Library Director, Dave Mixdorf has announced the seed varieties that are available at the South Sioux City Public Library.
Brandywine Pink (Sudduths Strain): This strain was obtained by tomato collector Ben Quisenberry of Big Tomato Gardens in 1980 from Dorris Sudduth Hill whose family grew it for over 100 years. Large pink beefsteak fruits to 2 pounds. Incredibly rich, delightfully intense tomato flavor. Indeterminate, 90 days from transplant
Dester: Winner of SSE’s 2011 Tomato Tasting and runner-up in 2012. Donated to SSE by Missouri farmer Larry Pierce, who received his seeds from an Amish woman in Seymour, Missouri. She originally got her seeds from a doctor she worked for whose family had brought the seeds with them from Germany. Luscious pink beefsteaks weighing up to one pound. Indeterminate, 70-80 days from transplant.
Mortgage Lifter Radiator Charlies: Developed by M.C. Byles in the 1930s, this heirloom tomato remains very much in demand in the Mid-Atlantic states. Mr. Byles, affectionately known as "Radiator Charlie" earned his nickname from the radiator repair business he opened at the foot of a steep hill on which trucks would often overheat. Radiator Charlie, who had no formal education or plant breeding experience, created this legendary tomato by cross-breeding four of the largest tomatoes he was able to find and developed a stable variety after six years of pollination and selection. He then sold his heirloom tomato plants for one dollar each (in the 1940s) and paid off the six thousand dollar mortgage on his house in six years. The large, slightly flattened, pink-red fruits that range from 1 pound to more than 3 pounds, are meaty, very flavorful and have few tomato seeds.
Abe Lincoln: Indeterminate, 80 days. A popular heirloom tomato introduced in Illinois in 1923 by the Buckbee Seed Co. These organic tomato seeds produce brilliant red, round, medium-sized, 12 oz. tomatoes in clusters up to 9. A good disease resistant tomato. Delicious, rich, slightly acidic tomato flavors
Arkansas Traveler: Heirloom. Originating before 1900 in the Ozark Mountains, Arkansas Traveler is prized for very flavorful, medium-sized tomatoes that resist cracking and keep on coming, even in drought and hot weather. Taste is mild, like the pink color of the fruit. Popular in its home state and beyond. Indeterminate vines do best in tall cages. Fruit size: 6 to 8 oz Matures: 75 days
Costoluto Genovese: The fluted, old Italian favorite that has been around since the early 19th century. Fruit are rather flattened and quite attractive with their deep ribbing. This variety is a standard in Italy for both fresh eating and preserving; known for its intensely flavorful, deep red flesh.
Marianna's Peace: is a late season, indeterminate, potato-leaf variety (80-85 days) that produces relatively lower yields of 1-2 lb., pink/red, beefsteak-styled fruit. It's plant and fruit structure and the taste of it's fruit remind me of an old favorite, Brandywine. The sugary nectar of it's creamy, dense, flesh also reminds me of Sandul Moldovan, another great tasting variety originally from Moldova. Overall, it's flavors are exceptionally rich, with good sweet/acid balance and luscious complex flavors reminiscent of the finest of those "old-fashioned" tomato flavors, the memories of which is the stuff-of-dreams for all tomato lovers.
Rutgers: Determinate 60-100 days Good for canning; also good fresh; large red 8-oz. globes. Good yields and flavor on large vines. A fine New Jersey heirloom.
Wisconsin 55: Bred by JC Walker at the University of Wisconsin in the 1940s. Excellent all-purpose tomato, great for canning. Does best on rich soils. Remembered as one of the best home and market tomatoes in the Madison, Wisconsin area. Indeterminate, 80 days from transplant.
Austin’s Red Pear: Introduced to SSE by Dale Austin of Washington. A real standout among all of SSE’s red pears due to its superior flavor. Large 2" red tomatoes with elongated neck. Very productive. Occasionally a plant with yellow fruit appears. Indeterminate, 80 days from transplant.
Beam’s Yellow Pear: Introduced to SSE in 1983 by John Hartman of Indiana. Our favorite when we compared 25 different yellow pears in 1998. Endless supply of 1½" fruits with great flavor. Ideal for salads. Indeterminate, 70-80 days from transplant.
Black Cherry: produce large, sprawling, indeterminate, regular-leaf, vigorous tomato plants that yield abundant crops in huge clusters of 1", round, deep purple, mahogany-brown cherry tomatoes. Fruits are irresistibly delicious with sweet, rich, complex, full tomato flavors that burst in your mouth, characteristic of the best flavorful black tomatoes. Beautiful to mix with other colored cherry tomatoes. Unique tomato variety. Disease resistant.
Mexico Midget: Hundreds of ½-¾" dark red cherry tomatoes on each plant. Huge tomato flavor for such small fruits. Great for salads or selling in pints. Plants produce throughout the entire growing season. Indeterminate, 60-70 days from transplant.
