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Old August 6, 2018   #1
Fred Hempel
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Default Green Bee



We have a new hybrid called "Green Bee"

It is very unique in many ways. In short, it is a green-when-ripe cherry tomato that never fully softens.

It hangs for weeks on the vine in suspended animation, and can be stored for long periods, while maintaining a bright-tangy flavor (with hints of plum, some folks say).

The post pinned to the top of our Artisan Seeds facebook page contains the feedback from people growing the variety this year.

It must be mentioned that this hybrid was developed from lines created through our collaboration with Frogsleap Farm/Cream of the Crop Tomatoes, and I expect they will also be using similar lines to create many very cool new things.

Last edited by Fred Hempel; August 6, 2018 at 01:05 PM.
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Old August 6, 2018   #2
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Last edited by Fred Hempel; August 6, 2018 at 12:10 PM.
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Old August 6, 2018   #3
Cole_Robbie
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I tried my first few fruit last week. It was crunchy, green, and quite pleasant tasting. I'm sure it is a chef's delight, given that it would maintain consistency when sliced. It would make a good variety for a small farmer who wanted to sell to restaurants.

As for market sales, I could sell a truckload....as long as I didn't tell anyone it was a tomato. I'd have to make up something like "Skinless Kiwi Fruit" and everyone would love them. Perhaps getting green tomatoes onto restaurant plates will help eliminate the prejudice against them.

Great work as always, Fred.
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Old August 6, 2018   #4
Fred Hempel
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Biases are hard! And this tomato has two strikes against it

1. Green

2. Firm when ripe

But, people get used to new stuff -- Pluots, Kalettes, Celtuce (stem lettuce) and Thursday night football.

Well, maybe not Thursday night football.


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Originally Posted by Cole_Robbie View Post
I tried my first few fruit last week. It was crunchy, green, and quite pleasant tasting. I'm sure it is a chef's delight, given that it would maintain consistency when sliced. It would make a good variety for a small farmer who wanted to sell to restaurants.

As for market sales, I could sell a truckload....as long as I didn't tell anyone it was a tomato. I'd have to make up something like "Skinless Kiwi Fruit" and everyone would love them. Perhaps getting green tomatoes onto restaurant plates will help eliminate the prejudice against them.

Great work as always, Fred.
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Old August 6, 2018   #5
Fred Hempel
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It is encouraging if they are doing well for you. It sounds like it is not the best tomato year back there.
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Old August 6, 2018   #6
ContainerTed
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Other than the new one is a hybrid, how is Green Bee different from Green Bumble Bee? I've been listing Green Bumble Bee on the Heritage Market website for the last year.

An inquiring mind wishes to know
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Old August 6, 2018   #7
Fred Hempel
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Green Bumblebee was a Purple Bumblebee variant isolated by Tatiana, I think. It is interesting that you cite Totally Tomato as your seed source, because they do not seem to be selling it now.

Tatiana sent it to us and we trialed it and it did not make the grade for us. Too soft, too short a picking window, and very subtle picking cues when you want to pick it. Your photo represents a time where my palate says "over-ripe". In my opinion these are the same problems that Green Zebra Cherry has.

With green tomatoes you have to have good picking cues (Green Grape is pretty good in this regard). OR, you need long hang time so that the margin for picking error is reduced.

Farmers CAN NOT grow green tomatoes without incurring significant loss due to early or late picking. Even the best crew can not pick green tomatoes with subtle picking cues in an efficient and precise manner.

Green Bumblebee was not used in the development of Green Bee. Flavor was good, but we had another line that was better. That line was used, in part, to develop the parent lines for this variety, but the main source of flavor were other non-green cherry tomatoes. In fact, if Green Bee did not have the inability to finish softening (and coloring) it would not be green.

Green Bee's major advantage is that instead of being hard to pick at the right time, it is the easiest tomato to pick at the right time. It can hang on the vine for weeks at the optimal picking stage, and then can be stored for months. This is what is so different about the variety.

It tastes good too. Interestingly, it often tastes good to people who don't like tomatoes. The flavor is a bit different from other green-when-ripes and the texture is crunchy. Kids seem to like it. I have a friend who texted me at 7AM on a Sunday morning because he was shocked that his daughter had gotten up early and eaten up a pint of Green Bees.

It is not for everyone, but I haven't been so excited about releasing a tomato since Blush.

