranji – Very rare, Iranian ruffled red beefsteak, about 6 – 8 ounces, a bit tangy, 85+ days.

Golden Jubilee -Wonderful variety grown for decades, 3″ yellow-orange globes, delicious. Indeterminate, 70 days.
In previous years I’ve only grown 2 different kinds of tomatoes, a canning tomato and an eating tomato (usually Viva Italia and Lemon Boy), so I’m super excited about all the shapes and colors of tomatoes that will be gracing my gardens this summer. I’ll keep you posted on all the different varieties, how they taste and how the plants do in this climate.

What how many and what kinds of tomatoes are you growing this year?

36 Comments to “2009 Tomato List”
  1. Mangochild on April 21, 2009 at 5:22 am

    This post taught me so much about tomatoes – I knew there were seemingly endless kinds, but the differences eluded me. I’ll be looking for Principe Borghese and Cherokee Purple if I can find them in the farmers’ markets. I’m not growing any tomatoes of my own though….

    Mangochild’s last blog post.. An Experience From Foodshare

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  2. Julia on April 21, 2009 at 6:56 am

    I’m impressed! I stilll haven’t mastered the art of starting seeds indoors — and look at you!

    I haven’t had great success with heirlooms, though I plant a few every year. I usually plant hybrids but haven’t found the perfect one yet. Any suggetions?

    Julia’s last blog post.. Cooking Foie Gras (Recipe: Five Spice Duck Breast with Spring Green Bao)

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    • Susy on April 21, 2009 at 9:53 am

      For a good mild eating tomato I would recommend Lemon Boys – they’re so tasty to eat plain with a bit of olive oil, pepper & salt. It’s a delicious mellow non-acidic yellow (it was the first tomato Mr Chiots could just eat plain).

      I really like Viva Italia’s as well. They’re a very versatile roma type, they can and preserve very well and they roast fabulously for a dried type tomato. I roasted hundreds in the oven last year and froze them, we eat them on pizzas.

      Both of these varieties seem very disease resistant as well, I have not had any problems with either for the 3-4 years I’ve grown them. Last year I only grew these 2 types because they’re good solid tomatoes.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  3. Judy on April 21, 2009 at 7:10 am

    I have 8 varieties started (6 heirloom 2 hybrids). For heirlooms I have Amana Orange, Amish Paste, Bloody Butcher, Cherry Roma, Mortgage Lifter and Polish Linguisa. I have Big Mama and Jetsonic hybrids (free seeds). I’m hoping to get at least one Brandywine and a Black Krim from my friend Roger and may see what I can find at the farmer’s market for ‘fun’ tomatoes. Last year we did black cherry tomatoes. They were fun.

    Judy’s last blog post.. House- Day 1: not great weather

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    • Susy on April 21, 2009 at 9:54 am

      I really do love the names of all of the heirlooms. How great is it to tell someone you’re growing Bloody Butcher’s in your garden (a man must have named that one).

      Reply to Susy's comment

  4. kristin on April 21, 2009 at 8:01 am

    Moonglow, Kellogg’s Breakfast, Jet Star, Stupice (I grew these last year and really liked the flavor), Celebrity, Primetime, Baby Cakes, Black Krim, and Romas for canning. Most of these are new to me this year. We’ll see how they work out . . .

    kristin’s last blog post.. My Name Is Kristin, and I’m a Chucker

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  5. Andres on April 21, 2009 at 8:26 am

    I am growing the following heirloom varieties this year:
    -Tumbling Tom ~ Loads of red cherries on dwarf plants are perfect for pots or hanging containers
    -Celebrity ~ Tasty red fruits weigh up to a half pound, good cropper, disease resistant too
    -Marglobe ~ Great flavor from yesteryear, this fine cropper deserves a spot in every garden, red 6 – 7 ounce globes
    -Chico III ~ Plum-shaped paste, red fruits about three ounces, excellent cropper and disease resistant too
    -Bursztyn ~ Ripens to amber-gold, wonderful flavor, about 2 – 4 ounces each
    -Ace 55 ~ Globe-shaped, red fruits up to a half pound, very reliable and tasty, described as low-acid
    -Homestead ~ Floridian tomato developed for hot southern climates,
    -Carolina Gold ~ Steady cropper of tasty, three to four inch, beautiful golden fruit.
    I have at least two plants started so far of each variety. Your idea of giving tomatoes to the food bank is a good idea. My wife and I may try doing so as well.

    Andres’s last blog post.. Summer Squash, Cucumbers & Melons

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    • Susy on April 21, 2009 at 1:17 pm

      I’m hoping my Tumbling Tom’s will look great in my hanging baskets.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  6. Dan on April 21, 2009 at 9:09 am

    Cherokee Purple is an amazing tomato. I have grown them for 5 years now and they always perform well and taste great.

