Re: [tomato] Historical crops.

margaret lauterbach (
Thu, 11 Mar 1999 10:21:34 -0700

At 11:15 AM 3/11/99 -0600, you wrote:
>I can't say much in the way of the development of the tomato, but, it is
>correct to say that native peoples have been altering growth and
>production of plants and their associated fruits for ages.  The crops
>that we have today are very different than the ones that we had as
>recently as 200 years ago.  Even those are different than what was
>available 1,000 years prior to that do to earlier peoples playing a role
>in the selection processes.  For instance, a variety of corn grown by
>the Hopi indians was blue.  They also had what is known as indian corn,
>multicolored ears of corn.  You don't find these varieties readily
>available today due to the fact that with better varieties being
>developed from the parent stock, the originals were pretty much doomed
>to die out.  The only seed source of the true indian and blue corn, that
>I'm aware of, is located at the South Texas Plant Materials Center in
>Kingsville Texas.  A friend of mine was manager down there and offered
>me some kernels of the Indian corn for my personal use, and like a fool,
>I didn't take them as a means of helping to preserve the original
If any of you folks are in my zone, I would greatly appreciate hearin
>from ya on what successes you've had on varieties.  I can't remember
>what zone I'm in either, but seems to be on the transition between 7 and
>8, but, I might be moving to zone 6 in the very near future.
>Paul Reynolds
>Environmental Agronomist
>Austin Texas
>Paul, Native Seeds/SEARCH in Tucson is doing an excellent job of
preserving native varieties. their '99 seed catalog includes blue corn,
multicolored, yellow, red, red-white-and-blue striped, and four kinds of
corn -- sweet, dent, flour and flint.  

What are you looking for in a tomato?  Margaret L