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digitS'
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Your Best Keeping Variety

It must be late enough in the year to ask this question: What is your best keeping variety?

You may still have fruit that you picked green just before the first frost. Or, it may have been through the growing season that a ripe tomato was just sitting there on the counter for days and days.

For me, Thessaloniki is the one I can count on for keeping a good long time. Those orange-red fruits just stay around, and stay around, and stay . . . . .

:)

Steve
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DeborahL
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Do you mean those long keepers that ripen indoors? The ones that are bred to do that?
I've wondered if those taste good or just so-so.
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Duh_Vinci
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Steve,

Good to know! I've had Thessaloniki seeds for years now, and somehow, they never make it to the grow out list year after year. I may just give them a try in 2012.

From my experience, most heirlooms do not keep exceptionally well, their treat is more of a flavor than anything else... Personally never grown a variety that was purposely "bred" for long keeping, and I don't think I've ever seen anyone raving about a favorable taste/flavor of those types either - store long keeping, shelf life is all they good for.

But I would like to hear what other heirlooms or hybrids others have grown that do keep well!

Ludmilla's Yellow Giant I've grown last year (seeds were from Carolyn), held exceptionally well on table after picking.

Regards,
D

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Roma type are pretty good keepers. I have planted the keeper tomatoes but was not sure which ones they were at harvest . I had a small 2 inch tomato this year that seems to stay nice. I have had it in the house for 3 weeks now and its still red and firm! I have 4 of them left that will give me plenty of seeds for next year . I am not sure what they are but they do taste good!
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digitS'
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DeborahL wrote:Do you mean those long keepers that ripen indoors? The ones that are bred to do that?
I've wondered if those taste good or just so-so.
Duh_Vinci wrote:. . . Personally never grown a variety that was purposely "bred" for long keeping . . .
No Deborah, like Duh_Vinci, I haven't grown the "long-keepers." I have suspected that they don't have the best flavor.

After about 5 years of growing it, I'm kind of happy with Thessaloniki. It ripens in the garden with somewhat of an "herbal" flavor. . . that's just how it seems to me :) . They can sit right there in the kitchen thru many of the warm days of late summer.

The greenies that were harvested (I believe it was) October 18th have nearly all ripened and been used but there are still several on the kitchen table.

Four tomatoes went in omelets for lunch and the really good looking one was a Thessaloniki. There are, at least, 2 more in a basket of 7 and they are perfectly sound . . . :)

Bobberman, I haven't grown Roma-type tomatoes for years. I'd expect them to last well.

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

Bobberman
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I have seen the roma fall off the plant when ripe and sat on the ground in the sun for two weeks and were still not over ripe! They do not have alot of juice and are not real sweet but not bad since they mostly make tomato sauce from them! I grew a stripped roma this year with a better taste that I got from this forum from over seas trade and have about 100 seeds from my two plants that survived from the 10 seeds I planted!
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gixxerific
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I happen to have some Ludmilla's. :wink:

But this year my best keeper by very far was Arkansas Traveler. It seemed to keep for 4-6 weeks maybe more.

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Duh_Vinci
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LOL Hope you liked them!

Dono, tell me about the taste of Arkansas??? That's another variety I've had seeds for few years, and never planted...

Actually I think I would like to set the "3rd wave" of tomatoes sometime in July, and it may not be a bad idea to have some long keepers there, so I can pick the green ones just before the first frost.

Regards,
D

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Duh_Vinci wrote:Steve,

Good to know! I've had Thessaloniki seeds for years now, and somehow, they never make it to the grow out list year after year. I may just give them a try in 2012.

From my experience, most heirlooms do not keep exceptionally well, their treat is more of a flavor than anything else... Personally never grown a variety that was purposely "bred" for long keeping, and I don't think I've ever seen anyone raving about a favorable taste/flavor of those types either - store long keeping, shelf life is all they good for.

But I would like to hear what other heirlooms or hybrids others have grown that do keep well!

Ludmilla's Yellow Giant I've grown last year (seeds were from Carolyn), held exceptionally well on table after picking.

Regards,
D
D, I'm with you completely on the "for every tomato there is a season" and long ago I gave up rushing out there and picking greenies before a hard frost or even growing the so called longkeeper varieties, of which there are quite a few, but forget it when it comes to taste IMO.

