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Don't let "Woman" disappear | Main | Ace of Spades Pet Thread, February 10
February 10, 2024

Gardening, Puttering and Adventure Thread, Feb. 10


Hello to our gardeners, putterers and winter dreamers! Today, we're returning for a few moments to yesteryear, specifically four years ago, for some nice photos of heart-shaped tomatoes, as Valentine's Day nears. These tomatoes, as a class, are meatier than most tomatoes, with intriguing flavor and generally with few seeds. The one above is Sherry's Sweet Heart.

6-10 oz. fruit, Some are Larger. Large Pink Heart. Beautiful. Meaty, dense fleshed pink heart tomato. Good production, Mid-season. Plant has droopy wild foliage common with hearts. Very good flavor, well balanced, sweet-acid.

Wouldn't you love to have one about now?

There is a multicolored heart from Wild Boar Farms called Crushed Heart:

Crushed Heart was released in 2016 by Wild Boar Farm and developed by Brad Gates, Napa Valley, California, USA. Medium to large fruit (100-300g), heart-shaped, irregular, often with elongated, pointy ends. Very meaty, only few seeds. Light pink in color with green/yellowish stripes and light antho splash. Very vigorous, indetermiante plants with regular wispy leaf foliage. Very good production until first frost. About 80 days from transplant.

Link now goes to the main page of the World Tomato Society, where you can find a lot of great tomato information, but they seem to want you to join now. Here's a new photo from Wild Boar Farms:


There are many others in this class in a variety of colors, like Brad's Black Heart and Bleeding Heart.


Wild Boar Farms also has a page with outside resources on growing tomatoes.

Of the Wild Boar Farms tomatoes, I think Pink Berkeley Tie Dye is a good one to try in cooler summer climates. Compare to Cherokee Purple. Make sure it is the PINK one. "Berkeley Tie Dye" has wilder coloration and flavor - quite acid. This is the rich-flavored pink one.


I love this little tomato for hot-summer climates - AAA Sweet Solano:


Here come the GMO Fruits

This week, while I was driving, I caught an NPR story pushing GMO tomatoes, developed to add anthocyanin from a snapdragon to tomato fruits. I don't think the version I heard covered the entire write-up of the story.

Gardeners can now grow a genetically modified purple tomato made with snapdragon DNA

Some excerpts:

As home gardeners in the U.S. page through seed catalogs and pick out their favorite heirlooms, there's a new seed that has never been available to them before: a tomato the color of a concord grape with plum-colored flesh. It looks otherworldly, maybe Photoshopped. But it's not.

This nightshade is purple because its creators at Norfolk Plant Sciences worked for about 20 years to hack color genes from a snapdragon flower into the plant. The genes not only provide pigment, but high levels of anthocyanin, a health-promoting compound.

This dusky fruit, named the Purple Tomato, is the first genetically modified food crop to be directly marketed to home gardeners - the seeds went on sale Saturday. Last year, a handful of small farmers started growing and selling the tomatoes, but until now, genetically modified foods were generally only available to commercial producers in the U.S.

Norfolk's purple tomato has, per weight, as much anthocyanin as a blueberry or eggplant, Pumplin says. And Americans eat more tomatoes annually, so it makes the nutritional benefits more accessible.

In a research published in Nature, Martin found that mice who ate a diet supplemented with purple tomatoes lived 30% longer than those who didn't.

But there are also some anthocyanin-enriched tomatoes available to home gardeners which were bred conventionally. You may have grown some tomatoes in the Indigo series, or some others bred from it:

Genetic modification in the lab isn't the only way to supercharge foods with nutrients, notes Jim Myers, a professor specializing in vegetable breeding at Oregon State University. He says in fact, traditional breeders were the first to release a tomato to the public with boosted levels of anthocyanins.

More than two decades ago Myers began using traditional plant breeding to cross genes from wild tomatoes with modern varieties.

