For that reason, a few tricks are necessary if you want to ensure a yearly supply of luscious ripe tomatoes. We grow most of ours in the hoophouse. In chilly years, when the high temperature seems to stay below seventy degrees all summer long, the hoophouse is the only place tomatoes will ripen up here. In warm years, like this one, the hoophouse offers us an extended season for growing our heat loving favorites.
We grow several different tomato varieties, including both heirlooms and hybrids. They range from standard bright red slicers, to dusky brownish-mauve cherries.
If you are only familiar with the red varieties, it can be hard to tell when a brown (or peach, or orange...) tomato is at its peak. We try very hard to offer only the most perfect specimens to our market customers and CSA members, but if you are not sure if your tomato is ready for eating, or you just want to know what you're munching on, check out the following list of tomatoes we grow for more information.
This heirloom tomato first became available in New York in 1890. With its blushed peach skin, slight fuzz, and delicate fruity flavor, for over a century the garden peach has been billed as a novelty tomato. I think this does it a disservice as this tasty tomato deserves significant respect. It's small, but packs a lot of fabulous flavor for a salad or sandwich and it keeps well off the vine.
These small, grape shaped tomatoes appear at first to be just another cherry tomato, but they are actually so much more. These very small paste tomatoes are exactly the thing that we have been searching for. A heavy yielding, short season tomato that can be used with abandon for salads, fresh sauces, canned sauces, and even drying. These ripen to a lovely orange red and beg to be experimented with. The plants are currently loaded with green fruits. We'll report further as soon as we have had the chance to try preserving some.
The sun gold cherry tomato is one of few hybrid tomato varieties to reach household name status (at least among tomato geek households). It is also the one tomato for which I reserve the term "jewel-like", a phrase many seed catalogs like to use when describing tomato varieties. Sun golds ripen to a translucent orange hue, have a sweet, almost tropical, flavor, and are perfect for eating by the handful, enjoying in a salad, or cooking lightly. They hold their shape and texture very well when added to stir fries or sautes. They are also short season and prolific, so they are the only tomato variety we chose to plant both in and out of the hoophouse this year. As the season progresses we should be harvesting quite a few of these beauties.