My Heirloom Tomato Journey
Hi, my name is Curtis and I am a tomato addict! I wanted to share the story about my heirloom tomato journey. I do hope you enjoy! As a young child I had an intense interest in plants and how they grew. As I grew older I, was introduced to gardening by my stepfather. In those times, I detested gardening because I was basically ordered to do it. I had no freedom to explore when I worked with my dad but I totally loved being in nature! I especially loved hearing the birds sing, seeing the insects in the garden, and watching the tomato plants grow, bloom and fruit.
The thought of being as free as the birds did something for me! It was something GOOD! A few years later after the stepdad phase had passed and we had stopped frequenting the fields, I began to miss it. I was about 12 years old at that time. One day I planted a few tomato plants in our backyard. As they began to grow I planted some beans and chives, that was the beginning of my tomato journey!
Growing Tomatoes In New York City
In my 20’s I lived in the Bronx NYC. I rented a plot solely for growing tomatoes and basically only grew San Marzano and Roma, which I made lots of sauce and salsa with. As time passed, I discovered my first heirloom, it was a Brandywine variety. I moved from the Bronx to Indiana in early spring of 2002, solely for the purposes of farming and preforming music. My first big garden was that very Spring. I planted 400 plants which included, Gold Medal,Green Zebra,Pineapple, Mortgage Lifter and a few more.
Swallowed by endless tomato vines, the childhood feelings of love for nature truly overwhelmed me. I saved seeds that year and have been saving ever since. I still love being out in the garden and growing tomatoes. There is nothing like the high that it blesses me with. Usually, I plant about 600-800 plants per year. That works well for me. But I am always tempted to plant more! I have saved thousands of heirloom tomato seed varieties and plan on saving for the rest of my life. I invite you to share my passion with me!
Welcome To Renaissance Farms!
Lol, paul Robeson is a very good tomato. You are welcome, Buddy. I am happy that I am able to help and keep you inspired. I have so much satisfaction sharing my seeds with the world!
Thank you for sharing your story. I haven’t started growing heirloom tomato for very long, but what kept me interested is not just the shapes, colors and flavors of the fruits, but the stories behind them. Behind every well developed heirloom variety is a story about the people who grew them, and how it got passed it down the generation, shared and rediscovered.
I think I have come to the point where I’m developing my personal list of tried and true variety. One thing I found out is you can’t judge a tomato by the book cover. From my experience, it’s always the variety you least expect and sometimes not even payed attention to turns out to be one with the best taste, most productive, or work better for your climate. Sometimes it’s the tomato chooses you.
I’ve got introduced to many good varieties from your website, but I must admit out of all them, the absolute best tasting is Paul Robeson.