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Other than the new one is a hybrid, how is Green Bee different from Green Bumble Bee? I've been listing Green Bumble Bee on the Heritage Market website for the last year.

An inquiring mind wishes to know
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Old August 6, 2018   #8
gardenmermaid
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I trialed green bee last year and LOVED it! It opens so many possibilities. Great for make-ahead summer salads like taco salad and pasta salad because they stayed crunchy instead of turning to mush. Great for my friends that love tomato flavor but have texture issues with them. They were big fans of the Green Bees. If I were to take them to market (not a market farmer yet, but hoping one day) I would pass out free samples, especially to people who seemed into new and novel things
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Old August 6, 2018   #9
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Fred, any freebees for the disabled elderly, for I also happen to bee a a physically disabled senior citizen green variety fan?

Carolyn, who will understand if you don't want to answer but maybe even a beeutiful trade, as in seeds I sent you for Lucinda, remember that?
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Last edited by carolyn137; August 6, 2018 at 05:18 PM. Reason: adding more bees as in buzz
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Old August 6, 2018   #10
ContainerTed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Hempel View Post
Green Bumblebee was a Purple Bumblebee variant isolated by Tatiana, I think. It is interesting that you cite Totally Tomato as your seed source, because they do not seem to be selling it now.

Tatiana sent it to us and we trialed it and it did not make the grade for us. Too soft, too short a picking window, and very subtle picking cues when you want to pick it. Your photo represents a time where my palate says "over-ripe". In my opinion these are the same problems that Green Zebra Cherry has.

With green tomatoes you have to have good picking cues (Green Grape is pretty good in this regard). OR, you need long hang time so that the margin for picking error is reduced.

Farmers CAN NOT grow green tomatoes without incurring significant loss due to early or late picking. Even the best crew can not pick green tomatoes with subtle picking cues in an efficient and precise manner.

Green Bumblebee was not used in the development of Green Bee. Flavor was good, but we had another line that was better. That line was used, in part, to develop the parent lines for this variety, but the main source of flavor were other non-green cherry tomatoes. In fact, if Green Bee did not have the inability to finish softening (and coloring) it would not be green.

Green Bee's major advantage is that instead of being hard to pick at the right time, it is the easiest tomato to pick at the right time. It can hang on the vine for weeks at the optimal picking stage, and then can be stored for months. This is what is so different about the variety.

It tastes good too. Interestingly, it often tastes good to people who don't like tomatoes. The flavor is a bit different from other green-when-ripes and the texture is crunchy. Kids seem to like it. I have a friend who texted me at 7AM on a Sunday morning because he was shocked that his daughter had gotten up early and eaten up a pint of Green Bees.

It is not for everyone, but I haven't been so excited about releasing a tomato since Blush.
Thanks, Fred. I was hoping you'd respond and now all the readers here know how the GREEN BEE may be a better choice for them.

Take care and keep 'em coming.
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Old August 6, 2018   #11
Fred Hempel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carolyn137 View Post
Fred, any freebees for the disabled elderly, for I also happen to bee a a physically disabled senior citizen green variety fan?

Carolyn, who will understand if you don't want to answer but maybe even a beeutiful trade, as in seeds I sent you for Lucinda, remember that?
Absolutely. And there will likely be a green bee giveaway at some point.
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Old August 7, 2018   #12
paprika
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Oh my, Green Bee looks like it would also be a great choice for those of us that like roasted, fried, relishes, marinated, and especially pickled mater recipes!
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Old August 7, 2018   #13
Fred Hempel
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Yes. The firmness makes it quite versatile to cook with.



Quote:
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Oh my, Green Bee looks like it would also be a great choice for those of us that like roasted, fried, relishes, marinated, and especially pickled mater recipes!
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Old August 7, 2018   #14
nbardo
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Aside from flavor and texture, how are the plants? Yield growth habit cluster size etc? I know frogsleap was working on incorporating disease resistance with marker assisted selection. Does it have some of those traits?


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Old August 7, 2018   #15
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Quote:
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Oh my, Green Bee looks like it would also be a great choice for those of us that like roasted, fried, relishes, marinated, and especially pickled mater recipes!

Agree on the pickling especially, my cherries have turned to mush, thought the crunchier ones were slightly better.


So how can you tell when they are ripe? Size? Number of days since setting out? Taste test? Is the taste fixed before they are full sized, so it doesn't matter?
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