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I grow my own variety of genetically diverse open pollinated land-race tomatoes on my farm in Paradise, Utah.
The foundation of my land-race was DX52-12, the famous Hamson's tomato. This great tomato was developed specifically for Northern Utah by Dr. Alvin Hampson of the Utah State University Extension Service. DX52-12 is the standard by which I judge every other tomato grown in my garden.Sub Varieties
Each year I grow a dozen or a hundred other varieties of tomatoes. If any of them grow as well or better than DX52-12 they are incorporated into one of my sub-varieties. If the tested variety grows passably it may be incorporated into my 'seconds' landrace. I trial many kinds of tomatoes. I include heirlooms and modern hybrids. I have trialed seeds from cutting edge breeding programs, from ancient landraces, from the Amish, and even from wild plants.
I collect several different sub-varieties of tomato seed.Current Status
- Joseph's Earliest: The earliest tomato to mature fruit in my garden. Seed is only collected from the very earliest plants.
- Joseph's Cherry Tomatoes: The first of season fruits from 10 to 20 plants.
- Joseph's Earliest Slicers: The earliest maturing tomatoes that can be sliced to go on a sandwich. Around 10-20 plants may contribute seed.
- Joseph's Main Season Slicers/Canners: Tomatoes from about 50 plants that produce an abundance of good sized fruit during my main tomato harvest.
- Seconds: These are the odd-ball tomatoes. They produced fruit in my garden, but I was not excited about them. They were too long season, or I didn't like the color, or the shape, or they were not very productive. Many of the tomatoes I trial end up in this gene-pool, including many heirlooms.
In the 2011 growing season 7 new landraces were trialed along with more than 88 named varieties. Four varieties of wild tomato were also grown. I searched the Internet and the seed catalogs for the earliest most cold tolerant tomatoes.CollaborationVarieties trialed in 2011 included: Joseph's first of season landrace, Joseph's early slicers landrace, Joseph's Main season canners landrace based on DX52-12. Varieties thought to be very early: Anmore dewdrop, Bradley - early one with small fruits, Buckbees New, Fisher's Cherry Salad, Fisher's Prarie Fire, Glacier, Kilino, Ida Gold, Latah, LISP Raymond's Canada Extra Early, Micro Tom. Varieties thought to be early: Bloody Butcher, Cold Set, Dwarf Red Heart, Early Annie, Kalinka, Matt's Wild Cherry, Microbeicum Occemus, Mountain Princess, Oregon Spring, Sophie's Choice, Subarctic plenty, Sungold, Victorian Dwarf, Vilina. Tomatoes that I screened because they were recommended. (Some of them on this list were grown for novelty.) 4th of July, Azoychka Balkanstar, Beefsteak, Big Beef X Eva Purple Ball, Big Sungold, Black Prince, Box Car Willie, Bradley (think it is the later one), Caspian F2, Delicious, Demidor, Eva Purple Ball, Everglades Wild, Fireball, Furry Red Boar, Hazelfield Farm - Red, Health Kick, Hillbilly Tomato Leaf, Ispolin, Jack White, Kulka F1, Legend, Lg Gold Oxheart, Lida Ukranian, Maui, New Yorker, Ola Polka, OSU blue, Peruvian Wild, Pineapple, Pixie, Purple Cherry, Purple Red Slicer, Red Tomato - Plum Slicing, Sibirskiy Skorospelyi, Spudata, Sugar Lump, Sweet Baby Girl, Tidig R??d, Yubilenski Taresenko. And probably a half dozen others that are in the mail, or mis-filed. Then a few landraces: 27 variety landrace, Hip-Gnosis Red Grex, Hip-Gnosis Olde 101 Red Slicer, Roller Coaster Cherry, Mer De Noms, Bishop's Homegrown Yellow Orange Grex, Joseph's Seconds.
I am always looking for an earlier tomato. I am willing to swap a dozen seeds with anyone that thinks they might have a tomato that would mature quicker in my garden with it's cold-nights and short growing season. All seeds received go into a common pot, so I won't be able to provide a report about how your seeds grew for me. To obtain seed samples send one silver dime, dated 1964 or earlier, to my post office box for each variety desired. That was the retail price of a packet of seeds in 1860 when my great-great-great grandmother started farming in Paradise. I'm still farming in the same village and asking the same price more than 150 years later. Include three dollars cash per shipment to cover the shipping costs. [Please, if you send anything other than paper put it in a padded or bubble envelope, or tape dimes securely to a piece of cardstock inside an envelope.]
My Other Landraces
Landrace garden crops
Blog: Mother Earth News -- Landrace Gardening.
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