Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Tomato Savings and Loam

This is our "bank", seed bank that is and we are slowly building it. I was looking at the potted volunteer seedlings that Ralph salvaged from the garden spot. These are from tomatoes that either fell off the vines or were damaged by wind or rain or somehow went to earth last year, arriving as nice surprises this year. This made me research them and to see who was planted in the general area we found them in.

"Bronson" our mystery tomato.

That led me to our seed inventory for tomatoes and I thought you might enjoy the basic list of all 127 varieties!

Listed by Color or Type

- Cherokee Purple                       - JD's Special C-Tex
- Super Black                              - Bear Creek
- Purple Smudge                         - Ananas Noire
- Noire De Coseboef                   - Black Pear

- Green Zebra                             - Aunt Ruby's German Green
- Grubb's Mystery Green             - Dwarf Jade Beauty
- Cherokee Green                       - Aunt Cecil's Green

- Cream Sausage                       - Illini Gold
- Pink Icicle                              - Amish Paste
- Hungarian Italian                    - Keiv
- King Humbert                         - Napoli
- Vera Pepper Tomato                - Principe Borghese
- Vee Pro                                  - Striped Roman
- Roman Candle                       - Speckled Roman
- Opalka                                  - San Marzano
- Bronson [ Unknown Volunteer 2014]    - Mary Rose McMurray

- Sutton White

- Bread and Salt                      - Mortgage Lifter
- Peach Blow Sutton                - 1884
- Aunt Maria's Heart               - Dora
- Dr. Neal                               - Henderson Pink Ponderosa
- Hungarian Oval                    - Lithuanian
- Olena Ukranian                    - Polish C
- Rosabec                               - Stump Of The World
- VB Russian                          - Purple
- Peru                                    - Anna Russian
- Madison County Pink          - Eastern Kentucky Pink
- Grandfather Ashlock's Pink  - Grant County Pink

- Orange Oxheart                    - Mandarin Cross
- Kellogg's Breakfast               - Hillbilly
- Roughwood Golden Plum      - Dr. Wyche's Yellow
- Earl Of Edgecombe              - KBX
- Large German                      - Transparent
- Lillian's Yellow Heirloom      - Yoder's German Yellow 
- Yellow Pear                          - Claude Brown's Yellow Giant
- Yellow German Dunham Variant  - William's Striped

- German Red Strawberry        - Coustralee
- Zapotec [Our own Seed]        - Peron
- Acre's West Virginia              - Backfield
- Brandywine OTV                   - Break 'O' Day
- Burpees Table talk                - Cabot
- Cold Set                               - Debbie
- Druzba                                 - EarlyBelle
- Green Brooks                       - Hanky Red
- Lida Ukrainian                     - Lutescent
- Lynnwood                            - Morasky Dev
- Mule Team                           - Olomovic
- Optimus                               - Prue
- Red Penna                            - Red September
- Sequoia Alpine                     - Sioux
- Vizha                                   - Victoria
- Yate's Beefsteak                   - Zogolla
- Worley Red                          - Jerusalem
- Vinson Watts                       - Jack Miller Australian Heart
- Zeke Dishman                     - Stupice

Tommy Toes
- Charles Davis Yellow Pear Tommy Toe
- Coyote                               - Basin Mountain Tommy Toe
- Velvet's Touch                   - Virginia's Yellow

We also have a Tomato medley packet from Sustainable Mountain....a fun gift they sent with our last order.

I take photos to document the tomato crop...with my photo editing program [GIMP] I add text and brief notes to each variety.

We are worried about how things are going and the seed bank we are building may someday be worth more than stocks and bonds. We are learning to save our own seed and select strong vigorous and productive varieties of plants we use. We have already found a benefit we did not expect. In the spring of 2014 we placed a seed order from Sand Hill Preservation Center, one of our favorite seed sources, this year when we selected varieties to try we found quite a number of the varieties he had offered before were unavailable for 2015 due to crop failure or other problems. Thank goodness we have the seed now!
Here is part of a page from the Seed inventory information Sheets Ralph's makes on the computer.

