TomatoFest Heirloom Tomato Seeds offers the largest selection of organic heirloom tomato seeds in the U.S., with more than 600 preferred tomato varieties, sourced from family farms and seed collectors around the world. We offer many rare and hard-to-find tomato seed varieties.
We plant, grow, and harvest all of our own certified organic tomato seeds. We do not contract our seed growing to others so we can maintain the integrity of our tomato seeds.
Gary founded the company in 1999 as way to celebrate and preserve these precious tomato varieties. Our tomato seed varieties have been featured in publications internationally. For 17 years Gary hosted the Carmel TomatoFest event in California which attracted tomato lovers and chefs around the nation to enjoy what was the most comprehensive tomato and tomato foods tasting in the country.
Since 1998 TomatoFest Seed Donations Program has been donating heirloom tomato seeds to urban garden projects, school gardens, community outreach gardens around the U.S., India, Africa, Europe, China, and anywhere else an interest or need has been brought to our attention to enhance the quality and nourishment of life. http://www.tomatofest.com/tomato-seed-donations.html
It is our intention to educate everyone about accessing a healthier food supply and continuing the legacy of seed saving.
Thank you for your interest in our heirloom tomato seeds.
Hermanson Rapid City, SD (Zone 5a) (1 review) January 20, 2016
I've been reading Dave's Garden as well as other online gardening forums for many years. As a rule, I don't usually post. But this company calls for an exception to that rule.
My first garden was in 1968. Since then, I've purchased seeds from a variety of seed companies, large and small. In 2008, I first heard about "heirloom" tomatoes and found TomatoFest.com. I spent hours on the TomatoFest web site reading and learning about heirloom varieties. As I browsed farther on the web (hours turned into days), I realized that the more experienced heirloom tomato growers and experts were recommending many of the same varieties........... and Tomatofest seemed to have seeds and description for all the most highly recommended heirloom tomatoes.
Indeed, Gary Ibsen's TomatoFest had been largely responsible for my education about heirloom tomatoes. Now Gary had become my main supplier of tomato seeds, simply because he grew almost everything I wanted. He still does.
But beyond the vast selection at TomatoFest, I love buying directly from the owner of the company, especially when he is a real person, who offers personal service and direct communication. It's so much better than buying from a large company where my name becomes a number and I have little chance of ever hearing from the owner. At TomatoFest, when I ask a tomato question via email, I hear back from Gary Ibsen, the Tomato-Man. At TomatoFest, my seeds come from the owner, who with the help of his family grows all his own tomatoes, and produces all his own seeds from tomatoes that he has selected by growing and tasting each one of them.
But how good and fresh are his seeds? Last month I found an old packet of seeds I had purchased almost ten years ago from TomatoFest. I thought, "These are too old to be viable". But I did a viability test in a paper towel. Well, it took a little longer than usual (at room temperature) but 18 out 20 seeds sprouted. Last week, I did a viability test on seeds from another ten year-old packet of TomatoFest seeds, this time keeping them at 76 degrees. They started to sprout in only five days. WOW. I guess Gary's and Dagma's efforts in carefully sterilizing, washing, and drying their seeds themselves by hand pays off.
One of the things I like best about Gary Ibsen's TomatoFest is the honesty with which he writes his seed descriptions on TomatoFest.com. At the time of this writing his current description for "Blue Berries - Tomato Seeds" at TomatoFest.com reads something like this, ".... others report that the fruit is luscious, sweet and flavorful, however, my experience is that the fruit of this variety is acidic and tart. Its bitterness masks the sweetness".
That doesn't sound like a very good way to sell those particular tomato seeds, but it's honest. I've never seen that kind of honesty on any other seed company's web site.
For these reasons, and many more, TomatoFest is my favorite seed company, the one to which I compare all others. I am thankful that Gary and Dagma have continued to offer a superior heirloom organic product, and at some of the best prices on the web. Being a small businessman myself, I only wonder how they do it?
