There is nothing more appetizing than a just-picked, vine-ripened tomato. In May, I begin to anticipate all the tomatoes in my culinary future. Tomatoes are also one of the easiest fruit to grow and the most popular garden crop in the United States today. With a sunny spot, a little compost, mulch, and water, you too can grow juicy tomatoes in your own backyard.  And if you’re short on space, tomatoes also do well in containers. Just make sure that you use large planters (18” plus), as tomatoes need to be buried deeply – up to the first shoots on the stem.  While it may go against everything you’ve been told, tomatoes that are buried deeply develop stronger root systems, thus giving you hardier plants.
According to Gary Ibsen of TomatoFest, at the World Tomato Society (A beautiful website with great information), the 10 most popular heirloom tomatoes for 2015 are:

  1. Black Cherry – Produces a 1” round, deep purplish-brown cherry tomato that is complex and sweet in flavor and is disease resistant.
  2. Brandywine, Sudduth Strain – You will see the Brandywine name again and again in the heirloom tomato world. It has been a favorite for many and was first catalogued in 1886, but the Sudduth strain is believed to be the original. Brandywine produces large pink fruit with a great taste.
  3. Chocolate Stripes – a “black tomato” plant that produces 3-4” fruit with dark purplish-brown skin with olive green strips. Has a true earthy tomato taste and is great in salads. Continues to produce into the fall.
  4. Blondkopfchen – The name means “little blond girl” – this tomato hails from Eastern Germany. It produces cherry tomatoes about ½” in size that are yellow, sweet, and citrusy tasting.
  5. Black Krim – aka Black Crimson produces 3-4” slightly flattened maroonish beefsteak tomatoes with green shoulders. Has an intense, slightly salty taste and does equally well in containers.
  6. Azoycha – A Russion heirloom, Azoycha produces meaty, yellow-orange tomatoes with a complex, citrusy taste. This strain is suited to varying climates, cool to warm.
  7. Amana Orange – The Amana Orange produces really large (up to 2 lbs) yellow- orange fruit with a sweet taste. Produces an average amount of tomatoes per crop.
  8. Brandywine, OTV – a potato leaf heirloom that produces orangey red fruit that weigh about 1 lb. each. Has a creamy texture and sweet taste. This strain is a cross between a Yellow Brandywine and an unknown male parent.
  9. Delicious – An American favorite. The Delicious produces above average amounts of 1-2 lb. fruit of a dark scarlet color.
  10. Dixie Golden Giant-  This heirloom has been grown by an Amish family since the 1930’s. It produces 1-2 lb. yellow tomatoes with some blush pink on the blossom end. Has a meaty texture.

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Ibsen, Gary, TomatoFest. "Top 10 Heirloom Tomato Varieties for 2015" The World Tomato Society, 13 Jan 2015. Web 9 June 2015.