Re: [tomato] Creating your own heirlooms?

Louis Mensing (
Tue, 30 Mar 1999 14:26:45 -0800

Hi Greg,
table of inheritance characteristics in tomato.  These may be useful in
helping to layout your attack.

Fruit size   D(ominant) small fruit ---   R(ecessive) large fruit
Fruit shape  D round  ---  R oval
                      D oval   ---   R pear
Locules       D 2-3 locules   ---   R  3.5 locules
Fruit colour   D red  ---   R  yellow
Hairiness of fruit   D hairy   ---  R smooth
inflorescence (flower truss)  D simple  ---  R compound

Chuck Wyatt has said how many generations of selfing are needed to stabilize
a cross.  Was it 3 to 5 Chuck?

I think it might be interesting to try crossing too.  Our problem here is
the cool summers.  Stupice is good but perhaps there are others that could
add even more variety with it's (Stupice) appropriateness for our local

Some of the complaints about hybrids are about their tastelessness and
toughness.  I'll bet 'tastelessness' was just an ignored goal but toughness
was probably bred into them for shipping.  Hybrids can be bred for any of
the characteristics inherent in 'tomato-ness'!  It is just reshuffling the
cards.  In this country it is the growers and not the consumers that get to
choose the varieties offered!

One of the big selling points of Shepherd's Seeds is that they search for
the most flavorful varieties.  The French have a reputation for demanding
flavor in their vegetable produce.

The blueberry "Herbert" is a blueberry that will never make it on the
commercial circuit because, even though it has wonderful flavor, it tears
when it is picked so it does not make a good shipper.  It is tremendous for
the home garden however.  I'm sure there are similar stories for tomatoes

This has been my point before on this list.  Hybrids are not inherently bad.
If you don't like the product then you simply don't agree with the goals of
the hybridizer.

Breeding varieties and selecting for local climates make sense in a country
with as much diversity climate-wise as we have.

Louis Mensing