We grow a variety of tomatoes at Fort Hill Farm from big red beefsteaks, to ugly heirlooms, Italian San Marzano Plums and cherry tomatoes.
We do our best to make sure you get a variety of different tomatoes in your share. You’ll receive some that are ripe and ready to eat when you get them, and others that may need a day or two to ripen.
Storage and Handling:
If your tomatoes are soft to the touch with a light squeeze then they are ready for use immediately. Otherwise you can keep them in a sun free spot on your counter top until they are ready to use.
Please note that tomatoes can be ripe, but still firm. Look for full vibrant color in your tomato. Also note that heirloom tomatoes will ripen quicker than beefsteaks; these should be used first if ripe. Colors on heirlooms vary depending on the variety, see Variety sections below for descriptions.
Store ripe tomatoes on your counter top, out of the sun, for several days. NEVER store tomatoes in the refrigerator. Cold temperatures will begin to denature the tomatoes’ flesh so they become mealy and lose their sweet flavor.
Heirloom Tomato Varieties:
*Farmers’ Note: Heirloom tomatoes are ‘old time’ tomatoes that have been bread specifically for their flavor. They are often lumpy and odd shaped with some visible black ‘hard’ spots. This is NORMAL for heirloom tomatoes.
Brandywine: Amish heirloom variety with medium to large rose-colored fruit, often called the ‘best tasting heirloom around’. These tomatoes are arguably the sweetest.
Cherokee Purple: Tennessee heirloom variety with medium size dusky rose/purple fruit. This fruit will have a green rim around the stem, even when ripe. A sweet, full, and rich tomato flavor with a deep red almost maroon flesh on the inside, quickly becoming one of the more popular varieties of heirlooms.
Striped German: Stunning heirloom variety with medium to large size, yellow and red colored fruits with a green rim around the stem, even when ripe. The yellow and red color offers a lovely marbled effect when sliced. They have a sweet, rich and mildly tangy flavor to rival any heirloom variety.
Paul Robeson: Russian heirloom black tomato with medium to small size fruits and is blackish-red in color. This tomato has extraordinary flavor taking the best characteristics of all the heirlooms and melding it into one tomato. Its’ sweet, meaty, strong tomato flavor make it irresistibly delicious.
Valencia: new this year! Maine heirloom tomato variety with orange colored fruit.
Beefsteak Tomato Varieties:
*Farmers’ Note: Beefsteak Tomatoes were developed to provide the market with a good tasting, firm tomato that’s shippable and stores longer.
Red Beefsteak Tomatoes: we grow several varieties of red round beefsteak tomatoes that we feel have a good tomato flavor and a pleasing texture.
Lemon Boy: new last year! Lemon yellow, medium size, round fruits with a sweet, tangy flavor. These quickly became a staff favorite last year.
Pink Beauty: beautiful rose-colored, medium size, round fruits with a sweet, mellow tomato flavor.
Cherry/Pick Your Own Tomato Varieties:
Sungolds: WOW! These are like candy! Arguably the best tasting cherry tomato around. Golden yellow to orange in color.
Super Sweet 100: large, sweet, red cherry tomatoes with a ‘true tomato flavor’.
Red Grape: small, red, sweet grape tomatoes with a pleasing firm texture.
San Marzano Plum Tomatoes: This is THE classic Italian plum paste tomato with a rich, hearty, sweet tomato flavor. Great for sauce; canning; making paste for canning; soups; and they are excellent slow roasted or fire roasted on the grill.