After spending hours poring over every tomato description and helpful articles on Tomatofest, I selected my choices - great prices! I received my seeds quickly, and was surprised to see Gary included a bonus tomato variety seed packet for free. I will definitely purchase from them again, and can't wait to see how my tomato garden does this year!
ondebyu Lake Charles, LA (1 review) January 4, 2016
I am very pleased with the seeds I received from these people and when needed again I will purchase from them. A+++++++++++++++++++ service
pghheirloom Gibsonia, PA (Zone 6a) (1 review) January 3, 2016
I have ordered from Tomatofest.com for many years now. Their seeds are very price competitive, always delivered in a timely fashion and most importantly...produce incredible heirloom tomatoes! I'm a better than average gardener, but not an expert in any sense, yet their seeds always are productive for me. I annually have plants grow to above 8 feet tall from pin-head sized seeds! Selection of seeds is awesome and each year I find a few rare varieties that cannot be found elsewhere. I would strongly recommend using Tomatofest.com as your heirloom seed vendor of choice.
TomatoFest.com is a fantastic company to deal with. The seeds have a very good germination rate and if there is ever a problem, they will send you a new seed packet. Each year I order dozens of varieties of tomato seeds and, due to fabulous customer service, now get all of the available seeds on my wishlist from them. Each time I have a question or problem, Gary responds very quickly to help or resolve. It is rare to be helped by someone so knowledgeable about the product!
Posted on November 26, 2012, updated August 18, 2015
Their Henderson\'s Winsall seeds I bought this spring, was not the real Winsall. The plants from their seeds are tree like, with only 3-4 Mal-formed tomatoes per plant. I\'ve raised winsall for years and those from tomato fest are not the real thing. On August 18th, 2015, jeffroky changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
Sorry long time since my last post, been out of pocket last
couple of years, but I want to update my post on tomato fest, want to change my comment to positive, seems a blight was the cause of my problem not the seeds, So I want to apologize to Gary & Every one, I was wrong,
Please forgive. Company representative comment on November 29, 2012: On Nov 29, 2012 6:47 PM, TomatoFest.com responded with:
I'm puzzled by this posting. I tracked down this person's seed orders from us (1/2012 and 8/2011) and no Henderson's Winsall was ordered from us. (He did order the Winsall variety.) I've personally planted and harvested Henderson's Winsall for the past few years and found that the plants performed well in producing moderate to very good crops of fruit, that appeared to be true (and delicious). I've not seen similar plant/fruit qualities he has described. The seeds I harvested would have been the same seeds that would have been sent any of our customers this past spring. Upon seeing this complaint, I emailed jeffroky with this information and expressed my regret for his disappointment and reminded him that had he contacted me when he first thought our seeds were at fault, I would have responded to him immediately to respond to his concern. I also reminded him that I guarantee ALL of our seeds. If he was speaking of our Winsall seeds then I suspect that the seeds in his pack might have been damaged prior to planting (If he planted the Winsall he ordered 8/11, their vitality might have been compromised during storage before planting in spring of 2012. I sent jeffroky 2 packs of Henderson's Winsall with the expectation he will produce fruit to his satisfaction this year. I will also be tracking the performance of this variety in my 2013 planting. (Note: I do not question this person's expertise and appreciate that he has ordered many other varieties from us that appear to have been successful. BTW, I have had no complaints from any of the 912 customers who ordered Henderson's Winsall in the past 2 years.)
Posted on July 9, 2015, updated July 9, 2015
I have used this company for 3 years now and will not use them again. I have had numerous problems with incorrect tomato seed varieties being sent. Gary at tomatofest has finally responded to my emails(after numerous attempts) and his final email was very sarcastic. I would say he doesn\'t care about his quality control when It comes to his heirlooms seeds. I even had taken the time to send him some pictures of the variety problems. And his response was that he couldn\'t understand my question. I clearly stated that my Red Brandywine tomatoes were small round and yellow, and my Prudens Purple were red with yellow streaks. Not to hard to understand that these were the wrong seeds sent out from his company. If he does respond to my negative comments. I will be reposting my reply with all of our emails sent to and from, so everyone can see his responses to my inquiries. NOT A COMPANY YOU WANT TO BUY FROM! On July 9th, 2015, harleyman57 changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
Gary from tomatofest has since contacted me in regards to my comments. While everything I wrote was accurate, Gary did on his own, apologize and said he would resend my order in full. I will give a few of his seeds a chance next year in my garden. Gary, I do hope to rebuild confidence in your company.
