2014 CSA Updates and Tomato Plants for sale!!

Happy 2014 everyone!  So far, as most folks know, it has been one of the coldest winters in almost 30 years.  The snow continues to pile up and our wood pile diminishes!  But regardless of these dark days of winter, we all realize that spring will be here soon enough.  In anticipation of a great year ahead, we do have some news that we would like to pass on for those who may be interested.  First off we are looking for possibly 2-3 more full share memberships for our CSA.  A membership costs $500 and runs roughly from June 1st (possibly earlier) all the way into September.  A typical weekly share consists of a nice selection of seasonal produce, usually a baked good, and other value added products throughout the season.

Second we are doing a custom, to-order tomato sale this year.  We have been saving, and starting tomato seeds for a long time now, and thought we would share some of that genetic wealth with our supporters and customers.  Below is our full list for this years tomatoes.  If you are interested, please either email us, or message us through Facebook and let us know which varieties and how many of each we can start for you.  All transplants will cost $3 and can be picked up at our place on a yet to be determined date.

And lastly, we also hope to offer what we have been calling “The Summer Abundance” share.  Even with our CSA, and our own family to feed, we still at times find ourselves with lots of extra produce.  So for those of you who can’t commit to a full CSA share, or just really like kale, we will keep you posted on what we have available and prices.  All are welcome to visit us at The Dead End Alley farm, and we look forward to seeing ya around this upcoming summer … Andy & Karyn

2014 Tomato List

Abraham Lincoln –  Released by Buckbee’s Seed co. in 1923 and hailed as “The Giant of all Tomatoes”.  Abraham Lincoln produces loads of meaty, 8 oz red tomatoes late in the summer.  Bears in clusters of 4-6. Real true tomato flavor lost in most of today’s hybrids.  Keeps producing right up to the first frost.

Amish Paste –  Bright red 8-12 ounce fruits vary in shape from oxheart to rounded plum. Delicious flesh is juicy and meaty, excellent for sauce or fresh eating. One of Slow Food USA’s Ark of Taste varieties.

Amish Salad – Small, pink, 2 oz. oval cherries seem to last forever on the vine without rotting or losing flavor. Flesh is very firm, mild and sweet, perfect for sauces, salads and for drying. Up to 6 blemish-free fruits per cluster, with many clusters on large plants that have heavy, regular-leaf foliage cover not typical of cherry varieties. Well-suited to both fresh market and home garden.  Andy’s favorite cherry tomato of all time!

Arkansas Traveller –  Heirloom. Originating before 1900 in the Ozark Mountains, Arkansas Traveler is prized for very flavorful, medium-sized tomatoes that resist cracking and keep on coming, even in drought and hot weather. Taste is mild, like the pink color of the fruit.  These plants can get a bit big, and unruly, but well worth the work.  Grown almost every year here at the Dead End Alley.

Black Krim – This variety hails from the Black Sea, near the Crimean Peninsula of Russia, where warm influences from the Black Sea make summers perfect for growing tomatoes. Heat-tolerant Black Krim has a dark brown-red color that gets even darker in hotter weather. It makes beautiful dark slices. Black Krim is prone to cracking, so be sure to water regularly, especially when there is not enough rain, to avoid cycles of wet-to-dry-to-wet-to-dry soil that causes the fruit to crack.Vigorous plants grow best with strong staking or tall cages.

Black From Tula – Russian heirloom imported by SSE and offered to members in 1996. Made available commercially by SSE as part of the Russian Collection in 1998. Described by one SSE member as “the ugliest, most delicious tomato I’ve ever grown.” Good yields of brownish-red slightly flattened globes weighing up to 14 ounces. Rich full flavor, great for slicing and canning.  This has been a reliable producer for us.

Black Pineapple – This unusual variety was developed by Pascal Moreau, a horticulturist from Belgium. The multi-colored, smooth fruit (green, yellow and purple mix) weigh about 1 1/2 lbs. The flesh is bright green with deep red streaks. Everyone loves their superb flavor that is outstanding, being both sweet and smoky with a hint of citrus.  For us it has been a light producer, but the flavor and quality more than makes up for fewer numbers of fruits.

Brandywine –  The most popular heirloom vegetable! A favorite of many gardeners; large fruit with superb flavor. A great potato-leafed variety from 1885! Beautiful pink fruit up to 1-1/2 lbs. each!  What else needs to be said!

Celebrity –   Hybrid.  Great flavor in firm, 8-oz., crack-free fruits. Performs well in almost every region and under adverse conditions. Good blight tolerance and foliage cover.  A great tomato for being your average red orb and is very dependable, don’t write it off just because it is a hybrid.

Federle – Plant produces good yields of jumbo 7″ long red banana shaped tomatoes.  These things are huge!! Tomato has full rich tomato flavor and very few seeds. Excellent processing type paste tomato for making paste and heavy sauces. Also good for making salsa.

Garden Huckleberry –  Large purple berries that are cooked and sweetened, (do not eat raw). Great in pies; huge yields of fruit all summer long. Plant 14 inches apart. Strong tall plants do not have to be staked. Grow plants like peppers. Great for anyone wanting quick easy berries and a huge yield. Originated in Africa.

Goldie –  This golden-colored heirloom tomato has been grown and seed passed down by families for 150 years. It is believed to be a yellow version of Giant Belgium, and has huge tomatoes of a comparable size. The flavor is wonderful. Vine growth is vigorous and large.

