There are many varieties of cherry tomatoes but this year I had 7 different varieties of small or cherry tomatoes. Six were heirloom or OP (open pollinated) varieties and one was a hybrid. Open pollinated varieties will be the next new heirlooms when they get to be 50+ years old. Six are shown above from left top row – Juane Flamme, Indigo Cherry Drop, Bottom row from left Artisan Blush Tiger, Artisan Purple Bumblebee, Artisan Pink Bumblebee and Sungold – not shown Black Cherry tomatoes (forgot to take picture!) I think it was way too many cherry tomatoes because of the time it took to harvest all of them every week (exhausting) but having said that, they were all very tasty. Three of the tomatoes pictured above were completely new to me. So let’s look at those above and review them.
Juane Flamme – heirloom variety, mid-season tomato – originated by Norbert Perreira of Helliner, France. Extremely prolific. A favorite of my patrons at my Santa Fe Farmers market stand. Yellow turning tangerine color when ripe. Very sweet. Bigger than a cherry tomato but still small, about the size of a golf ball. The only problem I’ve had is in my garden, it was susceptible to Early Blight getting it 2 years in a row. Since I didn’t use any fungicides this year (but I did last year), I’m not sure that is fair although all my other tomatoes didn’t get Early Blight till the right at end of the season which I consider normal as they get more susceptible to diseases as they get old. Still if you like a very sweet tomato, you might try it and just be sure to use an organic fungicide early on to control it and you’ll be fine. You’ll need to get seeds unless we can talk the nurseries into growing them next year. Recommend it.
Indigo Cherry Drop – OP (open pollinated) variety, early mid-season tomato-NEW to me this year. Excellent sweet flavor and incredibly large yields 1 inch cherry tomato. Part of the famous Indigo family where the shoulders are black and bottoms are red. Indigo Rose was the first tomato to come out and is a cross between a South American and Galapagos Island tomato. Any Indigo tomato-Indigo Rose (2-3 oz), Indigo Blue Beauty (4 oz) , Indigo Apple (4 oz), Indigo Blue Berries (too tiny to bother with) are the new darlings at the market and all the varieties have to do with the size of them as they all taste the same-excellent flavor hard to describe. Many of the Indigo varieties are available at the nurseries as starts in spring. Extremely prolific. I like them. Bigger Indigo varieties recommended but not the Cherry Drop-too small
Artisan Blush Tiger-OP (open pollinated) variety from Artisan Seeds, mid-season tomato. NEW to me this year. Unique julienne cherry tomato that is yellow with subtle pink stripes-very beautiful. Everyone loved this new variety. It has a fruity sweet, tropical flavor. Feathery foliage is different from regular or potato leaf types so don’t be alarmed – it’s normal. Did well and was disease resistant in my garden. You’ll need to get seeds unless we can talk the nurseries into growing them next year. Recommend it.
Artisan Purple Bumblebee-OP (open pollinated) variety from Artisan Seeds, mid-season tomato. I actually grew these last year and liked them enough to grow again. They are dark purplish with green stripes. They have a superb sweet flavor. Very productive. You’ll need to get seeds unless we can talk the nurseries into growing them next year. Recommend it.
Artisan Pink Bumblebee-OP (open pollinated) variety from Artisan Seeds, mid-season tomato. NEW to me this year. I love this tomato as it has a very bright sweet flavor-a burst of flavor when you bite into it. Good disease resistance. You’ll need to get seeds unless we can talk the nurseries into growing them next year. Recommend it.
Sungold-hybrid variety. My only hybrid cherry tomato-early season. I’ve grown this for years as it is a supersweet tomato and when people ask for the sweetest tomato, I recommend this. Small yellow cherry tomato turns orange when ripe. Ripens early. Extremely prolific. Available at the nurseries in spring. Recommend it.
Black Cherry Tomato – Heirloom tomato originally from Russia, mid-season tomato. I have grown this for years as it is a favorite of mine and the patrons at the Farmers market. Sweet, earthy complex flavors so common with dark purple or black tomatoes. Good size cherry tomato that is a dusky purple. Available at the nurseries in spring. Recommend it.