Heritage or heirloom tomatoes are old style varieties that have been in production for at least 50 years. Over the years, advances have been made to plant breeding and production methods and these varieties are now rarely grown commercially. Heritage tomatoes are available in a huge range of sizes, shapes and colours and have fantastic flavor. However, they are not resistant to a wide range of diseases like most hybrid varieties are. They breed true to seed, meaning that seed can be kept and started the following year again. Most are indeterminate plants, which need to be staked, growing very large and producing fruit for several weeks on long vines.
Heritage Tomatoes Varieties for 2022
AMISH PASTE – Mid season. Large, bright red, heart shaped fruits with meaty, juicy texture. The classic paste tomato with very few seeds and a sweeter flavour than other paste varieties.
AUNT GERTIE’S GOLD – Mid season. Very large, 1 – 2lb golden yellow fruit. Shape can be a little irregular, but flavour is wonderful, fruity and sweet, yet complex. One of the best tasting yellow tomatoes. Great for slicing.
AUNT RUBY’S GERMAN GREEN – Late season. Very large, beefsteak type, growing 1- 2lb. Fruit are light green with a hint of yellow striping and a pinkish interior. Sweet – tart flavour.
BLACK CHERRY – Early season. Small sized 1” cherry tomato with a rich mahogany – purple colour. Deep red flesh with blackish hues. Flavor is sweet, rich, deep and complex. Fruits abundantly in heavy clusters.
BLACK KRIM – Late season. Very large, dark coloured, meaty fruits are incredibly juicy, growing up to 1.5lb under semi drought conditions. Slightly smoky, salty flavor is great for salads or eaten straight off the vine. Heavy producer.
BLONDKOPFCHEN (aka LITTLE BLONDE GIRL) – Mid season. Small golden yellow cherry 1” fruits held in giant clusters. Excellent, sweet taste. Enormous yields and rarely a cracked fruit.
BONNY BEST – Mid season. Medium sized smooth red fruit. An all time favourite with wonderful old fashioned flavour.
CHEROKEE PURPLE – Late season. Large, 12oz fruits. Productive plants that are good in dry conditions. Unique dusty rose colour with a sweet rich, smoky flavour that rivals Brandywine. From Tennessee, pre 1890.
CHOCOLATE STRIPES – Mid season. Very large, mahogany coloured with dark olive green striping. Delicious, complex, rich sweet and earthy flavour. Considered to be one of the best tasting ‘black tomatoes’. Great sandwich tomato!
EARLIANA – Early season. Medium, very uniform 6oz red pink fruit. Developed in 1900 as the earliest tomato to market. Prolific producer with great visual appeal and wonderful sweet / tart flavours.
FLAMME – Early season. Medium 2” French saladette tomato with persimmon orange skin and flesh. Full bodied flavour with a hint of citrus. Incredibly productive plants.
GOLD MEDAL – Late season. Very large beefsteak bicoloured tomato. 1-2lb yellow fruits blush with red / orange colours as they ripen. Rich old fashioned and sweet taste with a touch of tartness. Lovely slicing variety.
GREEN DOCTORS – Late season. Small sized ¾” greenish yellow cherry tomato with kiwi green coloured flesh. Some plants produce bright green fruit, others produce ‘frosted’ fruit which are lighter in colour and even sweeter. Huge yields and fabulous flavour.
GREEN ZEBRA – Late season. Medium sized, 2” or 4oz yellow and green fruits with dark green vertical stripes. Emerald green flesh is juicy, sweet and mild with a slight tangy taste. Very productive plants. Plants stay fairly small. Unusual!
HARBINGER – Early season. Medium, thin skinned red fruit. Terrific flavour. Introduced in 1910. Reliable, abundant producer.
INDIGO APPLE – Mid season. 3-4oz fruit held in pendant clusters. Purple / black colours spread around the fruit as it ripens, giving a two tone effect. Good sweet / tart flavours and great for slicing. A real eye catcher!
ISIS CANDY – Mid to late season. Small sized 1” yellow – gold cherry tomato with red / pink marbling and a sweet fruity taste. Productive plants. Beautiful in salads.
