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Workhorses

Posted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:33 pm
by Paquebot
I've posted about WI55 and all who grew it know that it's a workhorse. But that's a newcomer compared to some really old ones that are still available. Campbell Soup and Heinz had their own breeding programs long before any of us are born. We all know of Rutgers which was released in 1928. One of the parents was JTD, a Campbell variety. Rutgers is probably the oldest commercial field tomato still available and a soup company was half responsible for its success.

I've grown almost all of the Campbell varieties maintained by USDA and each was a real workhorse. Not fancy colors or shapes but jar-fillers in their heyday. They were listed in the SSE Yearbook. Other than KC-135 and KC-146, developed using Wisconsin 55, nobody ever wanted them until recently. Then a request came in for 13 Campbell varieties so someone else is going to be a guardian for them. Apparently he was very happy with what he got as a second request came in for all of the Heinz varieties that I had! More workhorses that deserve to remain in harnass.

Martin

Re: Workhorses

Posted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:24 am
by imp
Yes, many of the older varieties were developed to produce, often enough under not excellent conditions, too. Good standard red or pinks that produce well, taste very well and were steady enough to fill those cans and bottles or home canning jars. Maybe not the new shiny thing, maybe not a flash thing, just the one that works each day of the season and for me, often requires less fuss and care.

I can't recall off hand which variety was grown for the Sacramento Tomato juice company, with that tag line "so thick it plops!", but it was some majorly good juice.

Re: Workhorses

Posted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 7:44 pm
by Nan6b
I grew Heinz 1439 in 2018. My grandmother worked at the Heinz plant here in the '30's, '40's & '50's. It was a short plant, determinate, perfectly round and smooth. The harvest took place over about 3 weeks, and then there was another harvest later.

Re: Workhorses

Posted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:37 pm
by Paquebot
Heinz 1439 was a super producer for me, too. It wasn't really big plants but I would have called it semi-determinate. USDA has 16 numbered Heinz varieties. If I had time, space, and health, I'd be rescuing them and getting them into circulation again.

Martin

Re: Workhorses

Posted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:53 pm
by MissS
Paquebot wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:33 pm
I've posted about WI55 and all who grew it know that it's a workhorse. But that's a newcomer compared to some really old ones that are still available. Campbell Soup and Heinz had their own breeding programs long before any of us are born. We all know of Rutgers which was released in 1928. One of the parents was JTD, a Campbell variety. Rutgers is probably the oldest commercial field tomato still available and a soup company was half responsible for its success.

I've grown almost all of the Campbell varieties maintained by USDA and each was a real workhorse. Not fancy colors or shapes but jar-fillers in their heyday. They were listed in the SSE Yearbook. Other than KC-135 and KC-146, developed using Wisconsin 55, nobody ever wanted them until recently. Then a request came in for 13 Campbell varieties so someone else is going to be a guardian for them. Apparently he was very happy with what he got as a second request came in for all of the Heinz varieties that I had! More workhorses that deserve to remain in harnass.

Martin
I am very happy that someone will be keeping these varieties safe and growing strong. I hope that more people get involved in saving these varieties from our past. It's too bad that more people can't have access to these old gems. I do hope that who ever has them will pass these on to those who care.

Re: Workhorses

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:07 pm
by Shule
I'd call Napoli a workhorse (with regard to production). The crosses with it I've gotten are also workhorses; so, it's one of the main tomatoes I plan to continue breeding with. Very compact plant size, and very durable, blemish-free fruits, too (also, the green ones at the end of the season ripen indoors very nicely without spoiling easily).

It handles drought nicely, too.

Re: Workhorses

Posted: Thu Oct 01, 2020 1:41 am
by GardenGuy00
Stupice is hard to go wrong with. A less popular workhorse in my experience is Japanese Black Trifele. A lot of yield from that one! Some bigger beefsteaks that yield surprisingly well in my experience are Abraham Lincoln and to a lesser extent Pruden's Purple.

Re: Workhorses

Posted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 7:42 pm
by Shule
@GardenGuy00
I agree about Japanese Black Trifele:

Image

Re: Workhorses

Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2020 6:32 am
by wykvlvr
Stupice is not fancy, is not the best tasting tomato but as I have said before it produces for me every year. Regardless of our weather. Hail, sleet, rain, sunshine nights in the 50s or nights n the 60s I know my Stupice will produce at least some ripe tomatoes.
This year I picked up seeds for some older workhorse varieties to try. Round red or pink and about saladette size they sounded like they might be good additions to my collection.