Yellow Tomatoes

1. Claude Brown's Yellow Giant

Claude Brown’s Yellow Giant
Seeds of this tomato came from Claude Brown of Pike County, KY some 25 years ago.  He had worked on improving his tomato for decades.  This deep yellow tomato has an excellent flavor and can weigh three or more pounds.$4.00

2. Kellogg's Breakfast
Kellogg's Breakfast:  mid, Ind, RL, high yield of about 1 pound beefsteak fruits, outstanding taste, juicy, originally introduced by Darrel Kellogg of MI. OG Pkt. $2.50

3. Dr. Wyche's Yellow 
Dr. Wyche's Yellow:  mid, Ind, RL, good yield of about 1 pound fruits that are gold at maturity, sparse foliage, some green shoulders, nice balanced taste. Dr. Wyche was of Cherokee heritage and made available many Cherokee varieties of vegetables to SSE; he also lived near a zoo and used zoo doo for his lush gardens. Pkt. $2.75 OG

4. Transparent
Transparent:  mid, oblate similar to Lutescent in strangeness as the fruits are a clear color, very blight tolerant, golf ball size, mild and juicy, strange feel to fruit, reminds one of "gummy bears". Pkt. $2.75 OG

5. Lillian's Yellow Heirloom
Lillian's Yellow Heirloom:  mid, Ind, PL, moderate yield of about 1 pound clear yellow colored beefsteaks at maturity, great rich taste, creamy flesh, tender skin, very few seeds, the variety originated with Lillian Bruce of TN. Pkt. $2.50 OG

He adds further information to each variety as we grow them, notes about flavor, germination, pest resistance and the like.

The "Bank" is in the deep freeze in black containers we found at Target and Staples, file folder bins with good seals and a nice flat shape to store and be unobtrusive in our deep freeze.

The only clear bin..mixed pepper seeds. The nice little tubs 35 mm film used to come in are great for seed storage.

Here is a black bin...The initial label is basic...This bin has herb seed, tomato seed and medley packs in it.

There are seeds from beans, tomatoes, peppers and squash. Anything we love to eat and that will process and store well as food for our table and perhaps added nutrition for our livestock. Each season we add a few more extra packets and varieties to the bank. Plants we have grown with success or new strains we want to try. And to add a bit more of a learning experience we are starting to save more of our own seed. This year we have seed from Zapotec tomatoes we saved our selves as well as seed from Habanero's we grew in our first garden here. Some of that seed is from the very first crop of them here and some is from the second year.

Our Habanero's

Both sets seem to germinate well and yield fiery hot habaneros to add spice to our table! We have Snake Gourd seed, Pink Banana Squash seed, Pennsylvania Crook neck squash seed and a few of our own Blue Hubbard seed we saved from a squash we got on sale at the local IGA.

When it is raining or we are just in the mood for seed searching we exlore the seed site for new varieties or simply discuss the results we have had with our current chouces. It is always a learning experience and I have to admit we enjoy "banking" at our Tomato Savings and Loam.

Are you working on your seed bank?  You most certainly should be. Good Luck and happy researching!

God Bless you all


  1. Great post, Fiona. I think it's better to have your reserves in a seed bank than any other kind. All of these seeds will be worth more than silver or gold because they will produce the nourishment needed to sustain life. You can't eat precious metals. But, I do have to say, 127 varieties of tomatoes!! What were you thinking?? (-:


    1. We do suffer from Compulsive Tomato Buying disorder! Actually until we added them up we really didn't think we had that many. It will help wit genetic diversity though and we plan on trying a lot next year as it is nearly too late for this year.

  2. I love the title of this post! Very clever. I do save seeds but am considerably more basic with only a few varieties of each veggie we've learned grows well here. I love your enthusiasm!

  3. Fiona - excellent post and good job on you guys for saving so many types of seeds. you and Fern are both dead right - seeds will be such a commodity in the future! i am glad that you are saving seeds and building a seed bank! we also have a seed bank of seeds from plants that well in our climate. i love saving seeds!

    your friend,