the first year i planted tomatoes in earnest, meaning more than one plant, i ordered a sampler pack of heirloom transplants from the seed savers exchange in iowa. i didn’t have a garden yet, so i planted them in large pots and watched them propagate over the summer. i got a really mealy red tomato that grew huge fruits but were only good for making sauces; a yellow pear grape tomato, which i didn’t like the taste of; mexican midgets – decent-tasting tomatoes so tiny it took three of them to equal a normal sized grape tomato; a couple other duds; AND the best kind of tomato i’ve ever eaten: the green zebra.
when i planted the sampler pack five years ago, i didn’t label the tomatoes, so i kept waiting for these guys to turn fully red (and maybe a little bigger) – which they never did. finally, after realizing they were getting so soft they were bordering on overripe, i picked a bunch and cut them up.
the first bite is a little earthy; the second few bites elicit a little zingy/tangy taste; and it ends on a really nice sweet note. i love these tomatoes – they are definitely eating tomatoes.
i bought a pack of seeds a couple years ago and finally got around to using them this spring. i started about 9 plants, lost 3 or so in the early stages, and ended up with two in the ground that actually produced fruit (thanks, black walnut trees). the one pictured above is the first one i picked so far. it’s not 100% ripe (it does get a little orangey on top), but i couldn’t wait.