Favorite Crop Varieties: Paste Tomato, Pole Beans, Broccoli and Okra

Brook Elliott shares MOTHER readers favorite crop varieties, including Amish Paste tomato, Trail of Tears pole beans, Packman broccoli and Clemson Spineless okra.

| June/July 2003

  • Trail of Tears pole beans.
    Trail of Tears pole beans.
    PHOTO: DAVID CAVAGNARO

  • Trail of Tears pole beans.

MOTHER readers share their favorite crop varieties.

Great taste is one of the biggest reasons to grow your own garden, yet many of the best-tasting varieties are becoming hard to find because our current food system often values shelf life and shipping qualities more than taste and tenderness. MOTHER'S Cream-of-the-Crops series of readers favorite crop varieties presents outstanding varieties recommended by our readers.

"Amish Paste" Tomato Variety

"Amish Paste" is an heirloom tomato from the Amish community in Wisconsin. It's an abundant producer of blocky, pointed, deep-red fruits, often described as "acorn-shaped," "ox heart" or "teardrop." The tomatoes are thick-fleshed, with relatively few seeds.

Often listed as an 8-ounce tomato, they actually are of variable size but have unmistakably outstanding flavor. This variety won first place in a tasting of more than two dozen varieties in this country, and second place in a similar tasting in Australia.



In addition to a rich, full-bodied summer-tomato flavor, "Amish Paste" is an all around tomato, fleshy enough to be used as a paste tomato, tender enough for a salad slicer, yet juicy enough for nice, thick tomato juice. I've tried dozens of tomatoes and rate this as one of the best canning tomatoes available.

Seed is available from numerous sources, including the Seed Savers Exchange [www.seedsavers.org].






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