ITALIAN HEIRLOOM – Mid season. Large, 1lb red meaty beefsteak fruit – a real classic heirloom from Italy. Flavour is amazing – rich, complex sweet flavours, well balanced with good acidity. Use for both slicing and sauces.
KELLOGGS BREAKFAST – Mid season. Very large, 1-2lb beautiful orange beefsteak tomato with solid, meaty orange flesh. Low acid, sweet, tangy, intense flavor. Some plants may be potato leaf variety.
MARVEL STRIPE – Early season. Large beefsteak bicolour tomato. Sunny gold fruits are shot through with rose – red striping, creating a beautiful marbleized effect. Flavour is mild, sweet and fruity.
MORTGAGE LIFTER – Early season. Large, many over 1lb, meaty and vigorous red beefsteak type. Great flavour and good slicer with few seeds. Plants are highly productive and disease resistant.
PEKING PANDA – Early season. Small sized, sweet and juicy pear shaped yellow fruit. Very prolific. Low in acid and easy to grow.
RED BRANDYWINE – Late season. Large, up to 1lb beefsteak type. Ideal for slicing or salads. Pinkish red fruit. One of the most famous heirlooms (1885, Amish) and the winner of many taste tests. Bright tangy flavour. Reliable performer. Potato leaf variety.
RED PEAR – Late season. Small 1.5”, pear shaped, bright red cherry tomatoes. Delicious sweet flavour and heavy producer.
SAN MARZANO – Mid season. Medium, deep red Italian Roma style tomato. 3” long and 1.5” thick. Good crack resistance and great productivity. Excellent for sauces, canning or drying. Medium sized plant.
STUPICE – Early season. Small, 2 – 4oz red juicy fruits. Famous for being the earliest tomato of all and continuing to produce large crops all season. Very popular variety from Czech. Excellent flavour for fresh eating. Potato leaf variety.
STRIPED ROMAN – Mid season. Medium 4-6” long Roma style tomato. Long pointed red fruit with wavy orange stripes. Abundant, very meaty and delicious with barely any seeds.
TIGERELLA – Early season. Medium, 2 – 3” sweet tart red fruit with orange stripes is a good producer. Fun to add to salads and a delight in any garden.
BIG BEEF – Large, 10-12oz red beefsteak type
ULTRA SWEET – Early, 10oz red beefsteak type. Fantastic flavour
GALAHAD – Beefsteak type with rich flavour, 12oz red fruit. Blight resistant. Small (determinate) plants
CHAMPION 2 – Red slicing type, 6-8oz. High yielding. Good disease resistance
ROMA – Red plum, medium size. Use for canning, sauces & salsa
LEMON BOY – Lemon yellow, medium, 7oz fruit. Low acid & mild flavour
STELLAR – Medium, 5-7oz red slicing type. Blight resistant
EARLY GIRL – Early, 4-6oz medium sized red slicing type
MOUNTAIN MAGIC – Cocktail size, 1.5” or 2oz red fruit. Sweet flavour. Blight resistant
SUGAR RUSH – Red grape type, 1” size fruit
ARTEMIS – Red, 1” cherry type. For fresh eating or sauces. Good disease resistance
HELIX – Red, 1” cherry type. For fresh eating. Good sweet / acid balance
SWEET MILLION – Dark red, 1” size cherry tomato. Very productive
SUNGOLD – Orange 1” size cherry tomato. Very productive, sweet fruit
MIDNIGHT SNACK – Red with glossy black-purple overlay, 1” cherry type
PATIO – For containers. Plants grow to 24” high. Red fruit, 4oz in size
SWEET & NEAT SCARLET – For containers. Plants grow to 12” high. 1” cherry scarlet red fruit
SWEET & NEAT YELLOW – For containers. Plants grow to 12” high. 1” cherry yellow fruit
Writer Nancy Falconer interviewed our farm for her article on heirloom tomatoes in the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of Food In The Hills.
Check it out, grow your own varieties and then try these yummy recipes: