Lemon Boy VFN Hybrid. The first lemon yellow, not golden, tomato variety, and still one of the best. Extremely vigorous plants produce large harvests of attractive fruit that weighs 8 ozs. or more. Flavor is outstanding, mild and sweet yet tangy and definitely not bland. This one is easy to grow and understandably one of our most popular yellow tomatoes. Indeterminate. 72 days.
Sept. 2008 Final report: Lemon Boy was very prolific, tasty and disease free. I would plant this again!
Determinate, 80 days. A UC Cooperative Extension taste test winner in 1999. I was happy to rediscover this old favorite in 2001. And it was a 2002 Farmer Fred Taste Test winner at our annual August tasting party. In our garden, it produced fruits well over one pound, great for slicing. However, the 2003 Ace 55 did not produce one tomato, despite being a vigorously healthy green plant. After a five year hiatus, another trial for the Ace 55.
Sept. 2008 Report: Didn't come on strong until September.
Marianna's Peace is a late season, indeterminate, potato-leaf variety (80-85 days) from Czechoslovakia that produces relatively lower yields of 1-2 lb., pink/red, beefsteak-styled fruit. It's plant and fruit structure and the taste of it's fruit remind me of an old favorite, Brandywine. Overall, it's flavors are exceptionally rich, with good sweet/acid balance and luscious complex flavors reminiscent of the finest of those "old-fashioned" tomato flavors, the memories of which is the stuff-of-dreams for all tomato lovers.
Sept. 2008 Report: Mediocre production, but the tastiest tomato in 2008, especially in salads. I would plant this again.
Vigorous plants yield an abundance of 3 oz. fruits. 80 days. A good paste tomato for soups and ketchup. Vigorous plants yield an abundance of 3 oz. fruits. Disease resistant. Determinate. Burpee exclusive.
Sept. 2008 report: Excellent for canning purposes. Harvested 30 pounds of this for August canning.
Early maturing hybrid cherry type tomato. Clusters of tiny fruit are well rounded, deep red in color with a delicious sweet flavor. Tolerance to cracking and good holding qualities. Tall Indeterminate plants grow tall and require support. Maturity is 60 days from transplanting. Very prolific and a consistent Farmer Fred Favorite.
2008 report: Sweet Million was gangly this year. Although tasty, it was outperformed by the Sweet Gold.
Early Girl VFF Hybrid. Comes in first as an early slicing tomato and our customers' favorite early variety. Dependable large harvests of flavorful, solid 4 to 6 oz. fruit. Disease resistance is good, contributing to its excellent performance in almost any climate. A proven variety for delicious, early tomatoes. Indeterminate. 52 days.
Sept. 2008 report: so-so year. Better in Sept. than in June or July.
A VFFNT Hybrid. Exclusive release of Tomato Growers Supply Company. The kind of tomato home gardeners would love to grow for a county fair entry. Vigorous plants produce loads of delicious 10 to 12 oz. fruit, even when conditions are not ideal. This one was a winner in our trials for its high yields, good disease resistance, mid-early maturity, and great flavor. First fruit mature early and low on the plant, which continues to bear tomatoes over a long season. Indeterminate. 75 days.
Sept. 2008 report: Good looking, meaty. Good choice for main season tomato.
One of America's favorites for the solid, meaty, flavorful red fruit that weighs up to 2 lbs. Vigorous vines and outstanding fruit taste and quality. Indeterminate. 80 days.
Sept. 2008 report: So-so production, but tasty.
Indeterminate, 57 days. "Very sweet, bright orange cherry tomatoes taste not just sugary but also fruity and delicious. Vigorous growers, these tall plants bear long clusters of fruit." A taste test winner at Rose Loveall's Morningsun Herb Farm. Tried it in 2003...and it turned out to be a winner in the August trials here! Outclassed in 2007 by Sweet Gold, but still a good cherry tomato.
Sept 2008 report: pretty good production and taste, a runner-up to Sweet Gold.