The modern domesticated tomato originated from an 80,000 years old species from Ecuador. There are about 10,000 varieties of Solanum lycopersicum, which vary from marigold orange to celery green to khaki maroon

Domesticated tomatoes have anthocyanins only in the plant, but Myers says their wild relatives have them in the fruit.

He crossed Solanum cheesmaniae from the Galapagos and Solanum chilense from South America with a domesticated variety to ultimately create the Indigo collection of tomatoes.

Here are a couple of descendants from the Indigo collection, from Wild Boar Farms, first one called Persuasion:

2-4 oz. fruit, Mid Season, Lovely pink-rose colored with green-gold striping and varying degrees of anthocynin splashes. Very good flavor. Great hang on the vine ripe ability and post harvest self life.

Some of the tomatoes with "anthocynin splashes" are not particularly tasty. Valued for health reasons. Maybe this one tastes better.


Here's a REALLY dark one, Blue Chocolate::

1-2 oz. fruit, Chocolate brown with black anthocyanin tops. Very ripe fruit gets very sweet and rich. Great production. Sunburn, crack resistant. Great hang time and shelf life.

blue chocolate tomat.jpg

Back to the Purple Tomato story:

Unlike the conventionally bred tomatoes, the Purple Tomato is purple inside and out:

purrple tomato.jpg

The article doesn't say much about its flavor.

Along the same lines, California-based food company Fresh Del Monte created a pink pineapple in 2020. Its rosy flesh comes from a high level of lycopene, an antioxidant that gives peaches, tomatoes and watermelon their rosy hues.

But unlike the Purple Tomato, which the company is making widely available to both farmers and consumers, only Fresh Del Monte can grow it.

It's also supposed to have an extra-sweet flavor.

Pinkglow Pineapple.jpg


Flowers for Valentine's Day

I would just as soon get a nice plant or some great seeds for Valentine's Day as cut flowers go, but I am willing to take cut flowers, too. Like red roses and white carnations. I'm not sure that anyone pays attention to the meaning of the color of roses in a bouquet anymore, but here are some iterations of this marketing gimmick.

red rose whitee carna.jpg

Our friends in Switzerland are big on bouquets, though. And not in traditional colors. These are interesting.

swiss peach bouq.jpg

swiss green bouq.jpg

Here's another bouquet, with a close-up of one carnation.

swiss bouquettt.jpg

swiss carnaton.jpg



Learning from the past:
'This is the corner of a hand sewn sail made in the 1800s. The craftsmanship and quality of the work is amazing. This is a lost art.

The canvas sails were made of hemp along with clothing, ropes, and the caulking used to fill gaps between planks among other things. Hemp is 3 times stronger than jute and was preferred because it was unaffected by salt water.

The work done by sail makers was demanding and left no room for error as their sails would be what brings fishermen home safely.' ~ Archaeology & Civilizations by Lori Michael Malone

corner of a sail.jpg


Two guys doing sand art in Pismo today. Right below Kon Tiki. -

KJ, Central Coast Life

sand art pismo.jpg



There is only water cascading over these rocks near San Diego when there's a fair amount of rain.

Mission Trails Rod Lagace.jpg

Mission Trails, Rod Lagace

Mission Trails Waterfalls San Diego.jpg

mission trails 3.jpg


Gardens of The Horde

Still doing weed control here. What's going on in your garden?


Hope everyone has a nice weekend.

If you would like to send photos, stories, links, etc. for the Saturday Gardening, Puttering and Adventure Thread, the address is:

ktinthegarden at g mail dot com

Remember to include the nic or name by which you wish to be known at AoSHQ, or let us know if you want to remain a lurker.


Week in Review

What has changed since last week's thread? Gardening, Puttering and Adventure Thread, Feb. 3

Any thoughts or questions?

I closed the comments on this post so you wouldn't get banned for commenting on a week-old post, but don't try it anyway.

digg this
posted by K.T. at 01:34 PM

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