First, these are flavor favorites we grow every year:
Mexico Midget - my wife's favorite garden work snacking tomato, which I received from Barney Laman of California in 1990.
Nepal - this is the single variety that convinced me that a tomato didn't need to be a hybrid to be wonderful; obtained from Johnny's Selected Seeds, I first grew this in 1987.
Sungold F1 - a desert island tomato, for its unique flavor
Brandywine - during a season when it is happy, there is no better tasting large tomato than Brandywine
Lillian's Yellow Heirloom - sent to me by Robert Richardson in 1990, this is the best yellow tomato I've tasted, if not the best large tomato period.
Polish - Another of my first loved heirlooms after Bill Ellis sent it to me in 1988. Brandywine - like in every way, but it actually seems to be happier growing in NC.
Tomatoes I either named or developed:
Lucky Cross - my favorite large yellow/red bicolored variety, from a bee-produced cross between Brandywine and, we think, Tad
Little Lucky - smaller but equally wonderful sister variety to Lucky Cross
Cherokee Purple - a tomato sent to me by J. D. Green of Sevierville, TN in 1990, with claims that it was a variety given to his neighbors by Cherokee Indians in the 1800s. I named it and it has caught on!
Cherokee Chocolate - appeared as a skin color mutation of Cherokee Purple in my 1995 garden.
Cherokee Green - appeared as a flesh color mutation of Cherokee Chocolate in my 1997 garden.
These tomatoes were responsible for my conversion from hybrids to heirlooms, and I first grew each of these in the 1986-1990 time period. Most of these have interesting histories.
Anna Russian - sent to me by Brenda Hillenius of Oregon in 1990 - I've loved it since
Tiger Tom - From a SSE exchange with James Halladay, first grown in 1998 and is another long time favorite
Yellow White - also known as Viva Lindsey's Kentucky Heirloom, a wedding present from the Martin family in 1904.
Lillian's Red Kansas Paste - came to me along with Lillian's Yellow from Robert Richardson - great flavor
Ruby Gold - seems to be aka Gold Medal, my first bicolor, grown back in 1988, couldn't believe the size or color
Bisignano #2 - another I've loved since trying it in 1988, Mr Bisignano won a Victory Garden contest with this great tomato
Hugh's - Archie Hook of Indiana grew seedlings of this variety since the 1940s and gave them to neighbors - this is also a favorite of mine since the late 1980s
Yellow Oxheart - Thist omato blew me away in 1990, and was introduced by Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. Could be the same as the one Livingston Seed Company released in 1925.
Mortgage Lifter, Halladay - a wonderful huge pink tomato from the 1920s, sent to me by Jim Halladay of PA.
Mortgage Lifter, Mullens - this large pink looks pretty much the same, but was sent to me by Charlotte Mullens of WV in the early 1990s.
Finally, this is a group of historically relevant varieties that I participated in liberating from the USDA seed collection - most are pre-1900 American seed company commercial varieties.
Golden Queen - The first popular yellow tomato, by Livingston, in 1882.
Magnus - My first real tomato hunt project, which I found - released by Livingston in 1900.
Favorite - another great 1880s Livingston variety, and it is a mystery why it didn't stay popular.
Abraham Lincoln - This 1923 Buckbee release was found in the USDA collection and is a nice large red tomato.
Ferris Wheel - released by Salzer in the late 1890s, this is one of my favorite large pink tomatoes, which I found in the USDA collection.
Peak of Perfection - this is another large pink Salzer variety, from the 1920s, and probably their selection of Winsall or Ponderosa, but better than either.
Matchless - Burpee's signature red variety from the late 1800s, it is a fine tomato and I got it out of the USDA collection.
And there is one last quite interesting variety that I've yet to grow!
Big Boy F1 - this is the first popular hybrid, from Burpee 1948, and revolutionized tomato gardening, as it started the hybrid craze.
All of the above were planted in large pots on May 9. I can't plant each of the above in the "big garden" (right into the dirt) yet - too wet! That may be my last planting....
I will provide an update on the various dwarfs next (in two parts) - then small pot indeterminates that I will prune in an extreme fashion - finally ending up with my eggplant, peppers and small pot ornamental experiment peppers.