Someone has to get my groceries for me b'c my walker basket can't hold many groceries, ahem, but when the outside tomato season is over I switch to the Santa Sweet grape tomatoes as well as the shipped in hydoponic ones, mostly from Canada, for winter ones.

Within about 30 min of me there's also a large hydroponic operation and they sell their fruits locally at several chain stores as well as at one local small grocery store near them in addition to driving down to NY City each week to sell fruits in the summer at the Green Market as well as to chefs and in the winter just to chefs. And they aren't all that bad.

So no more sorting through newspaper wrapped green ones taking out the rotten ones for me.

Heck, rather than do that I'll call the local pizza place and have them deliver some chicken parm or a pizza since they make darn good tomato sauce. :lol:

Carolyn

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digitS'
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Condensing to harvest green tomatoes didn't come real easy but it was a natural progression.

Varieties that have little chance of ripening in my tomato-challenged climate are avoided but some of the beefsteaks begin to ripen only a few weeks before frost puts an end to the season. Thessaloniki is one of the earlier varieties. (Of course, the variety name also reminds me of the encouraging and supportive letter of Paul to the people of the Greek city by that name.)

Not all of the plants are the larger tomatoes but at my common rate of 1 beefsteak/day, doing more than sampling from the tomato garden during the growing season would be impossible. So, I bring in fruit just before frost.

I brought 27 pounds of tomatoes that showed, at least, some change in color. Many of the ripe ones had just been sold for $1.50/pound. My parents always allowed me to play with my food if I was also willing to eat it.

A sun-ripened tomato is reason for celebration and the ones in the kitchen basket no longer can be thought of as delicacies. Bland by now but tender enough it didn't seem necessary to peel them before squeezing out some of the seeds and chopping them with some sweet onion. They were fried with bacon for the omelet yesterday and I will repeat that process again soon :D .

Curiosity and a sense of economy if not self-preservation allows me to put aside any reluctance to have green tomatoes ripening on a kitchen counter. Seeing one more day of life to them (& me :wink: ) and some warmth and friendliness in the relationship; for all of which, I am grateful.

Steve
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carolyn137
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Curiosity and a sense of economy if not self-preservation allows me to put aside any reluctance to have green tomatoes ripening on a kitchen counter. Seeing one more day of life to them (& me ) and some warmth and friendliness in the relationship; for all of which, I am grateful.

******

And with the above I can agree.

Remember, I used to do the same thing of bringing in greenies and all that but with incressing age and mobility problems I just don't do it anymore.

But I will confess to having Freda, who does all my gardening for me now, bring in a few just to ripen on my tomato seed packing table in the backroom, mainly a few where I've been desperate for some more seeds of certain varieties.

That even though I'm blessed to have three great friends who do most of the seed production for me, two in NC and one in IL.

So even right now I'm almost ashamed to tell you that a few somewhat withered ones are still on that table, mainly some miniature fruits of Orange Minsk Heart, a heart version of the original much larger Orange Minsk, which I love.

As far as the Ludmilla ones, and there are several, my favorite being Ludmilla's Red Plum, not a paste, all of the ones I got from Reinhard Kraft in Germany and he was the originator of them, have been darn good varieties.

And I think three of them ( a pink heart, the yellow and the red plum ones) I'll still be offering in my annual seed offer at Tomatoville when that comes around. And I still list I think the red plum one in my SSE listings for 2012. But I had so many new ones to SSE list that I had to drop many varieties, and others I had to drop b'c of seed age.

Ever since I've been confined to this walker and can no longer grow the many hundreds of plants and varieties I used to each year I've concentrated on growing varieties that will be new to all or mostly everyone.

So if any of you have a family heirloom not yet made public, here I am and I do offer varieties in return. It's the ONLY time I do trade seeds b'c for many reasons I'm not one who does trade seeds.

And now I have to hurry up and get out to the LV b'c I'm a tennis fanatic and the mens Final ATP event is being held in London this week and opening matches start today.

I do have my priorities, ya know. :lol:

Carolyn

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How could I not bring in the green tomatoes to ripen indoors! Are they as good as the completely vine ripened ones? No, although some of the ones that were well blushed first are close. Are even the one picked totally green still better than grocery store tomatoes? Indeed! I still have the last few picked green and brought in tomatoes, waiting for today's cooking.

I actually picked all the tomatoes off twice this year. I brought in all the ones that were blushed and some reasonable size, but didn't pull the vine. A week or so later despite cold, more of them had gotten to pickable size and blush.
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digitS'
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I did the same Rainbow - picked in a panic, then had over a week wait for frost.

