This is the Year of the Tomato
It’s been a long time since we’ve grown vegetables in our garden.
I know that for most people, edible and vegetable gardening takes precedence over ornamental plants, but for many years it has been the opposite for us.
Until this year.
We’ve finally come around on vegetable gardening and have decided to start growing certain select varieties of vegetables this year. Not your run of the mill, clunky, common vegetables, but the fancy, heirloom and unique varieties that make your heart race and the imagination spin.
And of particular heart-racing property are the tomatoes we are going to be growing this year. A couple beefsteak tomatoes for slicing and eating, but also lots of cherry tomatoes for snacking, throwing in salads and on pasta, pickling and making into sauces and jams .
Here are some of the varieties we are excited about growing this year.
I fell in love with currant tomatoes from Gayla Trail of You Grow Girl back in 2012, when I was first getting deeper into gardening. The idea of the wild, rangy, indeterminate tomato plants bearing tiny tomatoes like little strings of green and red spherical bistro light bulbs was absolutely enchanting.
I heard that they were super productive as well - and although each individual fruit wasn’t much, the collective amount of fruit was quite substantial.
Sadly, I never got around to growing currant tomatoes, and they passed from my memory - that is until people like Erin Benzakein of Floret Flower Farm, Jennie Love of Love’n Fresh Flowers and floral designer Susan McCleary started using them in arrangements and they suddenly were in my field of vision again.
Thus I’m excited for these not only for their edible potential, but for their decorative and ornamental potential as well.
The Brandywine tomato is one of the first heirloom tomatoes I ever experienced - and what a great way to start off the experience! Flavorful, rich, with the perfect texture and coloration , they are the ultimate tomato to grow even all this time later.
Unlike the currant tomato, it is pretty sizeable - a nice and hefty beefsteak tomato that is a handful. Great for slicing or eating by itself, the strain of Brandywine was one of the first heirloom tomatoes to become popular.
I stumbled upon the Supersweet 100 variety back in the day when I was buying tomato plants at the farmer’s market. After talking with the farmer selling the tomato plants, he assured me that the Supersweet 100 would be the only cherry tomato that I would need to grow.
And indeed, it was. The most prolific, reliable, productive tomato plant possible, it produces pounds and pounds of cherry tomatoes that are consistently sweet and delicious. Always a winner in our book, does well in pots and containers but does even better in the ground where it becomes huge and produces buckets of perfectly round and red tomatoes.
There are also a few new varieties that we haven’t grown before - but are excited about.
A dark and dusky-pink cherry tomato, these small tomatoes contain few seeds and are a wonderful flavor that is just as good as eating fresh off the vine as well as holding up in cooking.
BLUE GOLD BERRIES TOMATO
An incredibly beautiful cherry tomato that has a beautiful contrast between bright yellow and dusky purple - a very unusual appearing tomato! Allegedly of great taste and productivity, we’re excited to grow this variety this year.
SWEET PEA CURRANT TOMATO
You know what’s even more exciting than a currant tomato? One even smaller than that.
With 1/4” fruits that are even smaller than the currant tomatoes, they appear like little clusters of grapes. And despite their small size, they are rumored to be just as flavorful and sweet as any beefsteak or cherry tomato. I’m so excited about it!
Are you excited about growing tomatoes this year? Tell us what you’re growing in the garden this year, or if any of these tomatoes are getting you excited for the season!