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We breed tomatoes on our small farm, with the help of gardener and farmer collaborators. We are best known for the “Artisan” series of striped cherry tomatoes which were released in the US with Johnny’s Selected Seeds, and are now sold around the world. This kickstarter project is designed to make samples of our newest varieties available to gardeners and growers looking for new cutting-edge tomatoes.
Agi Red is a small red tomato with yellow stripes. It is the first red tomato variety we have released, although we have created hundreds of red varieties along the way, perfecting things as we go. Fruits of this new variety are round, or sometimes slightly oval. Young plants produce “saladette” sized tomatoes (roughly 3-4 ounces or 85-115 grams) — about the size that is nicely cut into quarters for use in salads or other fresh dishes. Mature plants produce large numbers of big cherry tomatoes (roughly 2 ounces or 55 grams).
Agi Red flavor is complex and sweet. Fruits are produced on trusses and they can hang a log time on the vine without splitting, cracking or getting over-ripe. The fruits also keep well after harvest, easily for over a week unless subjected to very warm temperatures.
Agi Red plants are vigorous, disease resistant vines. They routinely reach 7+ feet in height, trellised in our fields.
Like Agi Red, Lucky Agi also starts out producing saladette size fruits and ends up producing large cherry fruits. But Lucky Age fruits are football shaped (American Football). Lucky Agi and Agi Red are the first 2 releases of our anticipated “Agi” series of “baby” tomatoes. Indeed, “agi” is Korean for “baby”.
Lucky Agi fruits also have extended shelf-life, which can be very valuable for small farmers who are trying to manage harvests and supplies.
This past winter we released a new tomato variety called “Green Bee” and it was the focus of a kickstarter project. Green Bee has crazy shelf life, and textures/flavors that are different from the tomatoes we are all used to. It never softens, but develops unique sweet flavors.
Taking one of the two parents of Green Bee, and crossing it with a normally ripening tomato results in varieties — like Agi Red and Lucky Agi — that fully ripen and soften, but at a slower pace. They also hold a bit longer, even when fully ripe.
We are including Green Bee in a reward here, in case you missed last year’s project.
Aleppo peppers are a featured product on our farm. We have grown them for many years, and for the past 3 we have been working to make our Aleppo pepper variety more uniform. We originally got seed for this variety from the USDA seed bank. It is a pepper from Aleppo, Syria and Aleppo pepper flakes are well known in the culinary world.
Ripe red Aleppo peppers are medium heat, and high flavor.
Unripe Aleppo peppers are also great as frying peppers. They are mild most of the time, with an occasional hot pepper to keep things interesting, similar to the more well-known Padron peppers. Most of the Aleppo peppers we sell are actually “unripe” frying peppers, and we often mix them with our Baby Aji Amarillo peppers.
Creamsicle Grape is a true-breeding tomato we created on our farm. It has a very pleasant, sweet fresh flavor, and is like a mini-paste tomato with thick, dry flesh and few seeds.
Creamsicle Grape is perhaps best used as a dried tomato, or as a cooked tomato (halves on top of pizza, for example). The flavor definitely brightens with drying or cooking. Vines are very vigorous and productive. The orange fruits have green stripes that fade to yellow (indistinguishable) when ripe.
There are very few risks associated with this project. Almost all of the seed has been recently processed. Creamsicle Grape seed will be finished in the next week or two. Then we will run germination tests to make sure it is all viable, and that has never been a problem for us before.