Green Zebra – Beautiful chartreuse with deep lime-green stripes, very attractive. Flesh is bright green and very rich tasting, sweet with a sharp bite to it (just too good to describe!). A favorite tomato of many high class chefs, specialty markets, and home gardeners. Yield is excellent.

Ground Cherry – Huge yields of tart-sweet berries. This is the common type used by the Pilgrims; excellent for pies, jams, and preserves of all kinds; also delicious fresh. The fruit grow inside a paper-like husk (the same as Tomatillos). Grow it the same as you would tomatoes.

Hill Billy Potato Leaf – Big, meaty yellow tomatoes with red streaks and an amazingly sweet taste —sure to attract attention and adulation! High yielding, indeterminate variety produces very juicy fruits, often weighing over a pound. Makes a great slicer for salads and sandwiches.

Hungarian OxHeart – Said to have originated in a village 20 miles from Budapest around 1900. Huge pink oxheart fruits weigh upwards of one pound. Very few seeds and almost no cracking. Ideal for fresh eating, canning, and for making roasted tomato sauce.

Indigo Rose –  This variety is stunningly jet black! As it ripens the underside turns from green to a rosy red. Flavor is great, strongly acidic and when sliced it looks just like a plum with its deep red flesh. The plants are vigorous and show good field resistance to fungal diseases and blights. The 2 – 2.5 ounce fruit grows on vines with nice clusters of 6-8 fruit. A new variety from Oregon State that is definitely worth a try.

Martino’s Roma –  Incredible yields of very richly flavored pear tomatoes that weigh about 2 ozs., and are 3 in. long. These paste-type fruit are meaty with few seeds and not much juice, perfectly suited to cooking, but delicious enough to eat fresh. Compact plants have rugose, dark foliage. Heirloom variety and extremely productive. Determinate.

Mortgage Lifter (Halladays) – Kentucky family heirloom grown since the 1930s by three generations of James Halladay’s family. In a trial of 25 Mortgage Lifter types, Halladay’s produced the best crops of 1-2 pound pink beefsteak fruits. Exceptionally meaty and typically crack-free. Great old-fashioned tomato flavor.

Nyagus – Nyagous originated deep in the former Soviet Union.  It was brought to popularity by tomato enthusiast Reinhard Kraft of Germany.  Nyagous bears baseball size fruits that are in clusters of up to 6 fruits.  Very prolific.  The flavor is described as complex, sometimes smoky and sweet.  A great tomato if you need just one for yourself.

Roma – A generic roma.  We have no idea what it is, but will be giving it a shot this year to see how it performs in our garden.  You can too!!

San Marzano –  THE classic Italian paste tomato with rich, complex, sweet flavor essential for making traditional Napolitano sauces and whole canned tomatoes. The large plants produce loads of small, elongated red tomatoes late in the season and need to be staked.

Striped Cavern – These orange-red tomatoes are striped with bright yellow and shaped just like a bell pepper. They are hollow inside, but have very thick walls which offer plenty of good tasting tomato flesh. They are so meaty that each fruit weighs about 8 ozs., with a core of seeds up toward the stem end. Fabulous for stuffing, but also fine for slicing and eating fresh. Expect abundant harvests.

Striped Roman – The Striped Roman Tomato is a very rare Heirloom developed by John Swenson. Bright red Roma shaped tomato with long orange stripes. The plant is an abundant producer and the paste of this rich meaty tomato is sweeter than any Roma Tomato.  We have noticed that this tomato is susceptible to blossom end rot which is caused by a calcium deficiency in your soil.  If you can overcome that, than this tomato is one of the best!

Ultimate Opener – The new champion of early tomatoes! More often than not, early-ripening tomatoes are under-sized, have marginal flavor and color and have way too many blemishes. This new tomato, developed by the same breeder who gave us such classics as Early Girl and Better Boy Hybrids, produces blemish-free fruits about 1/3 larger than Early Girl with marvelous flavor that’s so sweet and juicy you can’t stop eating them. Strong, vigorous, indeterminate plants are capable of tremendous yields, much higher than comparable early varieties, ensured by a strong disease resistance package. Harvest fruits just 57 days from transplanting.

Umberto – Very old Italian heirloom, listed by the renowned French seedhouse Vilmorin-Andrieux in 1885. Named after King Umberto I, King of Italy in the late 19th century. The plants produce unbelievable harvests of small, pear-shaped fruits. These meaty morsels have a nice balance of sweet and tart, with full Old World tomato flavor. Great for paste, sauce or for drying under the late summer sun!

Zlaty Ozarowski – Ożarόw is a town in South-eastern Poland, famed for one of the last remaining Jewish Cemeteries in that country. The name of this tomato means ‘Gold from Ożarόw’.  These are beautiful medium to large orange tomatoes, full of flavour, on a shortish semi-bush plant. Side-shoot the plant until it produces a fork, then let it do its own thing. This is a mid-season tomato.  I grew this for the first time last year and was blown away by how tasty, beautiful, and easy to grow these tomatoes are.  Quite possibly my favorite tomato I have ever grown!

*In the spirit of transparency, some the descriptions have been copied and pasted from Baker’s Creek, Gurneys, Seed Savers, and Totally Tomatoes.  This is not an attempt of blatant plagiarism, but so many others have already written up great descriptions of these tomatoes so I thought I would use those along with a few of my own notes.  Sorry if this is a problem for anyone!!


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One response to “2014 CSA Updates and Tomato Plants for sale!!”

  1. Meg K says :

    Tomatoes! Just the thought of tomatoes renews my energy to get through this dreadful winter.

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