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Heirloom Tomatoes!!


It is a great joy for us to be able to supply our customers with the absolute best tomatoes available in Canada and eventually in enormous quantities (mother-nature permitting). Although our season is short, we undertake to provide a wonderful assortment of heirloom tomatoes in the baskets starting NOW. The quantities will be small at first, but soon we will have them by the bushel-full! Enjoy the nearly 300 varieties of heirloom tomatoes which we grow. Because there are so many different types, it is impossible for us to describe each one. We will feature a few more unusual varieties on this Blog during the growing season.

We often get asked how to tell when an heirloom tomato is ripe. Because they come in so many different colours, it can sometimes be hard to tell. We try to place only ripe or slightly under-ripe tomatoes in your baskets. The best way to judge ripeness is to very gently squeeze the tomato. If it is soft or tender, it is ripe.

The only exceptions to this are yellow and orange tomatoes and paste tomatoes. These tomatoes have tougher skins and therefore are always slightly “hard to the touch.” When fully ripe, they are deep yellow or orange without any shades of green. The paste tomatoes – in any colour – are also rich in colour, red, yellow, orange, black, etc.

If the tomato is very soft to the touch, it is probably over ripe and should be placed in the freezer immediately for winter use (don’t throw it out – freeze it!). Keep a Zip-lock freezer bag handy and just place the whole tomato in the bag for use in cooking in the winter.

And what about the odd shapes some of the tomatoes come in? Don’t worry about the misshapen tomatoes, just slice them as best you can and enjoy. The heirlooms often grow in odd shapes.

What about the brown or gray cracks? Heirloom can develop crack mark because this trait has not been bred out of them like the tomatoes in industrial food outlets. The cracks are harmless – just cut them out and enjoy the rest of the tomato. Cracks usually form on the bottom of the tomato or branch out from the stem.

We will soon be delivering flat of tomatoes by special order or extra one-pound containers.

We have often found that the uglier the tomato, the better the taste! To us, taste is paramount! As a general rule, yellow tomatoes are less acidic than other tomatoes. For those who do not like the acid content of most tomatoes, the “yellow” should suit your taste!

Enjoy these treasures while we have them!!

And we will be processing and flash-freezing them all season long for everyone’s winter enjoyment!


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  1. K. September 26, 2010 at 10:44 am - Reply

    I’ve been curious about a particular tomato we received in our Bryson basket once (summer 2009). It was shaped like a small sweet pepper, and when I cut it open, it was hollow with seeds growing in a cluster just like in a pepper as well – but it definitely was a tomato! I would love to hear the story behind this variety. So wonderfully odd!

  2. admin September 26, 2010 at 11:32 am - Reply

    We grow several varieties of “hollow” tomatoes which are generally shaped like sweet peppers. They are old varieties which have been resurrected by the world-wide seed-saving initiatives. They are wonderful for “stuffing” and can be carved into unique shapes! As with most tomato varieties, they originated in Central and South America. They are standards at Bryson Farms and have been for many years. We are glad you enjoyed them!

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