A 1984 ALL-AMERICA SELECTIONS WINNER. Absolutely incredible set of exceptionally flavorful, firm 8 to 12 oz. fruit on strong vines with good cover and outstanding disease resistance. Large clusters of consistently large, beautiful tomatoes. Determinate. 70 days. We like it so much, we plant it every year. A Farmer Fred Favorite.
Sept. 2008 report: mediocre to poor production.
FT Hybrid. Vigorous vines produce abundant clusters of 1/2 oz. bright yellow-gold cherry tomatoes with delicious sweet flavor. These tomatoes are naturally sweeter than red cherry varieties with a fruitier taste. Once you taste them, you'll be spoiled forever. Indeterminate. 60 days. Our favorite cherry tomato from last year, 2007.
Sept. 2008 report: Our favorite cherry tomato of 2008! Productive and tasty. Backyard visitors couldn't help but munch them straight from the vine.
Determinate. 50-60 days to maturity Medium sized, deep-red skinned tomato. Fruits generally weigh 3-5 oz. Flavor is full. Fruits tend to ripen quickly, according to sources. An impulse seed rack buy at the supermarket. I couldn't resist the name.
Sept. 2008 report: Bloody Butcher was quite productive throughout the season. Rather juicy, so not ideal for canning. But quite tasty in salads.
Needed tomato plants in a hurry in early March, for a TV shoot. Grabbed a six pack of these from a big box store, a store that has no qualms about selling tomato plants in late winter to overanxious gardeners. TV shot canceled. Might as well plant them and see! Catalog description: 'Big Beef' is generally ready for harvest 80 to 85 days after sowing. Vigorous, indeterminate plants produce 4 to 6 inch tomatoes which are crack resistant. Sweet, slightly acidic flavor. An All-America Selections Award Winner. Resistant to V, F1, F2, N, TMV, and ASC (Alternaria Stem Canker).
Sept. 2008 report: Probably the best overall tomato in our garden this year. Big Beef was excellent either sliced or for canning. Easy to peel for canning. Productive early and often!
Peppers (all sweet, unless noted):
Flamingo, from Harris Moran, is truely unique with fruit that mature from a light yellow to pinkish-orange, then to red. This sweet bell pepper has concentrated fruit set and can produce high yields. Similar to Gypsy, Flamingo is well sized and shaped to produce brisk sales in the fresh market. Flamingo's mostly 3-lobed fruit are medium large, smooth and tapered. Its thick walls add weight and resist bruising and breakage. Flamingo performs well in most pepper growing areas and its earliness makes it a stand-out in the northern U.S. and Canada. Outstanding for its type, Flamingo is the clear choice with earliness, yield and resistance to Tobacco Mosaic Virus
Deliciously sweet Italian peppers turn a rich shade of purple when they are fully ripe, adding a beautiful new color choice to Marconi peppers. Expect plentiful harvests of these peppers, which become about 6-in. long with a tapered shape ending in a blunt tip. Traditionally used for frying, Marconis are also wonderful when eaten fresh. Create a beautiful salad with Purple Marconi, either by itself or in combination with the red and golden versions. 90 days.
"Hybrid Hungarian hot wax pepper. Very productive plants bear 8-inch long, very hot banana peppers with medium-thick flesh. They mature from yellow to red and are larger than older, open-pollinated types of Hungarian Wax. Great for pickling. 60 days." A 2001 & 2002 Farmer Fred Taste Test Winner. Warm to hot, depending upon your tolerance. This Hungarian Wax pepper is not too hot (about 1,000 Scoville units, I reckon). The heat is more of a delayed reaction (tricky!), allowing you to enjoy the spicy flavor first. A Farmer Fred Favorite.
Beautiful new color in peppers is truly lavender with ivory-yellow flesh. Bell shaped fruit is 3 to 4-lobed and blocky, measuring 4-1/2 inches long and 3-1/2 inches wide. Peppers mature from ivory to lavender and finally to crimson, but they remain in the lavender stage longer than other purple peppers. Their thick flesh has a mild, sweet flavor. 70 days.
