Dec 03 2011

TomatoFest seed packets hold endless possibilities.

My package came! My TomatoFest order! Remember last week, I was so excited to tell you that the TomatoFest Annual Seed Sale is in full swing and going on until January 11, 2012 or until the seed runs out, whichever comes first. I mentioned that when the announcement e-mail arrived in my in-box, I ordered right away, to make sure I was included on my list of favorites. And, with the usual fast turn around time, my package arrived five days later. Way to go, Gary and Dagma, the tomato loving couple that owns and operates

Dagma Lacey of TomatoFest with a display of heirloom tomatoes.

But, when I went through my order, there was a surprise: a Fuzzy Bomb! What!?!? A Fuzzy Bomb tomato? Yes! Right there in my opened mailing package of seed packs was a free gift from TomatoFest. The was a packet of Fuzzy Bomb tomato seeds that I have never heard of, much less eaten. So, I had to RUN to the computer and look it up in the descriptive entries of TomatoFest’s 600 varieties.

Turns out, a Fuzzy Bomb is so named because the plant that bears the Fuzzy Bomb tomato is, you guessed, fuzzy. Apparently it has little white hairs all over the stems and leaves. Sounds like a show stopper and a great conversation piece for the vegetable garden. I was very happy with my new found tomato friend in my free packet of seeds. Here is the photo from the TomatoFest on-line catalog:

The Fuzzy Bomb tomato is a late season indeterminate,
meaning the plant bears fruit late in the season and
grows to be tall and bountiful, rather than short and
compact like a determinate tomato plant.

The Fuzzy Bomb is a large potato leaf plant with white fuzz all over, developed by Tadd Smith of Franklin, N.C. The entry notes that the plant and fruit resemble the Angora tomato variety while producing 12 to 16 oz. fruits with very nice flavors. Reading about those white fuzzy leaves and stems, I wanted to see a photo and I did find another view of the Fuzzy Bomb tomato in the Heirloom Vegetable archives, found here, although it is pretty hard to see the namesake leaf and stem fuzz.

The Fuzzy Bomb in the Heirloom Vegetable Archives.

The Heirloom Vegetable Achives also mentioned that Fuzzy Bomb tomatoes measure about 5 inches across and are very tasty. The leaves are called “potato leaved” because they are shaped more like the leaf of a potato plant than the shape of most tomato plant leaves. This entry also mentions the white fuzzy stems and leaves. What great resources are the on-line tomato “dictionaries” of both TomatoFest and the Heirloom Vegetable Archives. In addition, the Tangager’s Song directory has great listings, so between the three, one may find almost any tomato variety detailed and photographed for identification.

The excitement I feel ordering seeds and planning next year’s garden really gets me through the winter months when the world is dormant and waiting for spring. Getting into heirloom tomatoes, specifically, has made the endeavor all the more exciting because of the wide range of colors, sizes and flavors from the older varieties of tomatoes found all over the world.

And, the best of all? Heirloom tomatoes seeds have never been “messed with,” that is, genetically modified by laboratory means, so they maintain our planet’s true and natural biodiversity. And, even more importantly to the home gardener, heirloom seeds have not been genetically modified to be sterile suicide seeds. The seeds you collect from your heirloom tomato plant fruits will be fertile so you can grow crops from them without buying new seed packets every year. What a fun, tasty, economical win-win for all those growing heirloom seeds. If you haven’t tried it, make this next year the year you do!

NaBloPoMo 2011

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NaBloPoMo November 2012