An heirloom tomato is an open-pollinated (non-hybrid) heirloom cultivar of tomato. Heirlooms come in various sizes, shapes and colors. These full flavored tomatoes add color to the plate, appeal to the eye and a taste explosion for the palette. They are also not easy to transport due to delicate skins and consequently seldom seen in the grocery store.
What’s the big deal about them? Well we believe that you need to taste them for yourself to understand why people become so passionate about them. We have been growing and selling heirlooms for the past 12 years with varying degrees of success. Some years as a result of climatic conditions we hardly are able to harvest more then a few handfuls. In others, like this season, the bounty is considerable.
Heirloom tomatoes are what everyone ate before society became enamored with massive grocery stores and the convenience of food shopping at a single source. This new shopping method required the grocer to feature items that transported well and were readily available to the masses. The new more opulent society of the 1950’s marked the rapid decline of the backyard garden, specialty food shops (Butcher, Baker, and Produce) and canning. Society became consumed with its newest ambition the accumulation of wealth which left little time for the organic agrarian pursuits of our fore father’s.
Some of us discovered that food was never going to go out of style, but good food was simply getting harder to find. It was the small foodie movement that continued to champion flavor and reconnected the past as the means to the future. They are once again canning and planting back yard garden, raising backyard chickens re-opening specialty shops, opening farm stands and re-introducing the public to a world that had been forgotten or never known by many. Heirloom tomatoes are our conduit which we use in our attempt to expand the dulled food palette of the masses. We are dedicated to creating new foodies one heirloom tomato at a time.
It is truly dizzying the variety of heirloom tomato seeds available, literally hundreds and hundreds. It is equally as complicated a task to select those that we feel we want to attempt to grow and share at market. The shapes and colors do not conform to the bland predicable items the public has associated with tomatoes and consequently shoppers are highly suspicious and not terribly adventurous. If a cucumber doesn't look green and waxy or if a potato is pink or a purple mottled bean is called a dragon tongue they tend to shy away. Slowly the tide is turning as the curious adventure a little more toward the wild side and embrace what we have known for years, food shouldn't’t be monochromatic!