There are two things money can’t buy… true love and homegrown tomatoes.
This is probably one of life’s truths.* The fault with store bought it is breed to volume, weight, skin thickness, and color. My seed collection has 32 lines of tomatoes going, most I grow for flavor.
I love cherry tomatoes because they are indeterminate and just produce all season long. My absolute favorites are Yellow Pear, and Black Russian cherry tomatoes. I have some seeds a little old Greek lady “Sophia” who gave me some tomatoes at the community garden I used to be at. She grew the most beautiful and tasty mixed up big tomatoes I have had in 30 years. She’d been gardening there for 25 plus years. She used compost tea, put them in the ground weeks before the rest of us, and just nursed them into the most beautiful crop you have ever seen.
I picked up three books on garden plant breeding, and tomato breading seems simple enough. A green house would help, but I might be able to get two generations a year here in New England without one, ever the optimist.
At an organic farming conference recently, they were discussing how the best tomato of them all is the Brandywine tomato. The thing I learned was that not all Brandywine strains are created equal, especially in taste. I’ll focus on that this coming year. I’ll grow 3 large tomatoes, a Brandywine, Early Girl, and line I call Sophia. Plus, half a dozen cherry tomato lines.
I want to be the crazy old tomato guy in 10 more years. The ones that shows up with homegrown tomatoes and home made wine, then sits there smoking with the other older old crazy <insert specialty here> guys, and shoot the breeze as the day goes by. Tomatoes are so fine!
*Puppies not withstanding.