Heirloom Tomatoes

heirloom tomatoes in an heirloom munising bowl ~ a happy start to september

Late blight has wreaked havoc on potatoes and tomatoes over much of the US this year, spreading as far west as North Dakota, according to this article.
Fortunately, I am not depending on a potato crop… but of course it would be the year I tried to grow heirloom tomatoes!

Here in my northeastern garden, I’ve been fighting off the blight as best I can,
but I see it creeping in and I am hurrying to save every ripening tomato I can before the plants succumb.

From what I have read, many heirlooms are notoriously finicky, low-yielding, and more susceptible to disease than their hybrid cousins. Considering these factors, and the rampant spread of the fungus among-us, I feel fortunate to have at least a few vine-ripened treats.

Here are the tomatoes I picked last night; given time on the counter, they should finish ripening nicely. As for those left outside — I am hoping, with some TLC, they will see this through. If not, the good news is, late blight can’t survive the cold of a northern winter — and there’s always next year! πŸ™‚

anna russian ~ very prolific with beautiful heart-shaped tomatoes ~
grown in the garden

carmello ~ one of the tallest plants at almost 7′ high ~
grown in a pot on the deck

goose creek ~ the one with an interesting history ~
grown in a recycling bin on the deck

lemon boy ~ a sweet yellow tomato ~ grown in a pot on the deck

sisters ~ this was supposed to be the one that produced when
all others failed, but I got one tomato ~ grown in the garden

mortgage lifter ~ interesting history to this as well, but I couldn’t pay
the rent on its low yields ~ grown in the garden

ichiban eggplant never disappoints, along with three varieties of long beans,
sugar crunch cukes, and beautiful chanchal okra

To read about Goose Creek and Mortgage Lifter, check out Laurel’s Favorites.
I bought all my heirloom plants from this company and was thrilled with them. They arrived healthy and happy all the way from California, grown from seed just for my order. I can’t and won’t judge the quality of the plants by how they survive this particularly difficult year. I think they were excellent, and I’ll be ordering again for next summer, come Labor Day weekend.

For the lovely Chanchal okra, long beans, and lots of others, check out a favorite seedmonger — Seeds of India, also the source of the little-curry-leaf-tree-that-could πŸ˜‰

I hope you got some tomatoes this year!



  1. indosungod said

    Linda, nothing like harvesting tomatoes. The yellow ones are beautful and so is the heart shaped one. So far from 4 plants I have harvested exactly one tomato and a few are ripening. My plants don’t show signs of any disease but the yeild has been very low. Perhaps the garden patch has lost all its nutrients.

    Thanks ISG — my fav shape is the heart but I haven’t tasted them yet. Maybe later tonight!

    Perhaps your garden needs some bat-food πŸ˜‰
    Honestly, I think it’s just been a tough year for tomatoes all around. But we’ve got chard! πŸ™‚

  2. indosungod said

    But I also heard that tomato sales in supermarkets have gone down because lots of folks are growing their own tomatoes?

    Quite possibly right — though not many native tomatoes around here unless they came out of a greenhouse. And even if the greenhouse is next door, that is not the same as ‘homegrown’ to me πŸ™‚

  3. What a terrific blog and the pictures of the tomatoes were also good!

    Thank you, David πŸ™‚

  4. Soma said

    I am so envious of your tomatoes!! I planted a lot of plants, but the harvest have been pretty slow so far, probably becoz of the heat here in texas.. tho’ i see more fruit in the past few weeks.

    I should take a lesson from that Soma — I guess the tomatoes are always better on the other side of the fence! I’ve been lamenting the lack of heat, here. Hope you get some ripe ones yet! πŸ™‚

  5. rinku said


    Thanks for stopping my blog. This was the first year that our garden recieved attention, post children. We did have lots of lovely tomatoes, but not so many varieties.

    I am intrigued by the curry plant posts, have to try!


    Hi Rinku, I enjoyed your blog very much — glad you stopped here! Also happy to see some folks have tomatoes πŸ™‚ Do try a curry leaf tree — it is surprisingly hardy here in the northeast πŸ™‚

  6. shammi said

    Oh those tomatoes… how lovely they are, and what a pity you didnt get a better harvest. Never mind, next year. And now all I can think of is what incredible tomato sandwiches your beauties would make! (I’m crazy about tomato s’wiches made with Really Good Tomatoes) πŸ™‚

    That’s what I keep saying, Shammi — next year! And I am going to get a little jar of *real* mayo to have with the few tomato sandwiches this fall — my fav too! πŸ˜‰

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