So, I was surprised with so many more tomatoes growing to some size after being so seriously threatened by the Weather Service. It was a 2nd, Last Harvest :).
carolyn137 wrote:. . . some miniature fruits of Orange Minsk Heart, a heart version of the original much larger Orange Minsk, which I love.

. . .
And, I can say: I've grown Orange Minsk! And, had another of those big plants out there this year. We can't call that orange, a woodle thing!

Steve
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Steve, I loved your reference to the apostle Paul.
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Gary350
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My favorite flavor is beef steak, beef master, big beef and anything like beef steak. I can about 100 pints and 20 quarts in mason jars every summer. Great cooking all winter.

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gixxerific
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Duh_Vinci wrote:LOL Hope you liked them!

Dono, tell me about the taste of Arkansas??? That's another variety I've had seeds for few years, and never planted...

Actually I think I would like to set the "3rd wave" of tomatoes sometime in July, and it may not be a bad idea to have some long keepers there, so I can pick the green ones just before the first frost.

Regards,
D
AT was pretty good. Sweet and firm. They were 2 or 3 on my best producers as well. They never stopped.

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soil
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i personally find that the method of growing makes them last longer rather than type. i have given away extra seedlings and to hear they kept bad, when i had the same tomatoes from the same seeds that last for weeks after being picked. one of the keys is mineral rich soil. ive had tomatoes sit on the counter for two months and i still ate it, although not as good as the day it was picked for fresh eating fresh, still great for sauces. still better flavor than store tomatoes.

that and how people handle/store them.

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digitS'
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Once . . . I wrapped tomatoes with newspaper for storage. For me, that was a mistake.

Outta sight, outta mind.

No, I can't even risk putting them down in the cooler basement rooms. Going thru a box in the corner of the kitchen until it is whittled down; then, getting them into a basket on the counter or kitchen table keeps them in sight. I really try to go thru them every day and move the ripest to the front. Right now, they are in a single layer and they'd better all be ♫ very soon.

Steve
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OK, so I'll go ahead and mention it. :)

When you wrap unripe tomatoes in newspapers or put them in bags to ripen, and some say to put a piece of cut up apple in the bag as well, the purpose is to trap the ethylene gas that all tomatoes produce as part of ripening so as to up the concentration so they hopefully will ripen.

However, most of us know the shipped in winter tomatoes, primarily from FL and Mexico and they look somewhat anemic, being a pale pink when they should be red, and that's b'c the fruits are picked green and put in huge chambers were ethylene is pumped in.

If you look at some commercial sites you'll see varieties that are listed for those large commercial farmers to grow and one category is a list of those that are easily gassed. Have been bred to be easily gassed.

So there you go. :(

Carolyn

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Duh_Vinci
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carolyn137 wrote:...However, most of us know the shipped in winter tomatoes, primarily from FL and Mexico and they look somewhat anemic, being a pale pink when they should be red, and that's b'c the fruits are picked green and put in huge chambers were ethylene is pumped in...
:lol: Can't help but laugh at the perfect description, "Anemic"... So true though! We sliced our last from this season's crop tomato yesterday, big, healthy Kosovo. And while in the store today, looked at larger tomatoes, indeed looked anemic...

So from now, until May of 2012, our tomatoes will be supplied by local BJ, tried and true for many years - Campari, starting today:

[img]https://drphotography.smugmug.com/photos/i-XjMJw5m/0/XL/i-XjMJw5m-XL.jpg[/img]

Regards,
D

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Yep, on the vine store tomatoes time for me too. Ugh.
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digitS'
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[img]https://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h22/Digit_007/DSC00369.jpg[/img]

I suppose that I could have given this one and its 5 sisters another day and I could say that it was 7 weeks ago that they were harvested. Another week wouldn't have been possible for several of them.

Good Soup! Onions fried with cut up smoked sausage, dried basil, garlic salt, Maggi seasoning, turkey broth - run thru food processor - grated cheddar cheese & half 'n' half added and heated thru. Lunch!

Okay, it tasted a good deal more like the seasonings and sausage than the tomatoes but you knew they were in there by more than just the color :wink: .

Steve
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You can have all my greenies cause I tear them up and throw them out. Well, compost them anyway. Its vine ripe or nothing for this kid! LOL

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