Re: [tomato] caspian pink

ChuckWyatt/Md/Z7 (
Tue, 17 Nov 1998 20:50:36 -0500

Hi Margaret,

I recognize the fact that you feel you have been attacked without
provocation and I do see a goodly amount of what I can only interpret as
sarcasm.  I do try to remember, however, that the vast majority of the
masses in this country have never tasted a really good tomato.  From
infancy they have consumed the poor substitutes that pass as tomatoes
without question.  The modern hybrid varieties when grown in the home
garden do far surpass the Super Market cardboard.  Yes, Celebrity, Early
Girl and Better Boy, all of which I have grown, are outstanding when
compared to Super Market types.  When they are compared to properly grown
better heirlooms, however, the shoe is on the other foot. Many of us,
myself included, who have tried thousands of varieties have come to realize
that there is no such thing as the perfect tomato, any more than there is
the perfect woman.  After all, if there were such a thing as a perfect
woman, all the men in the world would be chasing my wife. <G>

We who have discovered the wonderful flavors that had been discarded by the
seed companies in favor of more profitable varieties, often become
extremely zealous in our desire to spread the word.  I sometimes liken this
to a newly converted church member who goes door to door telling of "his"

I certainly don't think Brandywine is any "Messiah of Tomatodom" and its
misrepresentation as such is the cause much confusion.  The person who
recently belittled Brandywine while championing Pruden's Purple is
obviously under a misconception.  Pruden's Purple has often been described
as an early ripening Brandywine and I would agree with that assessment. 
Brandywine, however, is an old variety that has been developed into many
strains over the century or more of its existence. One of those strains is
almost surely Pruden's Purple.  I personally have seven strains with the
name Brandywine and about a dozen darn close relatives with different
names.  There are also dozens of mutations and crosses that have sprung up
and our friend seems to have gotten one of those, not the true original. 
Ben Quisenberry, who gardened into his nineties maintained what is thought
to be the true original one.  It is known as Suddath's strain and I defy
anyone to tell the difference in the fruit of this one and Pruden's Purple.
I also have a strain that I developed thru inbreeding over eight
generations which is less disease prone and less mis shapen than the
original.  I also defy anyone to tell the difference in flavor between
Joyce's Brandy and the original Brandywine.

There are many great standard bearers for heirloom tomatoes.  Among them
are Mortgage Lifter, German Johnson, Eva Purple Ball, Earl of Edgecomb,
Manyel, Bear Claw, Cherokee Purple, Old Brooks, 1884 and at least a dozen
others.  I am in the process of developing a web page which will describe
about 400 varieties and offer seed of each of them for one whole dollar a
pack.  This MAY be on line by this weekend and I will publicist the URL as
soon as I have it.

I know you feel you have been attacked but please understand that  your
detractors need education, not counter attacks.  Take that from a retired
fighter pilot.

Good gardening, good buddy,
Chuck Wyatt