Tommy Toe: Exceptionally vigorous plants yield hundreds of large red cherry tomatoes throughout the season. The superb flavor won it top billing over 100 other varieties in an Australian taste test. Indeterminate, 70 days from transplant.
White Cherry: Early and productive pale yellow to ivory 1 ounce fruits; color will be paler with less sun exposure. An excellent color addition to cherry tomato mixes. Sweet fruity flavor. Indeterminate, 70 days from transplant.
Aunt Ruby's German Green: 70-85 days, Indeterminate, Regular Leaf, our strain does not always produce large fruits but fruits from this variety should be about a pound, somewhat spicy and sweet, fruits may be irregular in shape and show irregularities, family heirloom of Ruby Arnold of TN.
Zebra Rita: Another unique variety developed by Tom Wagner around in the mid 1900's. Named in 2008 "Zebra Rita" on his visit in Belgium and France, during which he stayed in the house of Rita Declercq. The seeds he had with him he named after her in appreciation. Seeds were passed on to me by Rita's friend and associate Gerd Fraeyman. Produce indeterminate plants that yield abundant crops of medium-sized, 8-12 oz., green-yellow zebra beefsteak tomatoes. (larger and slightly sweeter than Green Zebra).
Amana Orange: 70-85 days, Indeterminate, oblate, large 1 pound orange fruits. A sport that came up in Gary Staley's garden when he was working for Amana.
Brandywine Yellow: Since 1991 Yellow Brandwine has become an American favorite heirloom tomato. The strain we carry is considered to be the original and best tasting strain, the Platfoot Strain from Gary Platfoot of Ohio. Our TomatoFest organic tomato seeds produce big, indeterminate, potato-leaf tomato plants that yield large amounts of 1 lb., 3 to 5-inch, yellow-orange (gold), flattened, slightly ribbed shouldered beefsteak tomato with delicious, intense sweet flavors balanced with a slight tartness.
Large Yellow Amish: BEAUTIFUL, 4-inch, yellow-orange heirloom tomato with apricot-colored flesh, unique sweet flavor with a good amount of acid for balanced flavors. 78 days, Indeterminate.
Nebraska Wedding: 70-85 days, Indeterminate, 6 to 8 oz. globe, orange flesh and skin, above average yield.
Regina’s Yellow: From Regina Yanici, Mineral City, OH. A very productive plant producing large, 1-lb., red and yellow, blemish-free beefsteak tomatoes with big, sweet and delicious fruity flavors. Does well in high-heat climates
Yoders German Yellow: 80-90 days. This regular-leafed variety produces large yellow/pale orange beefsteak type fruit. Fairly crack resistant and can grow as large as 1 pound. Good flavor. From Amish lady Mrs. Yoder, whose family grew this tomato for over half a century in Tennessee and Kentucky.
Waspipinicon Peach: (aka Yellow Peach, White Peach) Originated with Elbert S. Carman in 1890 under the name White Peach. This strain came from Dennis Schlicht and is named after the Wapsipinicon River in northeast Iowa. Heavy producer of 2" round fuzzy yellow fruits. Sweet, juicy, well-balanced flavor. Winner of SSE’s 2006 Heirloom Tomato Tasting. Rot resistant. Indeterminate, 80 days from transplant.
Akers Plum: family heirloom tomato of Craig Lehoullier's friend, Carl Aker of Pennsylvania. These tomato seeds produce a healthy, long-lasting, regular-leaf tomato plant that yields abundant crops of 2.5 x 3.5-inch (6-8 oz.) brilliant red, jumbo plum-shaped tomatoes. These tomatoes have thick, meaty walls with excellent taste. A fantastic multi-purpose tomato suitable for juice, cooking, salads. Indeterminate, 85 days
Amish Paste: 80 days Many seeds savers believe this is the ultimate paste tomato. Giant, blocky Roma-type tomatoes have delicious red flesh that is perfect for paste and canning. World class flavor and comes from an Amish community in Wisconsin.
Italian Heirloom: Outstanding heirloom from Italy. Plants are loaded with red fruits weighing over a pound. One of the most productive varieties we have grown at Heritage Farm. Excellent full tomato flavor. Ideal for slicing and canning—very little waste and easy to peel. Indeterminate, 70-80 days from transplant.
Roma: Determinate 70-75 days A quality paste variety with very thick flesh. A popular old favorite with good yields.
Costolato Genovese: over 85 days, Indeterminate, Regular Leaf, blocky red stuffing type.
Novogogoshary: 70-85 days, Semi Determinate, red fruits, 6 oz., 4 lobed, huge yields.
