Draft written by Shannon, posted by her mom, Gretchen.

Mainly for my own edification, and for those people like me who are Googling strange varieties of plants to see what they are REALLY like.


  • Tomatoes:
    • Yellow Pear: always a fave. So freaking productive. Kind of took over some neighboring tomato plants. Started early and kept going late.
    • Amish Paste: AH-mazing. Definitely plant again, probably at least 2 plants next year. Definitely the best for canning. Most ripened around the same time, plus so, so meaty. Terrible for fresh eating, but incredible for tomato sauce/crushed tomatoes.
    • Cuore di Toro- really nice flavor, beautiful. Not crazy productive, but pretty good. Took a really long time to ripen; I think I got too impatient with most and picked them too pink. Big and heavy, would probably plant again.
    • Black Krim/Black Russian- not positive one of these was a Krim, but I think so. Lovely, lovely slicing tomato. Amazing flavor, juicy and delicious. OK for canning, but a bit juicy. Do NOT plant in far corner where the squirrels will get them! That poor plant was just a sacrificial offering to the squirrels.
    • Black Zebra- good, but not a fave. Too juicy for roasting or sauce, too small for slicing, too big to eat like a cherry. Won’t grow again.
    • Back Cherry- OMG. This is Mama’s treat. Really hard to see ripe ones on the vine (plant in a very easy-to-spot place), so usually found them when they needed to be eaten immediately (not terrible). Very prone to splitting when picked too late. SO sweet and juicy, not too tangy. Not a huge producer, which is good when you are eating them all straight off the vine.