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Explore this category for:

  1.  detailed how-to’s on planting, growing and harvesting heirloom tomatoes;
  2. distinguishing the flavors and colors of different varieties;
  3. freezing, drying and cooking with heirloom tomatoes.

Gardeners, foodies and cooks all crave the tender, rich, juicy tomatoes that their grandparents grew.  Heirloom tomato varieties offer that taste memory, and it is the holy grail to grow your own.

Hybrid tomatoes are perhaps “easier” to grow as they are bred to be smooth, round, red orbs with no cracks or green shoulders, etc. If your goal is high yields, or longer storage and no unsightly attributes, then a hybrid variety might be for you. While they typically don’t have the old-fashioned taste qualities, there are some that are quite good.

This category covers the bases of growing, cooking and selecting the best plant for the intended use.

** Note: To help with tomato growing and cooking tips check out our facebook group where we share all things cooking and gardening that will help you grow your own food. Search facebook for this group. It is called “Growing (and Cooking) Your Own Food”.

Best Heirloom Tomatoes for Sandwiches: 12 Slicer Varieties

Summer picnics or beach outings often involves packing up hearty sandwiches, and the last thing you want is a tomato that makes your sandwiches soggy when you unwrap your carefully made sandwich. The key to not having soggy sandwiches is to choose the right tomato, one that is meaty instead of juicy. These 11 heirloom …

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Starting Tomato & Peppers Indoors – LED vs Fluorescent Lights

There are very scientific, detailed studies available regarding indoor seed starting with LED lights. This post is a summary of my experience using both LED and fluorescent lights as grow lights for starting tomato and pepper seeds indoors.  5 Tips to Consider when Comparing LED Shoplights to Fluorescent Shoplights  I am going to summarize the …

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Best Heirloom Tomatoes for Salads, Sauces or Growing in Containers

Whether you want to use heirloom tomatoes for making a spaghetti sauce, a caprese salad, a tomato tartine or a simple BLT, it is important to choose the right tomato for your intended use. This roundup of heirloom tomatoes will help you decide the best variety to select at a farmers’ market or to grow …

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Characteristics of Best Heirloom Tomato Varieties: by Color

This is a summary of the flavor, growth performance and unique qualities of what I consider to be the best heirloom tomato varieties. I have been growing, tasting and testing heirloom tomatoes since 1997 and this guide is based on that cumulative experience. It includes the characteristics of each color category of heirloom varieties. What …

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Ukrainian Borscht with tomatoes and beets: (meatless)

Borscht is typically known as the Ukrainian soup made with beetroot as the main ingredient.  In some Eastern and Central European countries however, borscht is made with tomatoes as the main ingredient with beetroot as a secondary ingredient.  Apparently other non-beet varieties also exist (such as green borscht made with sorrel), but this recipe is …

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Best Tomato Supports: Cages vs Staking vs Fencing

Many people who are new to  growing heirloom tomatoes in the ground start with a tomato plant, a bag of fertilizer and a tomato “cage” purchased at a garden center.  Here are some alternatives to typical tomato cages that will result in more tomatoes, a longer season for tomatoes and higher quality tomatoes. Jump to: …

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How to Get the Earliest Tomatoes (Heirloom or Hybrid)

When I sell the tomato plants at the Farmers’ markets in early spring, customers are always curious about “when” they’ll get their tomatoes.  The answer is definitely one of those, “it depends”  qualifiers.  Here are a few tips to help answer this question: Criteria for Getting the Earliest Tomatoes (Heirloom or Hybrid) In general, there …

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