Y’all, it’s the most wonderful time of the year: TOMATOMANIA!
I posted about my favorite tomato seedling sale last year, and of course I wouldn’t miss it this year for anything. Tomatomania is the self-billed largest heirloom seedling sale in the world. It travels around, and it always comes to this little independent farm stand close to our home here in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles. (If you’re interested in attending, check out their future dates here; they are here in my area through tomorrow and then they travel around the country.) They have over 300 varieties of tomato seedlings for sale, so if you like gardening, and particularly tomato gardening, this place is for you.
I got there on the first day so I’d have my pick of all the plants, and even so some were already sold out. I brought my camera to take some photos to share:
So, you’re dying to know what I got, right? Here are this year’s winners:
- Sweet Olive: A red grape tomato.
- Watermelon: As the title might suggest, a beefsteak heirloom from the 1800s.
- Pink Cherry of Japan: In honor of the recent tragedy there. I can’t find a link online so maybe this one is something rare!
- Marglobe: A slicer or salad tomato that is supposed to be resistant to some diseases.
- Martino’s Roma: An Italian heirloom that should be prolific. I haven’t had much success with tomatoes for sauce, so I’m really hoping this one’s a winner.
- Evan’s Purple Pear: A pear tomato that’s purple! Apparently rare, and I’m really looking forward to this one.
- Bloody Butcher: An average red tomato that is early.
- Crème Brulée: I couldn’t pass this one up because of the name. And check out this description: “A lovely tomato from the former Soviet Union. This variety produces pretty, globe shaped fruit of medium size. They are a stunning deep caramel color with hints of red and chocolate. The flavor is rich, sweet and full-bodied, and the texture is tender and smooth.” My mouth is watering.
- Chocolate Stripes: Another description I had to copy: “One of the most amazing tomatoes we have ever grown. For both color and taste, this variety excels. Fruit is deep reddish-brown inside; the outside is covered with beautiful orange and lime colored stripes. One of the most unique looking tomatoes we have ever tried. It is very sweet and yet has a full-rich flavor, and this is the reason this tomato places very high in taste tests.”
- Honkin’ Big Black Cherry: This one’s by far my favorite name. A cherry tomato that produces fruits the size of a half dollar, it’s also supposed to be really prolific. I can’t wait!
So, that makes four snacking tomatoes (cherries and the like), which my kids love to pick and eat from the garden; two beefsteaks; three salad tomatoes; one paste tomato.
Wish me luck as I plant them. I’m moving my plants to different areas this year because I think my garden plot is exhausted from tomatoes. I will plant other things in that area this year, doing the crop rotation thing.
What are you planting this year, if you have a garden?