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My First Cherokee Purple Tomato

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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Joined: 25 January 2010
Location: Chinook, MT
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    Posted: 14 September 2012 at 14:59

This experience had been a long time coming - I first heard about these heirloom tomatoes from a friend, but for various reasons had not gotten around to trying them. You can read more about this interesting heirloom tomato variety here:

http://foodsoftheworld.activeboards.net/cherokee-purple-heirloom-tomatoes_topic2260.html

Then, this last spring, I was cruising through a local green house/nursery and saw a started Cherokee purple plant, and snatched it right up.

Unfortunately, our entire garden got a very late start this year, including this tomato plant. That, plus a never-ending battle with weeds kept growth and production to worst-case-scenario levels, I am sure.

Anyway, right during the first days of August, my youngest son brought in our first ripe Cherokee purple tomato, and I was eager to give it a try. Here it is:

As you can see, the colour on these tomatoes is interesting, to be sure. Do not let the green streaks fool you; this is indeed a ripe tomato, as I was soon to find out.

It did have a couple of blemishes; one here:

I believe this was from too much water, if I remember correctly. Perhaps Brook or someone can offer some thoughts on this as well as possible remedies.

This other blemish was kind of mysterious:

I do believe it most likely has to do with a 10 year old boy, but I cannot be certain.

In any case, I dutifully forced myself to take a few photos before getting to the tomato, which I really wanted to try, since I had heard so much about them. Once I was done with the pictures, I cut out the blemishes and then managed to get four good slices:

The rest of the de-blemished tomato, as you can see in the background, was chunked up.

After applying a sprinkle of salt and pepper to the tomatoes, the family tried them, and WOW is all I can say! I was immediately hit with some of the best tomato-ey flavour I had ever had; many of times better than any "production tomato" you will ever find at the store - even during the summer - with what seemed to be just the right combination of firm "meatiness" and that jelly-like stuff that I like about tomatoes. To say that I was impressed would be an understatement ~

Since this first tasting, we’ve had some more, although probably not nearly as many as we could have had if our garden would have done better this year. Each tomato has been just as good as the first, and I would contend that if a person has this variety of tomato, plus a good flavour-packed cherry tomato, plus a good Roma-type sauce tomato (I've got a package of San Marzano seeds to try for next year), that's all the tomatoes they would need or want. After this experience, I will definitely be planting a couple-three more of these for next year.

Questions for the gardening gurus: I forget whether there are any do's or don'ts for saving tomato seeds, especially heirlooms. Will I be able to save seeds from this tomato and plant more next year, or will I need to hope that the nursery gets more? Is there anything I can do in order to get the best chances of good germination with these seeds next year?

Thanks!

Ron

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HistoricFoodie View Drop Down
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Joined: 21 February 2012
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 September 2012 at 16:18
Can you save seeds from your CP? A resounding yes!
 
You can save seed from any open-pollinated vegetable. By definition, all heirlooms are open-pollinated. So go to it.
 
For best results, tomato seed should be fermented. Among other things, fermentation removes all the gunk (including the anti-germination compounds in the gel), separates out bad seed, and destroys seed-borne pathogens.
 
If you need directions for fermenting tomato seed let me know.
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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 September 2012 at 17:55
Brook, I think that would make a wonderful instrucyional topic, if you would be so inclined.
 
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