Re: [tomato] Creating your own heirlooms?

ChuckWyatt/Md/Z7 (
Tue, 30 Mar 1999 18:10:55 -0500

By definition an heirloom tomato is one that is open pollinated AND had
been in existance since WWII.  This has slipped to some extent but a
recently developed and stabilized variety can hardly be classified as an

There may be all sorts of time needed to stabilize a hybrid.  In fact, many
of them will not stabilize at all and others are sterile.

In the last few years folks have realized that arguably the best tomatoes
ever to grace the human pallette have long been thrust aside because of the
monetary potential in the hybrids.  Hybrids can be patented and their
source kept secret, thus keeping the price up.  I have nothing against
hybridization IF the job is completed.  By that I mean refraining from
marketing a variety unless it is stable.  

Over 80% of our tomato varieties from 1903 have been lost.  Extinct is for
ever. I would like to see more gardeners preserving the old varieties.  We
may very well need them some day.  The incredible variety must be
experienced to be believed.  In short, we already have over 4,000 tomato
varieties that need growing.  Why create more?

Chuck Wyatt