[tomato] "Royal Hillbilly" tomato

cvinson@mindspring.com (Tomato@GlobalGarden.com)
Wed, 1 Sep 1999 18:17:25 -0400

It's never too soon to plan next year's tomato plants.....

First on my "gotta grow" list is "Royal Hillbilly", an open pollinated
variety that Derrell Merrell "The Tomato Man" in Tulsa, Oklahoma has spent
the past several years stabilizing from a selection of "Hillbilly" given to
him from a Oklahoma seedsaver who received the seed from an Ohio grower. A
beefsteak (10 oz-1 lb), "Royal Hillbilly" is reddish/pink shading to violet
has a thin, tender skin, uniform shape, and wonderfully complex
tangy/smooth taste.

I got to taste it last week, alongside Marizol Purple and Dr. Wyche's
Yellow. The trio was "died-and-gone-to-heaven" good, and Royal Hillbilly is
definitely added to the list of those that I'll send out for next spring's
Internet Tomato Trials.

While Merrell mostly sells transplants from his home (20,000+ this spring
making him the largest heirloom plant retailer in the country), he has seeds
available for many varieties. So, if you want a killer tomato to try next
year, you might want to write him or give him a call. His address is 2208 W.
81st St. South, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74132-2623. Phone is 918-446-7522. I've had
extremely good results with all the seed I've gotten from Merrell. He grows
out all of his own seed and maintains excellent controls to prevent
inadvertant cross-pollination in the field. And he's also a heck of a nice
man, with great stories and a smile for everyone. The man is definitly "The
Tomato Man". (He's also a real garlic nut.....and is hosting a Garlic
Conference this fall with experts from around the country coming to share
information, etc. in Tulsa)

Catharine, who wishes she still had a few more ripe, juicy "Royal
Hillbillys" to slurp down!