Zapotec Pleated: Unusual large flat deeply ribbed pink orange pear shape. Slightly hollow interior, fun as a stuffer. From Zapotec Indians of Mexico. Indeterminate, over 85 days
Bull Nose: 75 days. Capsicum annuum. Plant produces good yields of sweet bell peppers. Peppers turn from dark green to red when mature. This heirloom variety was grown at Monticello by Thomas Jefferson in Virginia.
Orangeglo: An extraordinary watermelon offered by the Willhite Seed Company in the early 1980s. Fiery orange flesh is sugary, delicious, and crisp. Large oblong fruits average 25 pounds. A reliable producer and Heritage Farm favorite. 90-100 days.
Moon and Stars: (Cherokee Strain) A moon- and star-studded strain of the classic Moon and Stars watermelon. Eye-popping and scrumptious. Fruits are about 2' long and weigh 10-16 pounds. Bright pink sweet flesh, black seeds. Keep plants continuously well watered to achieve uniform elongated fruits. 95 days.
Blacktail Mountain: Bred by SSE member Glenn Drowns in the 1970s when he lived in northern Idaho, where summer nights average 43°F. Gorgeous green-black round fruits weigh 6-12 pounds. Deep scarlet flesh is super sweet, juicy, and crunchy. Perfect for short season areas; also does well in hot humid climates. 65-75 days.
Tom Thumb: 34 days. This unusual miniature butterhead lettuce produces heads about the size of a baseball, ideal for individual salads. Dark green, somewhat fleshy outer leaves wrap around a creamy yellow, mild-flavored interior. Tom Thumb is an excellent summer lettuce as it tolerates high temperatures at maturity and resists bolting better than larger varieties. An outstanding choice for home gardeners and specialty market growers.
Tennis Ball: Small rosettes of light green leaves measure only 7" in diameter and form loose, tender heads. Grown by Thomas Jefferson at Monticello. According to Heirloom Vegetable Gardening by SSE member William Woys Weaver, tennis ball lettuces were often pickled in salt brine during the 17th and 18th centuries. Black-seeded. Butterhead, 50 days.
Lolla Rossa: Beautiful magenta leaves with tiny frills, light green bases. Mild flavor. Small 5-8" leaves. Excellent for cut-and-come-again lettuce when thickly sown. The leaves make a wonderful garnish. Looseleaf, 55 days.
Grandpa Admirers: In 1977, 90-year-old Chloe Lowry gave this family heirloom to SSE. It is named after her grandfather, George Admire, who was a Civil War veteran. Bronze-tinged leaves form large, loose heads. Mild flavor, slow to bolt, even in extreme heat. Butterhead, 60 days.
Amish Deer Tongue: Amish variety valued for its ruggedness and heavy production. Thick compact plant great for a cut-and-come-again lettuce when thickly sown. Thin midrib, good texture, pleasant sharp flavor. Looseleaf, 45-55 days.
Gold Rush: Lime-green leaves are strikingly frilled, curly, and crinkled. Adds unique texture to salads. Holds without bolting for an extended period. Mild, fresh flavor. Looseleaf, 60 days.
Fin de Bagnol: Old gourmet variety of French string bean with delicious round slender pods. Best for eating when picked every 2 or 3 days while still very young and before strings develop. Does well in cool soil. Attractive as tiny gourmet green beans. Commands a high price at market. Bush habit, snap, 50-60 days.
Blue Lake Bush: 53-58 day. With nice yields of long, straight, green pods, Blue Lake is one of the old standards, and for a good reason. Nice flavor, and great yields, making it still used as one of the main commercial varieties.
Purple Podded Pole: This delicious heirloom was discovered in the Ozark mountains by Henry Fields in the 1930’s and is still requested by many old-timers of this region. The pods are bright purple, stringless, and tender. Plants grow to 6’ and produce heavy yields.
Zebrune: Heritage shallot from France where it is called Cuisse de Poulet du Poitou, which translates as leg of the chicken. A type of Eschalion, or banana shallot, so named for its distinctive torpedo shape. Pink-brown bulbs are sweet, mild, and a must for gourmet cooking. Bulbs keep well in storage. Productive and resistant to bolting. 100 days from transplant.
Cylindra: 55 days. A wonderful heirloom from Denmark, this one is famous for slicing with its long, cylindrical roots. Produces much more uniform slices than round beets. This tender and sweet variety is also known as “Butter Slicer” because of its wonderful texture.
Early Prolific Straightneck Summer: 50 days. AAS Winner from 1938; uniform lemon-yellow, club-shaped fruit; firm flesh is of excellent quality, tasty.
Zucchini Black Beauty: 50 days. The classic dark-green summer squash that has made modern zucchini of this type popular. Introduced in the US markets in the 1920's, and seed companies started listing it in the 1930's. Delicious fried or baked; best picked young.
Crookneck- Early Golden Summer: 50 days. An old favorite heirloom, this is one of the oldest types of squash dating back to pre-Columbus times and has been popular ever since. Easy to grow and good tasting.