The Authentic Jersey Tomato Seed Collection is the first result of the Historic Seed Map (HSM) I'm working on for the Library Seed Bank (LSB). It was interesting to me that there were three major seed farms with 40 miles of the Seed Library at the McCowan Memorial Library. I didn't know about them, and from my conversations with others in the area, neither did they.
When I first had the idea of a seed map, I thought a reference source for what was historically grown locally would help people with their seed selection. In this case, not only were these tomato varieties grown locally, they were developed here also. Something else occurred to me talking to fellow gardeners, since they didn't know about the seed farms, they also didn't know about the varieties these developed locally. This collection will correct that disconnect.
People know the Rutgers tomato, and rightfully so. It's a wonderful tomato, disease resistant, prolific, tasty and plants that are easy to manage since they are more compact than some heirlooms.
I'm excited by this. It's an appropriate start to the process for the HSM. So much more to come. I just scratched the surface with this. In no particular order, here is the Authentic Jersey Tomato Seed Collection.
This tomato is very rare and under the threat of extinction according to Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, a leader in seed saving and advocacy. We here at the LSB being based in New Jersey will do what it takes, growing these every year to keep it going. I encourage you to do so also.
Developed by the NJ Agricultural Experiment Station in 1928, rereleased in 1943, what exists today -- Is a cross between Mariglobe and J.T.D. named for John Thompson Dorrance who invented the condensed soup.
Wonderful tomato, very prolific, closer to a bush variety
J.T.D - http://www.victoryseeds.com/tomato_jtd.html
Rutgers - http://www.victoryseeds.com/tomato_rutgers.html
Rutgers seeds are available from many seed sources,
I can’t find much about this tomato except for the following; -- mid, SD, 7 oz., semi-sweet, globe-shaped fruit, red, canning-type. That description is from the seed source at Sandhill Preservation Center.
Once you click on the link below, scroll down
Released in 1900
Golden Jubilee Tomato
Introduced in 1947, a yellow-orange tomato introduced by the Maule Seed Company of Philadelphia. Maule's seed farm was in Newfield, New Jersey.
Stokes's catalog from 1926 boasts:
Our firm had the great honor of Ieading the commercial development of MargIobe -- Our present acreage for seed, although unusually heavy, it will scarcely be equal to the demands that are being made upon it. Advance sales are unprecedented.
Developed in 1917 by the USDA, and released in 1925 and is a parent for a lot of other varieties. It has strong disease resistance. Stokes Seed Company at the time they developed the Marglobe was in Moorestown, New Jersey.
A very early tomato, developed by George Sparks of Salem, NJ and introduced in 1900 by Johnson and Stokes
A pink version of Earliana
Box Care Willie
Late season beefsteak, red/ orange color. Starts growing slow, 10 oz fruits. Very flavorful.
Large red, beefsteak, very rare
Once you click on the link below, scroll down http://www.sandhillpreservation.com/catalog/tomato.html
Prolific with a long season
A pink tomato bred for its size can grow 4 pounds to 6 pounds, and still taste very good bred by Minnie Zaccaria.
A variety developed by Stokes Seed Company in the 1930s.
Introduced in 1995, it's a stable cross of Brandywine and Marizol Purple.
Paste type that was one a mainstay of the tomato industry in New Jersey.
Originated in Burlington County, New Jersey by Burpee.
From Burpee's 1899 catalog:
The best of all main-crop purple-colored tomatoes. It originated in Burlington County, N.J."It is one of the largest tomatoes grown, and is most regular in shape and size. Color purplish-red, very solid, firm flesh, a good keeper, and not subject to rot or crack on the vines. It is an excellent shipper, and sold in Philadelphia markets at better prices than any other variety offered at the same time. Ripens evenly to the stem, is a strong, healthy grower, not subject to rust or blight, is an enormous cropper, and produces until the vines are killed by frost, holding its size exceedingly well until the last picking. The quality is of the very best, and for cooking and slicing purpose it cannot be excelled. It is in every way a most desirable variety for market gardeners, and hence the name, 'Trucker's Favorite'. "
While not a tomato that was developed by a New Jersey based seed farm, it has historical significance.
A small, currant type white tomato.
A flavorful tomato introduced by Rutgers in 1968. Rutgers controls the distribution of the seeds.
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While not a variety developed locally, this tomato is a historic variety worth including on this list. Imagine if these plants were grown continually in New Jersey since 1870.
Introduced in 1870 by the Livingston Seed Company of Ohio, Paragon was a mainstay of the NJ tomato industry.