But did you know that organic tomatoes are even more sensitive? If you find a worm in a tomato, chances are that the tomato is organic, otherwise the worm wouldn't have liked it!

Heirloom tomatoes are delicious, yet so sensitive

I've been growing tomatoes for several years now and have learned a lot about them. My main goal has always been to have heirloom, organic tomatoes for my family. Even though I am a city girl, I've always appreciated some delicious heirloom tomatoes, the same as those I used to eat when I was a child. My grandpa always took me to the market with him, which I enjoyed so much. Although I also remember how much we walked in order to reach our destination, because my grandpa preferred it that way, instead of taking the bus. It was something that all the people did in the olden days, but unfortunately, we've stopped doing it. The tomatoes at the market were huge and juicy, always fresh, just picked from the garden and of course, they were heirlooms. Grandpa always searched for the cheap ones which were smaller and sometimes cracked. Those had a lower price, so they could be sold fast, before getting spoiled and altered - or even worse, they would get mushy. They were usually bought for cooking, as they were very ripe. Some of those tomatoes were almost crushed after traveling too crowded in a box.

Bull's heart tomato from my garden and others in the back

Good Old Farmers Saved the Heirloom Tomatoes

Back then, the real farmers were selling their own groceries at the market and they could always control the price. They knew that spoiled tomatoes do not sell, so why charge a high price? And it was also the pride of selling good tomatoes, which made a buyer come back again and again, to buy the same good tomatoes. Of course, the farmers were often losing money, because their heirloom tomatoes were perishable.
The need for a smaller loss when selling tomatoes, brought the necessity of new tomato hybrids, stronger to disease and weather conditions. Many farmers started to grow those hybrids, instead of the heirlooms, which can't resist more than a day in the store or in the market, without getting mushy. Fortunately, many people in the countryside have continued to grow the same heirloom tomatoes in their gardens, by saving the seeds year after year, which they passed on to the next generation. When I first started to grow tomatoes, I asked a friend if she could give me a few heirloom tomato seeds from her parents, who were living in the countryside.

When the Tomatoes Get Too Soft, I Make Juice

It's not easy to grow tomatoes because it takes a lot of work and a few months until I can get the first ripe tomato. And when they start to ripen, they are really ripening fast, within days, while more tomatoes are starting to grow on the vine. Some of the tomatoes are damaged by worms, while others by the tomato blight disease or the fusarium wilt. I throw away the damaged and keep only the healthy ones.

 Blight disease on a yellow tomato on the vine

Since they are huge and growing in clusters of four or five or even more, I need to pick those which are almost ripe, in order to give the vine relief, otherwise it may break. I'm keeping the picked tomatoes inside my pantry in a bowl, covered with a clean cloth until they are well ripe or until they start to get soft and I don't want them to get mushy, because that is how they get if kept in a warm place for too long. When I say mushy, I don't mean the mushiness caused by the tomato blight disease, but the softness from being too ripe. I can save them for a week or so by keeping them in my fridge. But even there they get mushy after a while, that's why I need to make juice every week, after I've gathered enough tomatoes.

Tomatoes Shouldn't Be Kept In the Fridge

They say that keeping the tomatoes in the fridge destroys some of their nutritional properties and alters their taste. Tomatoes need to stay in a warm place until consumed or until they are transformed into juice. I never knew that but now that I know I decided to stop keeping my tomatoes in the fridge, as I know I won't be able to eat all of them anyway, so why keep them, when more and more are ripening everyday?

Giant curled red tomato from my garden

Growing Heirloom Tomatoes Is the Best Choice

I understand the need of having more disease resistant tomato hybrids on the market, but that encourages me more to grow my heirloom tomatoes. I don't sell them, so I don't depend on buyers, just on my time. I can really save money by eating my own tomatoes and all the other vegetables growing in my garden. I can decide if I make tomato juice or a salad, before my tomatoes get mushy. Even if that lasts only for about two months (during late summer and starting fall) there is no other tomato on the market which can compare with the delicious taste of my heirloom tomatoes. For me, growing heirloom organic tomatoes is the best choice. What a satisfaction to take the tomato from the vine and eat it right away!