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goodwin November 14, 2013 08:06 AM

Hi Gill,
It does sound like you had an unusual year. Your dwarfs turned into giants! I've grown several in the field rather than containers and they do get larger for me, up to 4 feet. I have not grown Mr. Snow or the Kelly Green, but that is true for the others. Tomatoes do not need much nitrogen and an excess can lead to plants setting poorly or fruiting later. You probably kept that well-balanced, so I don't have an explanation except the vagaries of weather and climate.
The Banded Amazon has very short internodes, but it is indeterminate. Did you try to grow your Kumato tomato again? I had a couple of plants from your seed and they did well. The foliage was sparse, but production was early and steady. They were good-looking tomatoes with decent flavor, and kept very well.
I'm hoping the work several of us are doing to increase cold tolerance in the tomato will result in new strains that will flourish in more northern latitudes.
In the meantime I believe the key is to do what you are doing - keep trying a number of different varieties and save seed from any that show promise. The advantage of open-pollinated versus hybrid stock is that given time, open-pollinated varieties can adapt.

gill_s November 14, 2013 10:30 AM

Thanks for your reply, Lee.
Yes, I did grow Kumato again and it did very well. Early on the flavour was OK, but sweet without enough acid balance. However, later in the season it was much better, with better acid balance. As usual it is one of my good standbys.

Varieties which did do well, outside, here were Red Siberian, Clear Pink Early, Vorlon, Grub's Mystery Green, Maya and Sion's Airdrie Classic and Yellow Scotland. Red Siberian especially retained its flavour very well when 'finished off' inside. They all produced very well, but especially Yellow Scotland which was laden with tomatoes. Unfortunately they didn't keep too well once picked! I don't know whether those varieties will give you any material to work with for the 'cold tolerance' project.
There is one hybrid which I shall always grow for its reliability, Late Blight tolerance, production and flavour is Fantasio. It is one I can rely on for outside in our climate.

One of the introductions I had from you, Lee, which I love and will always be included (for the greenhouse) is Maria Amazilitei's Giant Red. It is superb!

goodwin November 18, 2013 07:29 AM

Thank you for all the information. I have a couple of the varieties you mentioned, and should track down the others. I plan to start in the greenhouse right after the holidays and give some of the lines I'm working with a real dose of the damp and cold. Right now we are having a beautiful sunny weather, but January here is usually a different story. Carolyn Male sent me the Maria Amazilitei's, and I've grown it every year since as well.

roper2008 November 20, 2013 09:03 AM

Hi Lee. I only planted 1 sugar drop plant this summer, and I see you saw my
review on GW. My tomatoes were lighter in color with no point, and the
best flavor,when the weather cooled off here. We have a very hot & humid
climate. Should have taken a picture of the sugar drop, but they looked like
in your picture.
I bought Starfire Isis seed last year but didn't have the room for them. For
sure next year.

goodwin November 21, 2013 09:58 PM

Yes, I was glad to get some idea of how that variety, Sugar Drop, was doing. It has been quite an adventure to stabilize the line and bring it this far. Jan and I have been getting the moonrise yellow ones with the little point pretty consistently for the last three years, and so it has replaced SunGold and SunSugar in our market lineup. We are market gardeners selling both retail and wholesale produce locally.
The Starfire cherry tomato is later and larger and produces in big flushes about every other week. Cooler weather seems to bring out the best contrast, and it also develops wonderful flavor by late summer. Anyway, I know there are a lot of great varieties out there, so anytime folks can save a bit of space for one of mine, I appreciate it.

goodwin December 29, 2013 11:32 AM

I took some time over the Christmas break to upload the new varieties from our breeding program and reorganize things. There are now categories for early tomatoes, container varieties and cold-tolerant varieties.
We spent some time testing for cold-tolerance and I still need to post those results on another thread. Today I'm starting some of the crosses as well as the first tomatoes for the farmers markets. It is always fun to get going on a new year and imagine how it will turn out.

goodwin January 12, 2014 03:36 PM

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Well, the new seedlings are popping up and it was a nice day here so I took them out for a bit. Some are our new varieties that I want to take an early look at, but we also like to get to the markets with field grown tomatoes before the rest of the farms around here.


tnpeppers February 24, 2014 01:54 PM

Hi, Lee! Just received my package of seeds in the mail out here on the East Coast...thrilled with the 'free trial' pack of Esmerelda Golosina...thank you so much!

goodwin February 25, 2014 10:02 PM

You are welcome! Thank you for the order. If you see anything else you would like to try, PM me and I'll send a sample. I imagine you are still digging out from the winter storms, but spring will be here before we know it.

comamma February 27, 2014 05:45 AM

Wild berry
Can you tell me more about the flavor of LA 1269 'Wild Berry'? Does it reseed? I am intrigued. You have an awesome catalog, someday I will have enough space to add more.

goodwin February 27, 2014 08:21 AM

hi comamma -

Its a current tomato (L. pimpinellifolium) and has a kind of earthy flavor - some would say a hint of mushroom - but sweet. If you have tasted Coyote or Sara Galapagos, its like that. The plants are prolific and would naturalize in warmer climates and also cross easily with other tomatoes.
I am using LA1269 to add late blight resistance (Ph-3) to several varieties.
Where are you in Colorado? I grew up in Durango and we still have the family place there.

comamma February 27, 2014 10:37 PM

Thanks! I am in Kremmling, between Silverthorne and Steamboat Springs.

goodwin April 29, 2014 07:32 PM

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First ripe tomato in the field - it is officially tomato season! This year it was a Snow Cherry from a selection of Joe Rarus's Pink Champagne. These plants are in the ground, but under plastic because the nights are still freezing and the wind has been ferocious. You can see the gritty sand on everything.
Not far behind is my Painted Pink which is just starting to blush. This season we'll carry a bunch of Joe's varieties in a separate section - he has done some remarkable work.

RobinB April 30, 2014 09:35 PM

Wonderful! I'll have to get some Snow Cherry for 2015, it looks early! I got two from Joe Rarus in a trade in 2012, the Pink Champagne and another red cherry he called "Pop My Cherry." His notes said that he found this when stabilizing Pink Champagne. I couldn't fit in PMC last year, but I've got some healthy seedlings for it this year. It looks to be another tall one. Is Snow Cherry tall?

goodwin April 30, 2014 10:51 PM

hi Robin -

The Snow Cherry is more bushy, maybe reaches 3-4 foot here. I'm glad to hear you are growing some of Joe's varieties as well.
I hope to offer Casino, Casino Chips and Mini Mexico which are already being carried by others, as well as Pink Champagne, Chocolate Beefsteak, Green Honey, and Super Nova. He also sent me some varieties he's collected that need to be trialled - just incredibly generous.
It sounds like your season is off to a good start. We'll have to trade information on how things do this year.


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