    I am interested in following the San Marzano progress. I am growing 3 canning tomatoes for the first time this year and your sounds like a much better variety. I am trying Jersey Devil for its novelty factor but they really are one wimpy looking plant.

    For the past 6 years I have grown 5 tomatoes in large containers. This year I am growing 15 plants, 3 canning in the oak barrel, 3 smaller tomatoes in topsy turvey’s and 9 in real soil. Should be a tomato filled season.

    How do you dry your tomatoes & what do you put them in? I have been reading about this in coleman’s books and it sounds interesting.

    Dan’s last blog post.. Rainy Afternoon Spent Potting Up

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  7. Patrick on April 21, 2009 at 9:26 am

    I’m growing San Marzano, Early Girl, and Brandywine in the ground, and Aunt Ruby and Koralik in containers. I’ve started them all, but most are not growing very vigorously. I aim to put them in the ground (Washington, DC) this weekend with the hopes that they’ll take off with some room, air, sun, and a little heat.

    Any chance you could take a few close-up photos of your San Marzano seedlings? I almost managed to keep everything labeled properly, but along the way I confused some San Marzanos and Early Girls. I think I can tell them apart, but some photos would help. Thanks!

    Reply to Patrick's comment

  8. Helen on April 21, 2009 at 10:19 am

    What a fabulous list! I’ll be bookmarking this and coming back. Is Cold Set only available as seeds, do you think?

    Helen’s last blog post.. Today, the weeping willow is a whipping willow

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    • Susy on April 21, 2009 at 1:20 pm

      I’m not sure, you’ll have to call a few local greenhouses to see if they carry it. I have a few seeds (6) left if you want them.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  9. Karen in OH on April 21, 2009 at 10:25 am

    I am growing a lot of varieties this year- Spoon Tomatoes, Sungold (hybrid), Chico III, Silvery Fir, Amana Orange, Rhoades Heirloom, Black from Tula, and more.

    I live in NE Ohio. If you end up with any extras, I may be happy to take one or two off your hands. Please email me.

    Your seedlings look beautiful, btw. Nice dark, healthy green.

    Reply to Karen in OH's comment

    • Susy on April 21, 2009 at 1:18 pm

      Sure, where in NE Ohio do you live?

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Karen in OH on May 27, 2009 at 8:21 am

        I’m in Euclid.

        to Karen in OH's comment

    • Gary on December 10, 2010 at 11:25 pm

      Karen In Ohio, I came across your post while doing a search for seed of the Rhoades Heirloom Tomato. I am interested in locating seed and growing it in 2011. Would you have saved seed from growing it or can you direct me to a source?
      Thanks for your time!

      Reply to Gary's comment

  10. rachel on April 21, 2009 at 10:36 am

    I love posts like this, I’m obsessed with heirloom tomatoes. :) I’m growing 50 plants, about 40 varieties, nearly all of them heirloom. I know that at least half of them will either die or severely underperform. We’re already reaching 100 degrees in Phoenix so there’s such a short window for them to flower and fruit before it gets too hot. And in a month it will be hard to get them enough water. I’m growing a few of the varieties that you are, I’m most excited about the White Beauty and Wapsipinicon peach. It will be interesting to compare results since we’re in such different climates. Keep us posted!!

    rachel’s last blog post.. Quail chicks are hatched!

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    • Susy on April 21, 2009 at 1:18 pm

      That’s a lot of tomatoes. I think I could grow that many as well. Whenever I look at the list of seeds at Baker Creek or other places I want them ALL!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  11. Daphne on April 21, 2009 at 10:51 am

    I’m growing six types. I was going for seven but because of a seed failure Gregori’s Altai isn’t happening this year. It is too bad I was looking forward to it. It is a pink beefsteak that comes in at 67 days.

    I’m growing 6-7 Sungold F2s. I saved the seed from the hybrid last year and want to see what I get. Some people say they may not really be hybrids anymore and I may just get Sungolds. Which is not a problem since Sungolds are my favorite. If not I’ll get some interesting unknown mixes. It will be a fun experiment.

    Three of the other five are black cherry tomatoes: Black Cherry, Chocolate Cherry and Black Moor. I know I love Black Cherry, but I’ll see which one I like the best.

    Then there is a Siberian tomato. Miracle of the Market has small fruit about 2-4 oz and produce in 60-70 days. And a Chinese tomato. Early Ssubakus Aliana is a golden plum tomato at 75 days.

    I wish I were growing Black Krim. I keep hearing wonderful things about it.

    Daphne’s last blog post.. Monday Seedling Update

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  12. lee on April 21, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    Your plan to donate tomatoes and plants to your local food bank is an excellent idea. I have only 2 tomato plants, both volunteers, so I have no idea what they are.

