My "heirloom" winner: Gary O Sena.
A modern cross between Cherokee Purple and Brandywine. That gives it quite a pedigree even though it's "modern."
Cherokee Purple is usually listed as an 80 day variety, Brandywine as 85 day, plus. Gary O Sena is sometimes noted as a 68 day tomato. I don't think so ... it comes in with the Big Beef in my garden. That's usually listed at 73 days.
It has been a difficult year for my tomato plants because of the early windstorms. I've learned that when the plant is damaged, not only do the bugs move in on it but, the fruit is often malformed. The Dagma's Perfection and Casey's Pure Yellow are far from perfect and I have this unscientific notion that I shouldn't even save seed from the plants. Shoot, I got those plants in cages so the slugs would have more trouble getting at the fruit and that extra height made them more exposed to the wind!
Hunkered down sprawl and crawling out on the leeward side of the bed really helped some of the plants. The healthiest branches and nicest fruit are in the paths!
In my less than ideal growing conditions of cold Junes, short seasons with hot days and cool nights, Gary O Sena gives me a taste of what folks elsewhere enjoy with their big heirloom beefsteaks. It gets started early and continues strong. Usually, there is not quite so much contrast between the green shoulders and the dusky pink but this tomato was fully ripe. Big tomato of over 8 ounces off a big healthy plant, Gary O does what I hope for, with full tomato flavor and not a hitch in about 5 growing seasons.
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks