Some say that you haven’t really tasted a tomato until you’ve eaten heirlooms – which are unmistakably higher in flavor, especially when compared with their mass-marketed counterparts. They also are often beautiful. It’s easy to love the swirls of orange, purple, pink, yellow, green, red and cream.
As their popularity soars, these delectable fruits can cost as high as $6 to $10 per pound in grocery stores. It makes pure economic sense to cultivate your own – whether you live on a farm, or in a small town or suburb.
“Heirlooms are harder to grow than regular tomatoes,” says Tim Wilson, manager of Urban Agriculture for the Resource Center. “They are thin-skinned so they tend to spilt open more easily.” This makes them more susceptible to pests.
“We love growing them,” he says. “The system we use is pure compost. We have a great amount of available nutrients and very loose soil that has been laid out in an abandoned lot. I recommend putting eggshells and gypsum right underneath the transplanted tomato plant.”
Here are more City Farm tips to cultivate heirloom tomatoes prized by top gourmet restaurants:
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