Since we recently harvested the last tomatoes for the 2022 season, obviously tomatoes are still on our minds. We love tomatoes and there are so many varieties to choose from. When selecting varieties of any vegetable, we evaluate it based on a number of criteria including climate adaption, productivity, taste, nutrition, appearance, and ease of growing. Here’s a sneak peak at the varieties we’re choosing for 2023.
Returning champions: cherry tomatoes. We love cherry tomatoes in multiple colors for salads and snacking. We’ve grown Harvest Luck and Galina’s Cherry for the past two years and we’re trying out a couple new varieties in 2023.
Returning champions: heirloom tomatoes. Our two favorite heirloom tomatoes are Paul Robeson and Fantome du Laos.
Returning champions: burger slicers. In 2022, we were pleased by the introduction of Katja, a large pink slicer. For 2023, we’re adding Azoychka, a slightly smaller slicer, a junior burger, if you will.
Returning champions: sauce/canning tomatoes (Roma types). Of course we grow red tomatoes for canning and making pasta sauce, salsa, barbecue sauce, etc. The egg-shaped Graham’s Good Keeper is our favorite from 2022 and we’re adding the globe-shaped Illini Star for 2023.
New Addition: special purpose tomatoes. We grew Belmonte Pear this year, but we didn’t share them because we didn’t have very many plants. Belmonte Pear is an Italian heirloom tomato grown especially for sauce. For 2023, we’re adding Long Keeper, a semi-determinate variety that is planted later in the season to be picked green before the first autumn frost and ripened indoors for fresh tomatoes in the winter. And finally, we’re adding Principe Borghese, the famous sun-drying tomato that can also be tied into ristras for winter storage.
NOTE: photos of tomato varieties from Adaptive Seeds and Southern Exposure Seed Exchange.