It's Tomato Time!
If you’ve been to the farmer’s market lately, it’s no secret that it’s tomato season. And the tomato royal family is the Heirloom. But what is an heirloom tomato? Well an heirloom tomato is an open pollinated cultivar of tomato. Open pollination is pollination by insects, birds, wind, or other natural mechanisms as opposed to machines. The seeds of open pollinated plants will produce new generations of those plants; however, because breeding is uncontrolled open pollination results in plants that vary widely in genetic traits, such as that beautiful asymmetrical quality that we have learned to love. Open pollination increases biodiversity, which translates to better for the environment and more tasty. And everyone has to love clever cultivar names like Blaby Special, Stupice, Green Zebra, Brandywine, Big Rainbow, Hillbilly, Jubilee and, my personal favorite, the Mortgage Lifter.