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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Tomatoes 2011

Inspite of savage balckbirds, half the polyunnel blowing away, and a crap summer we have a pretty interesting selection of tomatoes. As always the Tumbler was the first tomato to ripen here this year. Even in a rubbish summer, this little fellow produces ripe fruit outside in June. We grew some Tumblers outside in pots where they look pretty and provide a passing snack. They are really delicious when left to fully ripen which happens a few days later than they turn red.Below are a selection of the polytunnel tomatoes. The new (to us) varieties, came from Jean Perry of Glebe Gardens. These are Chocolate Stripe, Paul Robeson, (not in the picture because we ate them all) Ananas Noir, Federle and Vintage wine. The others are old favourites whose seeds we had run out of.
I really like both Paul Robeson and Chocolate Stripe, which are red/black beefsteak varieties. Like Black Crimea and Black Russian they seem to manage good flavour, even in cool sunless summers.


  1. Hi Mads. My tomatoes are only beginning to set now, despite being inside a reasonable lean-to and well- kept. I must look into some early varieties again- I don't recall what I have at the moment, and couldn't be bothered going downstairs to find out

    George Salter

  2. Hi Madeline,
    I'm growing some of the longkeeper tomatoes you were selling this year. Any advice on when best to pick them and how to store them as they ripen?
    Many thanks,

  3. Do you sell the tomatoes Madeline? If so I will be there next summer. I usually look forward to returning to France, at the end of the Summer, for many reasons but one really great surprise every year is the number of tomato varieties.

  4. Yes we do Nuala, We have about 28 varieties on the website at the moment and there will be a few new ones going up soon. http://brownenvelopeseeds.com/index.php/shop/#Tomatoes

    @Eoin, sorry i didn't get back sooner about the storage tomatoes. I think they store best on the plants in the tunnel until frost comes. I have hung my plants up to stop things eating them because as soon as the skin is damaged they rot. Last year I put them in drawers with my apples but they didn't keep as long as the year before in the tunnel. I intend to do a trial this year and put some in the apple trays, some on a window sill in the sun and leave some out in the tunnel on the plant. I will keep you posted.