At 5:07pm on May 9, 2015, I sent the following email to Tomato Fest, (firstname.lastname@example.org):
I live in Manassas, Virginia which is USDA zone 7a. Do I still have time to sow and grow your determinate seeds?"
After 3 days without a response, I sent a copy of my first email along with the following on May 12, 2015 at 11:31am:
"This email was sent on may 9, 2015 at 5:07 PM. I am yet to get a response. That is shameful!."
"The following review appeared on the Dave's Garden website:
'On Jan 4, 2010, ncseedsaver Charlotte, NC wrote:
I had a question I emailed to tomatofest and received a reply on a Sunday evening within hours.
Service was excellent, I expect the germination of the seeds will do just as great as the service I received.
Extremely happy doing business with this company!'
What has changed between Jan 4, 2010 and now?
Up to the time of writing of this submission, I have not received a response from Tomato Fest. Needless to say, the small window of opportunity I had to grow determinate tomatoes is now gone.
Excellent selection, quick shipping, reasonable prices, and a bonus pack of seeds included. I ordered 5 different varieties. All had a very high germination percentage and all seedlings have grown well.
hugobee Montreal, QC (Zone 5b) (2 reviews) March 25, 2015
I have ordered from Tomatofest for a few years. I love their selection and their service is very good. I have had generally great germination with their seeds. I only wish their packaging were different, with a description and photo of the tomato, but they always give a surprise pack and I have no complaints!
BarbK_FL Indialantic, FL (8 reviews) March 3, 2014
Excellent - If you are looking for tomato seeds, I don't see how they could do any better. Besides hundreds or individual packs, he sells a variety of collections for specific climates and growing conditions.
I bought one of the collections, tropical for container gardening - this is my exact situation. All of the varieties were new to me except one that I purchased elsewhere. I asked for a substitution from the other hot/humid collection. Not only did Gary provide the substitution, he also included the original pack and an additional free pack.
Reasonable shipping cost and fast shipping too. Received order in < 1 week.
You cannot find a website with a greater variety of heirloom tomato seeds. Over a 3 year run, I had about a 90% success rate from seed to successful transplant. You can spend hours lost among the tomato varieties, but can also just drop Gary an e-mail with your grouping conditions and he will make some recommendations.Spending time among the tomatoes is fun on cold New England nights. Like others, I always enjoy the bonus packet. I like surprises and the result is some very tasty tomatoes. The growing information on the website is great in terms of both content and presentation. I look forward to 2014's crop. By the way, I always distinguish between price and value. Tomatofest provides great values for the price. When 4 packets, plus the bonus can lead to 125 healthy tomato plants in the garden for around $20 for seeds, that is great value!! Yes, and service has always been first rate.
Eric_OH Columbus, OH (Zone 6a) (55 reviews) December 15, 2013
As a long-time home grower of tomatoes from seed (including many heirloom varieties) I was glad to find TomatoFest's website. However I can't do business with a company that promotes inaccurate and misleading health and scientific information in order to sell its products.
For instance, TomatoFest claims that the lycopene found in tomatoes is "nothing short of amazing, has proven to reduce the risk of prostate cancer in men, is a powerful inhibitor of breast and cervical cancer in women, reduces the risk of lung cancer"
The reality is that lycopene is not "proven" to lower risks of any cancer in humans (clinical trials have shown inconsistent results, and as a result the FDA does not allow companies to make claims of reduced cancer risk in selling lycopene supplements).
TomatoFest, like several other heirloom seed companies makes a big deal out of not selling GMO varieties. But I know of zero GMO tomatoes on the commercial market, much less any sold to home gardeners, so this is an empty marketing ploy (a separate issue is TomatoFest's claim of testing every variety it sells to ensure no genetic modification has taken place (with 600 varieties, one wonders how they afford to do such extensive genetic testing and stay in business).
