Heirloom Tomatoes

Chris Dawson visits an heirloom tomato tasting party and demonstrates how to plant tomatoes.

-I'm at [unk], a retail nursery in Pasadena, California or party, a tomato tasting party. This is no ordinary party because we'll be tasting heirloom tomato. Once, it had been passed down from generation to generation. Look at these beauties, great color, different sizes and shapes. The heirloom tomatoes are popping up everywhere these days, from the best of restaurants to the farmers market sometimes even the super market, and for good reason, these heirloom tomatoes not only look great, but they taste delicious. The term heirloom means that those plants have been passed down for generations by way of their seed, and if you plant a plant that grown from seed form of its parent, it will have those original characteristics. Now, this is true of heirloom varieties, but not true of hybrids. The heirloom tomatoes tend to have a little more flavor. It's slightly smaller fruit and sometimes funny names like mortgage lifter, a huge beefsteak, and consistent taste test winner. Developed in the 1930s, he sold the plants on the side of the road and paid his mortgage off of 6 years. Amish Paste, dating to the term of the century, this oblong shaped tomato was great for slicing. It has solid flesh, few seeds, and sweet flavor. Tommy Toe, a scrumptious heirloom red cherry tomato with that funny name. Yellow pear, a very old variety with bright yellow, bite size fruit with the delicious tangy flavor. The plant is very vigorous. Green zebra, and outstandingly beautiful tomato. The plants are large protracted. It has fine flavor and golden yellow color streaked vertically with green. I think heirloom tomatoes are here to stay. I think it's about time. Before we go join the party, let's plant up one of these. Now, the first thing you wanna do is find a warm sunny location preferable with southern exposure. Tomatoes really like warm temperatures, so you wanna plant when the night temperature is above 55 degrees. Tomatoes also like well mended soil, so feel free to add plenty of compost. Now, when you go to plant your tomato, pinch off the bottom sets of leaves and you'll plant the plant a little deeper than you would something else and what this will cause the tomato to do is send out new roots along here and it will make the plant little stronger, get it off to a better start. Now, here's a tip. Try staking your tomatoes with old sunflower stalks. Take the tomato out of its plot. This has been in for a while, so I'm gonna loosen these roots up and I'm gonna burry it up to its chin as they say. That will encourage those new roots to come and it's a good idea to fertilize a new seedling like this, but use a liquid fertilizer at half strength and always water well. Tomatoes have very deep roots. Sometimes, they can go down as far as 4 feet. So water well and deeply as you tomato begins go set fruit, give it a booster shot of fertilizer. Your tomato should be ready for harvest and on the table about 6 weeks after they start to bloom. Now, let's go and taste the fruits of our labor.