Costoluto Fiorentino tomatoes from Veseys Seeds, PEI, Canada

So as I write this it’s December 3rd and the Gardening Season is long passed. I’m visiting my son and his family and low and behold the Veseys Seed catalogue is sitting on his counter. So there I was with my morning coffee, seed catalogue spread out before me and one by one I had grandchildren climbing onto my lap. LOL It got a little hard to even see the catalogue with 3 little heads in front of me, but we had a lovely time looking at all the colourful fruits and veggies!

I’m already Planning my garden for next year so browsing through the catalog is a wonderful past time, but also a great planning tool. I’m going to be growing non-GMO and totally organic and heirloom varieties this year. There are now a wonderful plethora of varieties to choose from, unlike a few short years ago. People are extremely wary of growing food that doesn’t produce it’s own seed, and well they should be. No corporation should have exclusive access to growing food… God has given us that gift and most of us will be darned if we surrender that right to greedy corporations.

As you probably noticed the picture of bright red, juicy tomatoes, this is a variety I remember from my childhood. These tomatoes were abundant, very tasty and meaty. We used them for eating, cooking, canning… you name it. Most of the small farmers grew one or two varieties of their favourite tomatoes and would often plan which varieties to grow with their neighbours so they could trade between each other. We’d always grow our favourites but then try something different and share it to see what everyone thought. It was a lot of fun!

So a little about this tomato… Costoluto Fiorentino

Beautiful deep red Italian Heirloom.  The fruit are about 1/2 pound each and about 4″ wide. They have a distinctive flattened, heavily-ribbed shape and are quite juicy with a high sugar and acid content. It’s excellent for spaghetti and chili sauces and canning.  Perfect for sandwiches, salads, and slicing. Grows quite well in hot or cold climates.  This is an Indeterminate variety and matures in 85 days.

So, a lot of people ask me what the difference is between determinate and Indeterminate plants. Basically, indeterminate plants are tall, require staking and produce flowers, and thus tomatoes, over a longer period of time. Instead of having one large harvest at once, they bear over a period of months. They’re the right choice for a home gardener or commercial grower who wants their harvest spread out over a longer period of time. They’re perfect for greenhouse growers that want tall plants they can train on strings to make better use of vertical space.

I prefer indeterminate tomato plants so I don’t have to deal with a huge harvest all at once. I can eat tomatoes over a 2 month period if I care for the plants properly and protect them from early frosts. I can also grow them in containers on my deck and train them up a trellis on the side of the house for easier picking!

OK… that’s all for now. Next is my choice for my favourite Beets. It’s an old fashioned favourite!

Toodles! ~Callie