100 Heirloom Tomatoes for the American Garden by Carolyn J Male


Summertime means tomatoes, and gardens around the world are filled with them right now. Carolyn Male's book jumps in and introduces the reader to the wonderful world of heirlooms. It is obviously a labor of love for the author and her colorful descriptions make for good reading on a winter day. The format is very readable and both novices and experienced tomato growers will find helpful information in it. Most readers are probably familiar with the Brandywine tomato, but not that there are several distinct Brandywines. There are tomatoes that ripen green, heart-shaped tomatoes and tomatoes from all corners of the earth. Tomatoes originate in the Andes, from the areas now known as Chile and Peru, but this favorite fruit, (yes, it is a fruit) has been embraced by a vast number of cultures. These unique and diverse tomatoes are just a small percentage of what is available to the gardener who wants to grow something a bit out of the ordinary.

ImageThe book gives a good overview on sowing seeds, raising the plants, saving seeds, recognizing and preventing disease, but where it really shines is the detailed descriptions and mouthwatering photographs of the tomatoes themselves. The reader takes a journey through history as Carolyn describes each variety and where it originated, sometimes naming specific families or individuals responsible for preserving these wonderful treasures. If names like Mule Team, Earl of Edgecombe, Kellogg's Breakfast, and Aunt Ruby's German Green fail to tempt gardeners, the accompanying images will most certainly win over any remaining sceptics. For those unfamiliar with the diversity of tomato flavors, there are even detailed descriptions of how each tomato tastes. From buttery-smooth fruity flavors, to the old-fashioned 'acid bite.' There is a tomato to suit every palate.

Carolyn is a valued, long-time member of Dave's Garden and we are quite fortunate that she graciously offers advice to subscribers who visit our Tomato Forum. We appreciate the time she puts in, patiently answering questions and introducing folks to the wonderful world of heirloom tomatoes. We are honored she chooses to be a part of our on-line family. Add your own review and check out the member reviews of her book. You can find this, and other garden titles about Tomatoes, in our Garden Bookworm.