Although maybe the expense of whatever testing they actually do explains why they require a $15 minimum order.
Posted on November 23, 2012, updated September 24, 2013
I can say unequivocally the I would recommend Gary Ibsen's tomatofest.com w/o any reservations whatsoever. Gary took my info and recommended, for example, that I try Chocolate Stripes and Amish Paste. They were outstanding!
I found the true Porter's Pride tomato and when the temps here in suburban Philadelphia hovered around the 97 degree mark for nearly all of July, I got tomatoes!
His quality control is second to none. I have never received any corrupted seed as has happened with other companies.
If you're growing tomatoes, get your seed from Gary Ibsen and tomatofest.com. You will NOT be disappointed!On September 24th, 2013, Hisflyingtune added the following:
Initially, I thought that Tomatofest seed prices were high. Now, I believe that that are "a steal." For 2013, germination rates were nearly 100% ! I planted 26 varieties of tomatoes and a total of 217 tomatoes. I sold ALL of my excess plants. Absolutely EVERYONE with whom I spoke said that their plants produced extraordinarily well. All of the seed was purchased from Tomatofest-Gary Ibsen/Dagma Lacey. If you consider that, here in suburban Philadelphia, organically grown heirloom tomatoes cost anywhere from $3.99/lb. to $6.99/lb., I could not do better in the stock market for ROE. The return on investment is anywhere from 300 to 1 up to 700 to 1. Again, ALL of the seed was true and there was NO corruption whatsoever. I am now the official "groupie" of Tomatofest. I'm not anywhere near to being finished harvesting this season's tomatoes and, already, I can't wait for next Spring. If only I could find other vegetable seeds of Tomatofest's quality!!!
Early this year (2013) I ordered seeds for several varieties of tomatoes from TomatoFest. I received them all very promptly, plus bonus seeds just for ordering! After I had sown all of them only one variety didn't germinate. I contacted Gary and asked if this variety (Lollipop) had a different germination time. He responded immediately and sent me another packet of Lollipop, PLUS more free bonus seeds. The 2nd batch did indeed germinate 100%. Now I've got Tomato City all over my property. I love the TomatoFest website and the service they provide. All the plants I ordered seeds for are growing well now and I look forward to future business with TomatoFest.
I an placed an order with Tomatofest.... naturally was like a kid in a candy store.. placed order.. then realized.. that did not order the centerpiece variety. I wanted.. contacted Gary.. he was so helpful. made my day and hopefully.. my tomato year.. In this world of computer generated service and corporate guidelines.. What a joy to get some good ole down home.. we really wanna help you service.. I sing his praises.. and am sure.. that his partner.. Dagma.. makes him that way..lol Thanks again.. was a pleasure to do business with you.. Dwheel Ky
soldiersong North Plains, OR (Zone 8a) (13 reviews) May 15, 2013
I purchased seeds four years ago. My greenhouse collapsed in a record snowfall, so the seeds just stayed in the refrigerator in our basement, which is rarely used. I forgot they were there. This Christmas my wonderful husband bought me a new greenhouse. It did not get finished until April. I remembered the seeds and thought, what the heck, its so late now I can't start anything, so I might was well toss these seeds in soil and see what happens. I planted out the seedling today. Four years in the refrigerator, late start - many healthy plants. No, they did not all germinate, but I didn't expect any, and got at least 50% on both varieties. Impressive, I think!
This year I am trying to go completely sustainable and happened upon the Tomato-fest company. I have to say that their informational pages were great on the differences in starting seeds for heirloom varieties versus starting hybrids. I ended up ordering 9 packets of seeds and got the seeds in less than 4 days with an extra packet of seeds for trying them. I planted all the seed packets (25 to 30 seeds per packet on average). From the beginning I noticed that when the seeds came up they faded in the beginning but going back and looking on the website again I knew that the water needs for heirlooms was different than hybrids and was able to adjust accordingly. I had between 20 and 28 seedlings grow from each packet of seeds and survive their first transplanting into 6packs from the starter trays. The seedlings are thriving now in my greenhouse under full spectrum lights and are growing well. I am looking forward to getting the seedlings in the garden this year and seeing how they produce. Great company and a great product. I will definitely be ordering other varieties again.
