UC Marin Master Gardeners’ popular tomato market returns after a two-year hiatus at 9 am April 23 (until sold out) at Greenbrae’s Bon Air shopping center and Novato’s Pini Ace Hardware. Choose from 16 varieties that are carefully selected for Marin’s unique microclimates and outstanding flavor. Treasured seedlings are $4 each. Temperatures are warm enough, so you can start growing now. Come early and bring a small box to carry your plants. The markets will be outside and follow appropriate COVID-19 protocols.
Since 2010, MMG have been offering the tomato market (except in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic).
“MMG is thrilled to bring back the tomato market”. Since last fall, volunteers have spent hundreds of hours preparing for the market, carefully selecting the best varieties for Marin and delicately nurturing these prized seedlings,” says Roger Pancoska, 2022 MMG tomato market chair.
Choose from six heirlooms and 10 hybrid varieties (16 plants per customer limit). Expert MMG advisors can help you select what’s best for your microclimate, space constraints and taste preferences.
Other factors to consider: “days” represents the number of days from when you plant the seedling to when fruit first appears, from 55 days (Early Girl) to 85 days (Oaxacan Jewel and Black Beauty); “container” indicates the nine varieties suited to containers (5 gallons or larger works best); and “cool” designs the nine varieties that thrive in cooler, coastal climates.
Heirloom tomatoes come from seeds at least 50 years old, handed down through generations of growers, and valued for taste, unusual markings, color and shape. From smallest (cherry) to largest (beefsteak), choose from these heirloom varieties:
• Jaune Flame. Sweet and tart cherry from France with clusters of six to eight apricot-colored fruits, 3 to 4 ounces; 75 days; container; cool
• Japanese Black Trifele. Pear-shaped with green-streaked shoulders deepening to a darkened, nearly black base; 4 to 5 ounces, meaty with complex, rich flavor; 75 days; cool
• Carmelo. French variety producing 8- to 12-ounce slicing tomatoes; 75 days; container; cool
• Green Giant. Potato-leaved variety producing 12- to 18-ounce chartreuse green, sweet and spicy fruit; 75 days; cool
• Cherokee Purple. Dark purple 1-pound beefsteak and frequent winner of MMG taste tests; 80 days; container
• Oaxacan Jewel. 1- to 2-pound yellow beefsteak with red streaks and brilliant red marbling inside; juicy, rich and sweet; 85 days
Hybrids are crossbred from different plants, created for a particular purpose (disease-resistance, color or shape). From smallest to largest fruit, choose from these hybrid varieties:
• Rapunzel. A ¾- to 1-ounce cherry with cascading trusses of sweet, bright-red fruit all summer; 70 days
• Super Sweet 100. Prolific cherry producing 1-ounce sugary flavor into the fall; needs to be staked or caged; 65 days; container; cool
• Blush Cherry. Large enough for slicing, small enough for snacking, with radiant golden elongated 1-ounce fruit drizzled with ruby streaks; 70 days; container; cool
• Juliet. All-American Selection winner with long, beautiful clusters of 1- to 2-ounce grape tomatoes on vigorous vines; 60 days; container
• Sun Gold. A 2-ounce sweet-flavored cherry with long clusters of 10 to 15 fruits; needs to be staked or caged; 65 days; container; cool
• Black and Brown Boar. A 3-4 ounce cherry with great flavor, dark earthy tones; 75 days; cool
• Early Girl. Smooth, red-skinned, meaty 4- to 6-ounce good for slicing; 55 days; container; cool
• Granadero. A 5-ounce plum with high yields of excellent flavor red fruit for sauces, paste, salsa and salads; 75 days; container
• Chef’s Choice. A 12- to 16-ounce beefsteak, All-American Selection winner; disease-resistant; 75 days
• Black Beauty. Blue-black, meaty beefsteak reaching 2 ½ pounds with extreme antioxidant content, among the best tasting; 85 days
The market provides funds for MMG educational programs at schools, community gardens, public seminars and education throughout Marin. MMG thanks you for your continued support. For more information about the MMG tomato market, details about the varieties and how to plant and grow tomatoes, go to marinmg.ucanr.edu/ASK_US/EVENTS/TomatoSale.
Sponsored by UC Cooperative Extension, the University of California Marin Master Gardeners provide science- and research-based information for home gardeners. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Attach photos for inquiries about plant pests or diseases or call 415-473-4910 for drop-in hours. Subscribe to the Leaflet, UC Marin Master Gardener’s free quarterly e-newsletter, at marinmg.ucanr.edu