Carmen was a 2005 All-America Selection that was praised by the judges for its delicious, sweet flavor. It produces impressive crops of attractive, uniform, brilliant red bull's horn type peppers. The peppers are up to 10" long and 3" wide on bushy plants that grow up to 30" tall. Carmen is widely adaptable to a variety of conditions and may also be grown in containers. 60 days green. 80 days red.
This is an open pollinated variety developed from the hybrid pepper Purple Belle. The fruits have a mild sweet flavor and are thick walled and meaty. Plants are compact with lots of protective foliage to protect the peppers from scalding. 70-75 days. Open pollinated.
This fancy, deep orange bell pepper with sweet, crunchy flavor has been our most popular pepper variety for years. Ariane would cost you a fortune at the market, but they are easy to grow at home. The vigorous plants are high yielding; in late summer they are covered with delicious, bright orange peppers. T.M.V.(race 0) resistant. 66 days.
Nu Mex Joe E. Parker
65 days. "This is a very productive version of NuMex 6-4 that offers more uniform peppers. 6 to 7-inch thick-fleshed peppers turn from green to red and are relatively mild to medium in flavor. Ripens earlier than most other peppers of its type. 65 days." The overall winner of the Farmer Fred Pepper Party Taste Tests in August, 2000. Great in chili! A Farmer Fred Favorite.
Thick-walled, cone-shaped pepper, about four inches long and two inches wide. Mariachi starts out green and ripens through creamy yellow to rose to red. This moderately spicy (500 to 600 Scoville units) pepper can get hotter if the weather is extremely hot or dry. All America Selections Winner in 2006, and a beautiful, tasty pepper for salads for us in 2007.
70 days. "Flavor as sweet as apples! Gourmet chefs use them in salads, stir-fried, roasted and stuffed. Long fruits grow up to 11" and can weigh up to 12 ounces. Best flavor at light green stage." 2000 Farmer Fred Taste Test Winner. Big and cylindrical, this one is eleven inches long, over 10 oz. in weight, and won raves munched on raw; or cooked, stuffed with tomatoes and beef. I still prefer its similiar cousin, the...
72 days. While not technically a Marconi Pepper, it displays so many similar traits it has earned the name! Large, tapered, elongated fruits grow 8" by 3", with a sweet, smoky flavor that's equally delectable when fruits are eaten green or red, fresh or grilled. Widely adaptable, it produces larger than normal crops just about anywhere. Withstands severe weather with excellent disease resistance." A 2001 Farmer Fred Taste Test Winner. This 2001 AAS Award Winner has (in my opinion) more flavor than the Giant Aconcagua.
Big, blocky bell peppers are a mature green in 70 days, then turn to a beautiful shade of golden-yellow in just two more weeks. The peppers are about 4-1/2 inches long and nearly that wide, and are smooth and consistently well shaped. As a bonus, plants are tolerant to most pepper virus diseases and 3 races of bacterial spot. Extra sweet when fully yellow.
This beautiful amethyst pepper from Holland is the best lavender variety we've seen. Fruit sets early and grows to a blocky 4-1/2 inches deep and 4 inches across. Peppers begin as lavender and stay that color for a long time before fading to a lovely orange, then finally red. All colors are jewel-like and very attractive. Strong plants are tobacco mosaic virus resistant and tolerant to blossom end rot. 72 days. A Farmer Fred Favorite.
70 days. "Also know as the 'New Mexican Chile', this moderately pungent fruit is deep green, but turns red at full maturity. Very smooth peppers are 7-1/2 inches long and 2 inches wide and borne on tall, productive plants that offer good foliage cover for the fruit. Tobacco mosaic virus resistant. Excellent for canning, freezing or drying. 75 days." My favorite for nachos.
These bright green and red sweet peppers fry beautifully. Originally from the Basilicata region of south Italy. Brought to this country by the Nardello family, who grew them for generations in Connecticut. The plants are 24" tall, and festooned with 10-12" peppers. one of my favorites for grilling.
Corno di Toro Yellow
Italian 'bull's horn' colorful sweet peppers are 8 to 10 inches long and curved like a bull's horn. Ripen to deep red or bright yellow and are delicious fresh in salads, but more often are sauted or grilled. Prolific tall plants. 68 days.