I ordered 8 varieties of old fashioned reds from Tomatofest, and had terrible germination rates. 3 varieties topped out at 50%, three had 20%, and the other 2 had 0% germination.
I emailed Tomatofest from their "contact us" link, and expected not to hear back for a long time. To my surprise, I got an email 3 hours later, stating that they would re-send my whole order no questions asked.
The second order came quickly, and the second batch of seeds germinated flawlessly. Gary suggested that the first batch may have been fowled during shipping or storage. I think he was right.
This is what customer service is all about! Now to see how the plants perform over the course of the season.
Bottom line, this is a top notch company that deserves your business.
Wetauser Chonburi, Thailand (1 review) February 17, 2013
When the first set of the tomato seeds had not been delivered by the Thai postal system after three weeks, they sent me a new batch without any hassle and refused any further payment when the two seed orders both turned up together.
Now after four days I am seeing the first seedlings germinate and looking forward to tasty tomatos from their Tropical hot and humid collection,
egraham Los Angeles, CA (1 review) February 12, 2013
I have only great things to say about the customer service I have received from TomatoFest! My first order with them never made it, vanished into the US Postal System, but Gary at TomatoFest promptly and graciously re-sent my order without hesitation. I am very much looking forward to a bountiful crop and will order all my future tomato seed through them, just because they treated me so nicely!
ganesha St. Catharines, Canada (4 reviews) February 11, 2013
Totally positive. Terrific Website, tons of information, great germination rate and plants, good seed count and good prices. Fast service and we live in Canada (shipped our first large order in 2 packages to get it across the border more efficiently). Ordered from them again this year same great service. Have recommended them to friends. They are total pros!
drthor Irving, TX (Zone 8a) (8 reviews) January 20, 2013
I ordered at least 10 different seeds varieties from this company.
The germination was so poor: only 25%.
I had about 90% germination success with seeds planted at the same time from other companies.Company representative comment on January 20, 2013: On Jan 20, 2013 5:11 PM, TomatoFest.com responded with:
Such a poor germination rate for the whole of his 10 varieties would indicate that some damage occurred either in the delivery or storage of his seeds. We find no record of having any seed customer from Irving TX, where this gardener says he is from, in order to review these varieties. In that part of the country it's possible that seeds in storage could have been exposed to conditions that would have compromised the seed quality. Generally our customers would alert us personally if they had ANY difficulty with their seeds, since our seeds are guaranteed for quality. But we have not been notified. Had we been notified, we would have immediately sought to find the source of the problem and replaced his order in full, regardless of the reason for the germination problem. We've even replaced seed, when the "dog ate my seeds," or "my seeds were lost in the flood before I had the chance to plant them, or " the seeds I bought from you 6 years ago and stored in my garage didn't germinate."
mbowoade Lethbridge, Canada (7 reviews) January 12, 2013
I ordered 5 exciting varieties of tomatoes from Tomatofest, they were shipped within a few days, and I received my seeds within a week. As I live in Canada, this is fantastic! And I got a free packet of seeds, amazing. I love the website, and the incredible variety of tomatoes available. The only downside is that I can't grow them all! If I have positive experiences with germination and growth, as I believe I will, I will definitely order from them again.
In 2012, I ordered a dozen freaky colored tomatoes from tomatofest, and several giant types. The germination was great, I was giving away seedlings to anyone whose car was unlocked. The plants produced early and well. This was a bad year in western Oregon, it rained and was cold until July, but 2 giant varieties produced several 24 to 30 oz tomatoes, the first time in 10 years at our elevation. Just big robust plants--good bloodlines. I hope for similar outcomes this year.
I was very pleased with my Tomatofest.com experience. I had 95-100% germination rates and my tomato plants are 7-8 feet tall. I was very pleased with the selection of tomatoes and the shipping was very quick. There is a $15 minimum order, but if you are ordering a several varieties, it is worth it. I will be ordering from Tomatofest.com again.
mesimarja minneapolis, mn, United States (2 reviews) September 21, 2012
Excellent organic tomato seed source with equally great customer service. Tomato envy: there are so many offerings for tomatoes you have probably never heard of but wish you had the space to grow. Will go to them every time for quality seeds.
