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Historical background information for varieties handed down from bygone days.

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Old September 1, 2010   #16
nctomatoman
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As with pretty much most of the tomatoes in the 1880-1920 era, Earliana is yet another of the medium sized reds that, to those who get excited about the large, meaty and colorful well known heirloom varieties, may just say "ho hum". We have to remember that prior to Livingston's work, which began with Paragon in 1870, tomatoes tended to be lumpy, irregular, and not very good for canning - which was something really important back then. So, Paragon, Favorite, Matchless, Perfection, Earliana, Bonny Best, John Baer - even Marglobe, Rutgers - you get the idea! - all medium sized, fairly smooth, and red - flavor-wise, tending to be a bit more tart/less sweet tasting than the Cherokee Purples, Ponderosas, Mortgage Lifters and Brandywines!

When I grew out a slew of the old historical CVs obtained through the USDA, I learned early on that the major joy was in growing history, not necessarily tomatoes that would knock my socks off in flavor. To me, the best of the bunch may be Livingston's Favorite - a really good flavored, medium, smooth red tomato.
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Old September 1, 2010   #17
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Originally Posted by carolyn137 View Post
So perhaps the seeds SSE is offering were those they got from Edmund many many years ago.
Fascinating. I suppose SSE has records of this sort of thing; maybe when winter comes and I have no more gardening chores I'll write to ask.


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As with pretty much most of the tomatoes in the 1880-1920 era, Earliana is yet another of the medium sized reds that, to those who get excited about the large, meaty and colorful well known heirloom varieties, may just say "ho hum".
I'll admit, mine is not as tasty as my Cherokee Purple. But it was like a whole month earlier, so I was happy.
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Old September 1, 2010   #18
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[quote=Cornflower;182810]Fascinating. I suppose SSE has records of this sort of thing; maybe when winter comes and I have no more gardening chores I'll write to ask.

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I suppose they do have records but is it really that important for you to know if the one they offer is Sparks or otherwise as long as it's Earliana. Now I know that sounds perhaps a bit, well, I don't know, but I agree with Craig completely that growing some of the earliest of the varieties from the time span he mentioned, which I've also done, is more of an historical pursuit rather than a taste or performance pursuit.

If earliness is important to you there are many earlies that do have good taste and perform well.
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Old September 1, 2010   #19
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Originally Posted by Wi-sunflower View Post
I see they mention Golden Queen.

I have been growing a "Golden Queen" for years that I got the original seed from the current Stokes company. i list it as "Golden Queen - Stokes" as I've seen some of the posts about there being more than 1 version of Golden Queen -- the one you got from the seed bank and something else.

Any idea what I have ??

i'm pretty sure it's just a reasonably large beefsteak type with not pink on the blosson end, but I will have to check out the pink part when we find this year's plants.
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I wonder if "Golden Queen" is the same as "Goldene Koenigin" produced by Selecta Poznan and sold ia. by ogrodniczy.eu . I have this variety (which I assume to be of German origin), but didn't sow it this year, so I'm not able to say anything about taste, size etc. now.
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Old September 1, 2010   #20
carolyn137
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I wonder if "Golden Queen" is the same as "Goldene Koenigin" produced by Selecta Poznan and sold ia. by ogrodniczy.eu . I have this variety (which I assume to be of German origin), but didn't sow it this year, so I'm not able to say anything about taste, size etc. now.
Gunnar, Livingstan has related how he got the fruits for what became Golden Queen from a farm market, no information about origin at all, made a selection and introduced it in 1882.

I don't think the two are the same although I don't have time right now to go searching but did find some info that said they weren't.
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Old September 1, 2010   #21
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From what I've read, they are very different varieties (different origins) - use of Queen/King/Beauty/Monarch, etc seemed to be very common back in the initial tomato development days. So Golden Queen (Livingston) is essentially identical to Buist's Golden Monarch. And, Olds lists Golden Beauty as a synonym for Golden Queen.

I suspect that some of these mysteries will never be completely unraveled - so much reselecting/renaming, or just plain renaming without any reselecting, was pretty common...just to position various companies with having "exclusive" varieties (gee...just like what goes on today!)
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Old September 1, 2010   #22
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[If earliness is important to you there are many earlies that do have good taste and perform well.
I'm finding I like having one early tomato, to help lengthen the season a bit. (The longer a tomato season, the better, right?) I have been noticing mentions of early tomatoes in the discussions around here, so I think I'll be doing some research in the months ahead.
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