Grow Your Own Heritage Tomatoes

Scientists used to refer to it as the wolf peach, from the Latin lyco – the wolf– and persicum – the peach. Its origins can be traced back to the early Aztecs around 700 AD, so contrary to what the Mediterranean cuisine might lead you to believe, this surprising fruit is actually native to the Americas. It was only introduced to Europe during the early stages of colonization in the 16th century. Many, at first, admire its subtle beauty but believe it to be poisonous. Many still argue that still culinary vegetable is a fruit; it is, in fact, the berry of a flowering plant. But it’s not treated as an ingredient for a dessert. In native Nahuati its name means the swelling fruit or fat water. What is it? If you haven’t guessed by now, it’s a tomato. Tomatoes are quite common and might be dull at first, but if you want to bring some excitement to your dishes, you should consider growing heritage or heirloom tomatoes.


Bring out your exciting tomatoes!


What are heritage tomatoes?

If you’re bored of constantly seeing red and round tomatoes in your salads and your sauces, it’s probably because you haven’t yet tried heirloom – or heritage – tomatoes. These varieties of tomatoes are passed down for several generations, making them less common than the commercial varieties that were introduced just before the 1940s. The origins of heirloom tomatoes are blurry as some might be the result of mysterious cross-pollinations or hybrid experimentation on small farming lands. Nevertheless, you can find exciting varieties in yellow, green, dark red or even black hues. Some are small and round like cherry tomatoes, other large and misshapen like the oxheart. In other words, they’re unevenly beautiful.


You need a greenhouse

The main problem with tomatoes is that they need a lot of sunlight and warmth to grow ripe and sweet. If you live in a warm and sunny area, you’ll enjoy growing your own heritage tomatoes in your garden. As these are difficult to find, you will have to rely on homegrown to bring some colors to your meals. For colder regions, you might need to build a greenhouse, using panels to make it sturdier than a plastic alternative. You can even install a smart reservoir to the roots so that the plants receive just the water they need and not more. Indeed, most tomato-related problems occur when gardeners give too much or too little water.


What are they your best friends?

Ultimately, why should you grow your own tomatoes is a question that needs an honest answer. The answer is easy to guess for most parents: Exciting vegetables in funny shapes and colors are easier to feed fussy eaters. As it can be tricky to get children to eat their greens – and yellows, reds, oranges, too –  as discussed on, it’s a good idea to ease their apprehension with a multicolored vitamin bomb. Just imagine preparing salads and sauces with yellow, green, or black tomatoes for a change! Your kids will love it!


Tomatoes might sound like a dull fruit, but there’s a lot of fun to have with heirloom varieties that can add a touch of creativity to your meals and encourage children to eat healthy food too.  


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About Pepper

I am a single working mom, trying to raise my kid the best way I know how. Join me as I navigate my way through the jungle that is Single Mom-hood, armed with rose-colored glasses and strength of spirit. As pepper adds spice to food, so does my daughter add spice to my life. She makes life no less than…PEPPERRIFIC!

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