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Old December 29, 2012   #2
Redbaron's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 4,478

Originally Posted by Tania View Post
I was flipping through the SSE 1986 Yearbook this morning and noticed that there is only 1 black tomato listed - Purple Calabash. It was listed by 7 members, and most said their seeds came from FL ST G in 1984-1985.

Unfortunately I do not have earlier yearbooks to check where FL ST G got his seeds.

Then I checked out the USDA database. Apparently Purple Calabash was donated to USDA in 1963.

Does this make Purple Calabash the oldest known 'black' in North America?

My curiosity was rising, so I asked about black tomatoes at a Russian tomato forum. Got a few very interesting replies - apparently Tsygan tomato was mentioned in a book published in 1968. One member remembers having Black Prince tomato in Russia in the 80s. I am sure I will get more interesting info there in a couple of days.

Looks like black tomatoes were cultivated in the former USSR before it started to happen in the USA... Not many Russian folks remember about having black tomatoes in the 60-80s (me neither), but they were certainly there!

It looks like most of the black varieties came to the USA from France. It also looks like most of the older blacks came from the former USSR - first to France then to NA? I know Carolyn and Craig received lots of seeds from Norbert Parreira in 1992. I'd be curious to know where Norbert was getting them from.
I always thought the blacks originally came from the Balkans region or possibly as far north as Romania or Ukraine. I didn't realise they came from Russia.

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AKA The Redbaron

"Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted & thoughtful observation rather than protracted & thoughtless labour; & of looking at plants & animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single-product system."
Bill Mollison
co-founder of permaculture
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