Italian Paste “Cultural Mix” Tomato

italian piriform 2 2013

Pleated Piriform type

Lycopersicon lycopersicum

Late Season            Indeterminate

This is not a single heirloom variety but rather a “cultural mixing” of at least 4 different paste tomatoes. I received plants for this variety from a local source and understand that these tomatoes have been growing here in northern Indiana for some time, and thus have some degree of “regionalization” already. The original seed was brought to this country from Italy. I was surprised when I grew out the plants and found not one, but five different tomato varieties. All were excellent flavored and quite suitable for processing for paste or sauce. The plants also showed very good disease resistance. The idea of saving seed as a “cultural mix” is not new. Native Americans did this with many of their crops, including squash and corn. It enabled for increased plant vigor by mixing the gene pool a bit, and provided diversity at the dinner table. I do not have any long term experience with these tomatoes, but I was impressed with what I harvested from the first season. I believe it is important to make this “already existing” local variety available as seed for other growers to try.

Start tomato seed indoors 6 weeks before planting outside, after all danger of frost has passed. Space at least 3′ apart. Caging or staking is required to keep plants off of the ground and to provide for good air circulation. I also recommend mulch in order to keep soil moisture consistent and to help avoid dirt splashing onto leaves during heavy rains.

Seed Saving: Isolate varieties of L. lycopersicum 35′ for home use and 50′-150′ for pure seed. This particular varietal mix can be saved as a mix or you can select out specific types for saving as seed.

Cosmonauts in the field

Cultural mix: roma form

Cosmonaut setting fruit

Italian “Cultural Mix”

For sale at stand

Cultural mix: pear form

Italian Paste "Cultural Mix" Tomato
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130 seeds$3.00
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