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Thursday, July 28, 2016

What are Heirloom Tomatoes?

Heirloom tomatoes! You may have heard of them and even eaten them a few times. You might grow them in your garden, or even buy them at the farmers market/grocery store. August is a prime month for fresh homegrown tomatoes (although often times gardeners' tomatoes are ready sooner) One of my favorite vegetables to look forward to in the garden are the tomatoes, all different kinds. Let's talk a little about heirloom tomatoes in this post, one of my favorite edible parts of summer!

So what does heirloom mean for heirloom tomatoes?
For heirloom tomatoes the word heirloom refers to the tomato seeds that have been harvested from certain varieties and passed down for generations because of their favorable and desirable characteristics and qualities.

How are they grown?
Heirloom tomatoes are grown the same way as any other tomato. Here are some pictures of green heirloom tomatoes just a few weeks before they will start turning colors.

Why do people want specifically heirloom tomatoes?
Heirloom tomatoes have not be changed for traits such as shelf life, color, and size/uniformity like the average tomato you see more often. Heirloom tomatoes have more of what people call and "ugly" look to them with different coloring, deep cracks, and bumps.

Where can you buy heirloom tomatoes?
You can find heirloom tomatoes at most farmers markets. A lot of farms that offer a CSA membership might add heirloom tomatoes to their weekly shares as well. Since they are becoming more popular, they are more readily available in several grocery stores as well.

Heirloom tomatoes are great to enjoy just as you would any other type of tomato. Be sure to try out some recipes specifically using heirloom tomatoes as well.

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