Re: [tomato] Creating your own heirlooms?

Louis Mensing (
Tue, 30 Mar 1999 16:05:53 -0800

-----Original Message-----
From: ChuckWyatt/Md/Z7 <>
To: <>
Date: Tuesday, March 30, 1999 3:06 PM
Subject: Re: [tomato] Creating your own heirlooms?

>By definition an heirloom tomato is one that is open pollinated AND had
>been in existance since WWII.

  I guess we would just call it open pollinated and stabilized.

>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.

Chuck, we were talking about home gardeners here...not trying to get a
corner on the market.

>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?

Last year when I asked for suggestions of heirlooms to try in my climate I
believe I got 3 suggestions.  Stupice is the only one that really did well
here.  I grew 17 different varieties (heirlooms and hybrids).  I guess this
is reason enough why I would grow new varieties of tomatoes.

Louis Mensing