Tomato and Vegetable Winners in 2017 garden

Here are my favorite vegetables that I grew for 2017. Mind you I’m super picky and I’m sure there are many other varieties out there waiting to be tried that are great. That’s what keeps it interesting for me. Also I give you where I bought the seeds or transplants. You may be able to buy these elsewhere but this is where I purchased them from.

2017 Tomato Winners

***ALL-TIME FAVORITE TOMATO
Lucky Cross: MY FAVORITE TOMATO-Bigger tomato. Starts yellow then turns more pinkish yellow on the outside with red marbling inside. Sweet and luscious with few cracks. Ripens later in the season but before the end of the season. Part Brandywine and tastes like them. DELICIOUS!  Not to be confused with Little Lucky tomato. Seeds from Victory Seeds

 

RED
Goliath: A very abundant and nice size red tomato. No cracks and old-fashioned tomato flavor-excellent. Seeds from Totally Tomato seeds

Costoluto Genevese: Beautiful fluted tomato with old-fashioned tomato flavor from Italy. Seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

Marmande Garnier Rouge: A medium to large dark-red slightly fluted tomato from France-excellent old-fashion tomato flavor. Seeds from Secret Seeds Cartel

Big Zac: Huge, red sweet tomato-takes all season to ripen but still one of my favorites-worth the wait. Transplants from Agua Fria Nursery here in Santa Fe

 

PASTE
Goldman’s Italian American: My favorite for a sauce tomato-Unique, beautiful and large tomatoes have a pear shape, being ribbed and pleated. These have an intense red color and fantastic flavor when ripe. Thick, red flesh is perfect for delicious tomato sauces. Ripens towards end of season. Seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

 

PINK
NEW! Stump of the World: Big pink tomato with sweet flavor. Good at high altitudes. Seeds from Tomato Growers

 

PURPLE or BLACK

Purple Cherokee: Dusky purple with dark shoulders-Always a favorite-sweet, flavor. Seeds from Seed Savers Exchange or transplants from Agua Fria Nursery here in Santa Fe

Paul Robeson: Dark brown with green shoulders-Always a favorite-sweet, earth flavor. Seeds from Seed Savers Exchange or transplants from Agua Fria Nursery here in Santa Fe

 

BI-COLOR
Pink Berkeley Tie Dye: Dark pink with green stripes-great sweet flavor.
Seeds from Wild Boars Farms or transplants from Agua Fria Nursery here in Santa Fe

Black and Brown Boar: Brownish-red tomato with green stripes-good, sweet, earthy flavor. Seeds from Wild Boars Farms

NEW! Summer of Love: Large and very meaty red/yellow bi-color beefsteak with purple anthocyanin splashes on the sun-kissed fruit-wonderful flavor. Seeds from Wild Boars Farms

NEW! Lover’s Lunch: A very beautiful and tasty striped red/yellow with bi-colored flesh.  This large, meaty, fruity and sweet tomato has stand-out flavor. Seeds from Wild Boars Farms

NEW! Lucid Gem: First they ripen yellow, than more of an orange when very ripe. Very attractive with black purple anthocynin splashes on shoulder that contrast with the yellow skin.  Flavor is very good- Sweet with fruity tones. Very meaty, very few Seeds – One of the best varieties for heat tolerance. Seeds from Wild Boars Farms

NEW! Solar Flare-XL: Bigger than the regular Solar Flare-very sweet red with faint yellow stripes. Seeds from Wild Boars Farms

 

CHERRY TOMATOES
Artisan Blush Tiger: I love this one-fruity flavor. Seeds from Johnny’s Seeds or transplants from Agua Fria Nursery here in Santa Fe

Pink Bumblebee: Great sweet flavor. Seeds from Johnny’s Seeds or transplants from Agua Fria Nursery here in Santa Fe

Black Cherry: One of my favorites that I grow EVERY year. Seeds from Seed Savers Exchange or transplants from Agua Fria Nursery here in Santa Fe

Sungold: One of my few hybrids-Always a favorite-super sweet yellow cherry tomato. Transplants from Agua Fria Nursery here in Santa Fe

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2016 vegetable winners

ARUGULA
Wasabi arugula: This arugula gives the same nose-tingling sensation as the wasabi condiment used in Japanese dishes. This variety is very quick to bolt but delicious. Grow in early spring before heat. Seeds from Johnny’s Seeds or transplants from Agua Fria Nursery here in Santa Fe

BEANS-DRY
NEW! Borlotti Lamon’ beans: Climbing beautiful cream, red splashed shell on outside with beans being a pale pink with red splotches inside if you let them dry. I like to harvest them when dry. According to the Venetians, Lamon’s are “THE” bean for ‘pasta fagiolo’. Seeds from Seeds of Italy

BEANS-GREEN
Émérite Filet Pole Bean: Émérite is a true Filet Bean from France, produced on graceful vines growing to 8′ tall. When picked early and often, the beans are tender and have outstanding flavor. Seeds from John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds

BEETS
Craupadine: I’ve tried this one before-poor germination every year except for one year and the one year it did germinate, it tasted FANTASTIC-sweetish beet I’ve ever eaten. Will try to start seeds inside this year to see if I get better germination. Would really like to get this one again. Seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

BOK CHOY
Violetta bok choy: A beautiful green with purple tipped leaves and tastes great sautéed. Transplants from Agua Fria Nursery here in Santa Fe

