Re: [tomato] It's your turn

Margaret Lauterbach (
Sun, 18 Oct 1998 07:41:29 -0600

>I do not feel I am defending hybrids...but rather the freedom to discuss
>merits without feeling a need to defend myself.  Last year I saw discussion
>being squelched and you three ending up 'talking' to each other as if the
>rest of us on the Listserv didn't exist.  There was very little
>participation after that.

Well, I'm sorry the discussion ended.  There's no problem of  "interrupting
a conversation" on a listserve.  The rest of the people subscribed simply
didn't have anything to say, I guess. I'm sure all of us have grown hybrid
tomatoes in the past.  The first year I grew Celebrity I thought they were
wonderful.  The next year they were terrible.  People at the garden store
said, "well, we had some cool weather, and hybrids don't react well to
that."  The following year I grew them and they were terrible.  People at
the garden store said, "well, we had some hot weather, and hybrids don't
react well to that."  That was the last time I grew that variety.  I later
grew the Floramerica, and as I said, it was a pretty plant with pretty
tomatoes, that had zero taste and shippability.  
>There are so many variables in gardening (and tomatoes fit here too) that
>reducing them to open pollinated (and heirlooms) and hybrids seems to me to
>be oversimplifcation.

I have grown other hybrids as well, but haven't found a dime's worth of
difference in flavor among them.  There are open pollinated tomatoes I
wouldn't grow again either.  I loathe Romas -- they're small, tough-skinned
and firm of flesh, and if a tomato disease comes within 20 miles, they'll
succumb.  I grew Punta Banda cherry tomatoes from Native Seeds/SEARCH last
year, and it's the kind of tomato you pop in your mouth, bite down on, then
spit out and pull out the vine.  NS/S's other seeds are fine.  I guess the
Southwestern natives are not known as tomato breeders for a good reason.  I
haven't been favorably impressed with the Russian imports either.  The
Druzba is the only great tomato I've grown among the Russians.  
>My feelings about hybridization include the notion that the goals selected
>do not need to be cannonballs, tastless, and designed only for shipping.
>You could hybridize for any qualities within the realm of 'tomatoes'.  

Breeders could, but don't, apparently.

>Recombining traits and increasing vigor is wide open for the
>garden/hybridizer.   Chuck talked some about stabilizing a strain...which is
>an interesting plan for those of us that have the space and desire.  I'd
>like to know more about this. 

You can breed your own vegetable varieties without hybridizing.  See the
interesting paperback, "Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties" by Carol Deppe;
Little, Brown & Co., 1993.  

 I am not interested, however, in finding out
>how I am being duped by big business or some other nebulous force  when I
>don't mind spending a few bucks for the convience of buying seeds or plants.
>Louis Mensing
>Eugene, OR
Well then, stay away from the organic gardening list, because they'll
surely tell you that.  Margaret