Tomato Project Report

Tevis from Crabapple Farm made the following report:

Here’s my report from what we saw in the different strains:

>From Green Zebra X: “Orange Redheart / Zebra” “Bronze Zebra”

There were two main phenotypes in the Orange Redheart / Zebra, one striped and the other solid orange. The Striped (zebra) type was the majority of our population. We also had a couple plants that produced solid red fruit. We saw very little other variation, indicating to us that this strain has become fairly homozygous at this point – since we saved seed from both solid and zebra fruit in the last generation, I am assuming that this phenotypical variation is from two mixed homozygous strains, not heterozygosity in the genepool.
These plants did very well for us, and were highly productive, especially in our Hoophouses. Their production level was equal to that of the commercial hybrid varieties we also had in the hoophouse. Flavor was excellent, and they quickly became a favorite with customers at Farmer’s Market.

Bronze Zebra was also quite uniform in our field. The fruit had a somewhat mealy texture, which did not appeal to us (reminiscent of Striped Roman). Also, the fruit was susceptible to bacterial speck, making them less appealing late in the season.

>From Green Pineapple X: “Green / Black Bicolor” “Blushed Bicolor – small strain” “Blushed Bicolor – large strain”

“Small Blushed Bicolor” was mostly quite early and productive, but highly variable for fruit characteristics. There were a couple of obvious new crosses in the population (with Garden Peach most clearly). Our guess is that the original mutation that gave rise to this strain is for a more receptive flower type that allows for a higher degree of outcrossing.
The flavor was quite good on all the variations – we like the more golden Garden Peach cross in this population much better than the original Garden Peach. There were still significant problems with cracking on most plants in the population (though not in the fuzzy “peach” crosses). We saved seed separately from four different types that we saw in the population this year – “golden peach” “kiwi” (green peach) “small green/black” and “small blushed” (yellow/red bicolor)

“Green/Black Bicolor” was much later to come into production, but that seemed to be coupled with a fairly high degree of Early Blight resistance. The population still needs some selection to improve fruit quality (cracking resistance) and earliness.

“Large Blushed Bicolor” had some really nice individual plants, but I’m not quite satisfied with earliness, crack-resistance, or disease resistance (no significant disease problems, but I feel like there is some resistance in the genepool that should be selected for). Quite variable for type.

>From Isis Candy X: “Large Isis”

Mostly uniform, quite early, flavor excellent. Small fruit, blushed yellow with a red star on the blossom end. Sweet, low acid flavor. Firm fruit – which is unusual for this sort of bicolor. We mainly were selecting for uniformity and crack resistance this year.

>From unknown parentage: “Yellow(Pink) Reg./Potato Leaf”

Nice “heirloom type” beefsteaks – I am not sure whether or not these strains represent any for of improvement over other existing similar heirloom varieties already out there. We saved seed again from a couple selections, but don’t feel like we made significant improvements in the strain.

>From Honeydrop X Striped Roman: “Orange Plum” “Pointy Red Cherry” (?xMatt’s Wild?)

We have not managed to do selection in these plants yet. I know that “Orange Plum” is still pretty variable – I would like to select for a small elongated, pointy orange plum-type cherry tomato with good flavor and texture. I would like to select against mealy texture, bland flavor, and cracking. Striping is nice but not super important.
Pointy Red Cherry – We would like to select for an excellent flavored red cherry tomato. From the Matt’s Wild Cherry parentage that we suspect, I am hoping to find Late Blight Resistance show up in this strain.

I also believe that Late Blight Resistance has some likelihood of showing up in the Blushed Bicolor strains. If anyone has seen Late Blight Resistance in their garden (you will recognize it if your plants are still growing and productive at this point this year) please save some seed and let me know.

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