    Reply to lee's comment

    • Susy on April 21, 2009 at 1:19 pm

      I always get a few volunteers each year as well.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  13. ChicagoMike on April 21, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    Thank you for the kind words. :)

    I am growing Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, Black from Tula, Dr Wyches Yellow, San Marzano, Costuleto Genovese, Super Sweet 100, Aunt Ruby’s German Green, Green Zebra, Tumbling Tom, and probably one or two I have forgotten since I planted them.

    That taste. Fresh real tomatoes. It keeps a special place in my mind.


    Reply to ChicagoMike's comment

  14. Jane on April 21, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    I am so jealous… looks like you have a huge crop coming your way in a few months. Best of luck!

    If anyone wants to hear my 2cents… as for supporting your tomato plants as they grow, I highly recommend The Tomato Stake.

    I have 10 of them now, been using for 2 seasons. Easier to use than metal cages or upside down planters, stronger than bamboo and won’t rot like wood stakes. The built-in twist-tie supports make tying your tomato plants easy!

    Reply to Jane's comment

    • Susy on April 21, 2009 at 1:19 pm

      Thanks for the recommendation, I am trying to decide how to stake some of my tomatoes this year.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  15. Frugal Trenches on April 21, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    That is a LOT of tomato plants!!!

    Frugal Trenches’s last blog post.. The Frugal Life – 200 Ways to Save Money Part II

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  16. Sande on April 21, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Cherokee Purple
    Silvery Fir
    Goji Faranji
    White Beauty
    Striped Roman
    Amano orange
    Busharsky Pink
    White Icicle cherry
    Chocolate Cherry
    and a few other.
    A question for a canner: does it work to can the orange, yellow, white varieties? Or are they too low in acid to be safe. I’ll be water bath canning – no pressure cooker.

    Sande’s last blog post.. Seedling starts and Vermiculite

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    • Susy on April 21, 2009 at 2:28 pm

      I can with any color, I usually add some lemon juice to my tomatoes when I can them. I don’t worry about tomatoes too much. It seems like the USDA recommendations are a bit overkill many times (you actually have greater risk getting sick from eating restaurant food). I know people that have been making home canned chicken noodle soup and they only can it in a pressure canner for 20 min, meanwhile the Ball book says to can chicken stock for 1.5 hours.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  17. Sande on April 21, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    Thanks for the feedback, Susy. I’ve read the USDA stuff on canning as I get back into canning after about a 25 year break…it has changed a lot!
    I totally agree with the restaurant comment. I worked in them for several years when I was younger and I always tell people that if they’re too worried about germs or food handling don’t even think about eating out! But I do and don’t worry about it.

    Sande’s last blog post.. Seedling starts and Vermiculite

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  18. s on April 21, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    Wow–what a nice selection. I’m growing the Black Krims and liked them a lot last year.

    Here’s my list for this year:
    Amish Paste
    Black Krim
    Black Plum
    Italian Heirloom – I love these!
    Italian Roma
    Siberian (a very short <60 day variety I’m trying as a container plant for hopefully June fruit!)
    Sun Gold (Cherry)- I think my only non-hybrid but an awesome variety…
    Wisconsin 55

    Also growing starts for a friend (with more yard space than me):

    Eva Purple Ball Tomato
    Jung’s Giant Oxheart
    Prudens Purple Tomato
    Big Boy

    Reply to s's comment

  19. ChristyACB on April 22, 2009 at 6:01 am

    Ahh, that explains the numbers!

    I’m growing several of the same varieties for the same reasons! And this year I’m really excited for the Constoluto also for canning. Supposedly the marinara from it is just dreamy. We’ll see. :)

    Great post!

    ChristyACB’s last blog post.. Backyard Predatory Frenzy

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  20. Sandy on April 22, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    I’m growing San Marzano’s for the first time this year and am excited about them as well. :-)

    Sandy’s last blog post.. Seeding for summer and more blueberries!

    Reply to Sandy's comment

  21. Katrina on April 25, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    I’m growing Yellow Pear, San Marzano, Salad Sweet, Sweet 100, Steak Sandwich, Roma, Green Zebra, Beefsteak (mixed packet), Early and Often, Best Boy, and Yellow Jubilee.

    All were started from seed except Sweet 100 (bouhght at Walmart). I should have tomatoes pretty soon!!! I planted them outside pretty early. I can’t wait. Some of the tomatoes are getting pretty big.

    I have a question for ya…maybe you can help. I noticed that my Roma tomatoes are getting pretty big, but the San Marzano are small….Would you happen to know if San Marzano are supposed to be smaller than a Roma?

    Katrina’s last blog post.. Fine! I’ll Do It Myself!!!

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  22. Official 2010 Tomato List | Chiot's Run on May 6, 2010 at 9:02 am

    […] types, but the wonderful selection got the best of me again. My final list includes 15 varieties (10 fewer than last year). I’m growing some of the ones I grew last year and a few new varieties as well. Here’s the […]

    Reply to Official 2010 Tomato List | Chiot’s Run's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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