CABBAGE
Kalibos Red cabbage: This Eastern European heirloom cabbage has a pointed shape and intense red/purple leaves. Beautiful and sweet flavor. Seeds from Seed Savers Exchange

CHARD
Argentata chard: Has green leaf with big white stalks that when cooked, melt in your mouth. Plus it is the most cold tolerant variety in my garden outlasting many other varieties of chard. Seeds from John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds

CUCUMBERS
Poona Kheera: My all-time favorite eating cucumber. Seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

EGGPLANT
Fairy Tale: my favorite-never bitter or tough skin. No need to peel this small eggplant. I just cut them in half  and saute or BBQ them. Transplants from Agua Fria Nursery here in Santa Fe

FENNEL
Florence Fennel: A bulb type fennel from Italy. Wonderful mild anise taste to add to Chippino or Boulabaise. I chop it and freeze it for use later. Seeds from Seeds of Italy or transplants from Agua Fria Nursery here in Santa Fe

PEPPER
Jimmy Nardello: Super sweet, red pepper-good for sauteing or cook on BBQ. It is thin-walled. Good cooked or raw. Seeds from Seed Savers Exchange or transplants from Agua Fria Nursery here in Santa Fe

SPINACH
Carmel: A fabulous early spring spinach with great flavor. The only spinach to survive winter with row cover. Seeds from Johnny’s Seeds or transplants from Agua Fria Nursery here in Santa Fe

SQUASH-WINTER
Waltham Butternut: I grew it because I had heard it doesn’t get squash bugs and that was true for me-good flavor too. Seeds from Seed Savers Exchange or transplants from Agua Fria Nursery here in Santa Fe

Rogosa Violina “Gioia” Butternut: An Italian version of Butternut. Grew much larger with excellent flavor and no squash bugs-YAY! Seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

SQUASH-SUMMER
Costata Romanesco zucchini: This is the most flavorful zucchini I’ve ever tasted-sweet nutty flavor. Seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds or transplants from Agua Fria Nursery here in Santa Fe

WATERMELON
Moon and Stars:
This has a beautiful dark green skin with yellow ‘stars’. Taste is super sweet and it ripened before the end of the season. Seeds from Seed Savers Exchange or transplants from Agua Fria Nursery here in Santa Fe

 

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My favorite sauce tomato to grow-Goldman’s Italian American tomato

Goldmans Italian American tomato

Psst, I’ve got to let you in on a big secret of mine-Goldman’s Italian American Tomato. I think it’s the best heirloom tomato to grow for sauce bar none. It’s a big, meaty, ribbed, pear-shaped red tomato with exceptional flavor. Not too acidic, not too sweet.

Every year I grow a couple of plants of this tomato but never sell it at the Santa Fe Farmers Market as ‘The Tomato Lady’ because I’m too selfish! I want all of them for making the various pasta sauces I make. I sell all my other varieties of tomatoes, but not this one. A friend of mine said, ‘Well why don’t you grow more to sell?” A novel idea I should consider! It’s only downside is it does take 80 days to mature so you’ll get some of them sun-ripened and have to bring the rest in before it freezes. No matter-they ripen in the house just as well as outside. The plant gets big about 6-7 foot tall so you’ll need some space but it will be well worth it.

The Heirloom Tomato book

Amy Goldman found it at a roadside stand in Italy, and named it after her father’s grocery store in Brooklyn. Amy Goldman wrote the book, “The Heirloom Tomato” and I use it as the gospel for helping me pick my tomatoes to grow each year.

I start the seeds inside sometime around the beginning of April each year under lights and on a heating mat. You’ll have to get the seeds online as no one sells either the seeds or the starts around here. I get my seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds here.

Garden Seed Catalogs for 2012

You should have a bunch of seed catalogs by now. More come in everyday and brighten my evenings. So far I have Johnny’s, Seed Saver’s Exchange, Tomato Growers, Totally Tomatoes, The Cook’s Garden, John Scheeper’s Kitchen Garden and Baker Heirloom Seeds. Below are my top 4 favorites. I like many other catalogs but this year these are my favs. If you don’t have any of these you can just click on their name below to be taken to their site. There, you can order one-they are all free.

1. Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

My number one favorite catalog of all time-Baker’s Heirloom Seeds has the most fantastic photos of all their heirloom vegetables and flowers (and they only sell heirlooms). The photos are so beautiful, they make me want to buy all their seeds! Wonderful selection of hard to find vegetable seeds. A must have!

2. Seed Savers Exchange

This is my number 2 favorite. I absolutely support what they do for all vegetable gardeners. They collect heirloom seeds and make them available to us. If you become a member (and I highly suggest you do), besides getting their catalog, you will also get another huge catalog for members only.  In it are members who are offering seeds, many of which have been kept in families for years and unavailable on a commercial level. Well worth it and besides I want to support all seed companies promoting heirlooms and seed saving. A close second for me.

3. The Cook’s Garden

Number 3 and number 4 are really tied for me. I like this catalog particularly because it has the most fantastic mesclun and lettuce mixes that I’ve seen. You don’t have to mix your own with them. In addition, they have many other varieties of vegetables and flowers that are coveted by gourmet gardeners.

4. John Scheeper’s Kitchen Garden Seeds

I also love this seed catalog because I get many unusual varieties of vegetables that aren’t necessarily carried here in the US. Since I like to cook, I want to try some of these varieties that cooks’ from other countries have available to them and this catalog is good for that. John Scheeper’s Kitchen Garden Seeds doesn’t have photos but lovely hand drawn pictures of their items. Another must have.