I ordered from TomatoFest for the first time in the fall of 2011. I was very pleased with the enormous selection of heirloom seeds, plus the ordering process was easy and delivery time was good. Give this company a try.
Smallie Feeding Hills, MA (Zone 5b) (1 review) February 27, 2012
Posted on February 27, 2012, updated February 27, 2012
Placed an order and it was delivered quickly and everything arrived as ordered! Great site to order from! A++++On February 27th, 2012, Smallie added the following:
After sowing the seeds i recieved from TomatoFest and after germination, there was a noticeable difference in the germination rates compared to the seeds i had purchased elsewhere!Another bonus was the seedlings/plants were bigger,stronger,and out produced any seeds/plants i had purchased elsewhere too! You can tell when a company takes pride in their product and service,and TomatoFest far outshines the others,and they provide all the information you need as a novice to veteran Tomato Farmer too. Highly Recommend TomatoFest!!!!
Gary Ibsen's TomatoFest.com is surely a place worth considering when it comes to heirloom tomato seeds. My experience has been exceptional. Check it out for yourself!
Here is my response to him just recently:
I just want to say that the seeds you sent me last year, which was my FIRST EXPERIENCE with you and your tomato seeds.....WERE TOTALLY AWESOME! I really mean that!!! I live in Pennsylvania and you not only gave me sound advice and wisdom about the questions I asked you concerning the varieties I was requesting to grow and how would they do, etc., but I am so glad that California grown plants like it here in Pennsylvania just as much (at least I hope so:):):) SMILE!
My last comment would be that if possible, I wish I could show you a picture or two to validate just how nice these tomatoes proved to be. You will not be disappointed.
Gary has a guarantee that he also stands by. Happy Gardening.
bbll65 cassinetta di lugagnano, Italy (1 review) December 31, 2011
I growth tomatoes starting from seed for 15 years. I bought from TomatoFest first time this year 6 + 1 free varieties. I shall report that almost 100% of seeds germinated, plants growth healty and produced as per description (except for some large size, but probably it was due to my mistakes). I absolutely got the best result I had until now with tomato seeds! Finally TomatoFest is a serious company. TomatoFest offers in very professinal but friendly website a wide selection out of the few and often unqualified hybrid varieties we can found in the garden shops. TomatoFest is the heaven for tomatoes lovers! Thank you TomatoFest!!!
I ordered seeds in March and started them inside. Their seeds rapidly took off! Put the seedlings into my garden in April. I have never seen such prolific plants! My Tiny Tim is full of baby tomatoes and blooms. My Italian Tree (which I believe was a freebie) is incredible! Has grown to 5 ft. tall already and is HUGE and still growing! I have never seen anything like it! ! Full of blooms and tomatoes already. I am SO pleased with this company and will readily order seeds again.
susybell Vancouver, WA (Zone 8a) (20 reviews) April 28, 2011
I ordered a number of packets from Tomatofest this year and started a bunch of seeds. I was very surprised to not get the greatest germination-all my other tomatoes did great. So, I wrote to ask if there had been a problem or if the varieties I started were known to be slow. To my surprise and delight I very quickly received a fast reply saying that there hadn't been any other reports but that just in case he was sending me new seeds. He sent packets of all three seeds I'd asked about--AND two extra varieties as a bonus!! Wow! Talk about customer service. I've since read that the black varieties can sometimes be harder to germinate than others. I also didn't choose priority shipping so the seeds were sent first class mail-and not in a bubble envelope-which could mean the seeds were damaged when cancelled-I won't do that again! In any case, I'm very pleased with the company-the seedlings are growing well and seem happy. Their selection is great and shipping was very fast both for the original order and my replacements.
colchie Vashon, WA (Zone 8a) (12 reviews) April 27, 2011
Awesome choice of tomatoes! The seeds arrived so quickly I barely had time to get potting soil. Terrific germination.
Now if we'd get some sun.....!