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Heirloom Tomatoes in November

Last week I bought what I assumed were the last of the heirlooms at a local supermarket. They were fully ripe and I saw no new firmer ones.

Anyway, I go to the same place yesterday, and there is a new selection of firm, freshly picked heirlooms from Emeril.

Where can you grow heirlooms this time of year? Are they being produced indoors?

I'm not complaining - I'm delighted actually - but still puzzled. Are there any heirlooms at farmers' markets these days?


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  1. Where are you? In California a few of our local producers have the last of the crop...

    1 Reply
    1. re: JudiAU

      Actually, I live between California and Mexico (Yuma AZ).

      Back when I was living in CA, I don't think I saw heirlooms in Farmer's Markets this late, but that was nearly 10 years ago before the heirloom boom really exploded.


    2. I just harvested a bunch of tomatoes from my garden yesterday, so I assume farmers in Northern CA still have them, too. But now, with the rain, they'll probably start rotting. Enjoy the last of them!

      6 Replies
      1. re: Glencora

        I still have Yellow Brandywines and Black Princes on my Berkeley plants. Some have seen better days, but there are still some green ones. We had a very long rainy season this year and that might have extended the growing season. Seems like they came in late this year, but are still producing.

        1. re: chocolatetartguy

          California also had a very, very hot early to mid-summer. During the 6 week heatwave in June and July, my tomatoes did not set any fruit, then started setting in mid to late July, thus leaving me with lots more late fruit than I usually have. I still have quite a few tomatoes on my plants as well, here in Los Angeles.

          1. re: DanaB

            I guess I'm a freak, my Brandywines have fruited and now are setting flower again.

            1. re: Das Ubergeek

              With the 80 degree weather we've been having in LA the past few days, I'm not surprised!

              1. re: DanaB

                Exactly... last monday was HOT and the tomatoes we bought in the Farmer's Market were WONDERFUL!! :)

                I'm thinking about making a Caprese for Thanksgiving if it holds out at long! :)


                1. re: Dommy

                  Sometimes I hate living in New York.

      2. My guess is they are from CA or FL. But there are techniques for ripening green tomatoes from end of season cleanup, so they could theoretically be local and just now ready to sell.

        The last of my persimmon tomatoes are finally ripening now - it's like summer all over again! Not as good as vine ripened, but way better than anything I could get at the market.

        1. You can grow almost anything in a small properly equipped greenhouse.

          1. There were a very few at one of the stands at our farmers' market here in Bloomington, IN early last Saturday morning. They looked pretty anemic, though, so I passed.

            1. Fall tomatoes are still producing strong in south Louisiana. I bought a basket of creole tomatoes this week at the farmer's market. Our night temps are still above 50 degrees, so the plants will continue to set fruit until the lows consistently dip below 50 for an extended period (may not happen until late January). Daytime temps range from cool to damn hot (85) this time of year.

              But, hothouse tomatoes are available year-round, of course.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Hungry Celeste

                Are creole tomatoes an old variety? They sound interesting

                1. re: Glencora

                  Creole tomatoes are really just any tomato grown in and around south Louisiana...the alluvial soil & climate provide the flavor more than any specific variety. I've heard of an old, open pollinated variety some call "creole" as well as a recent hybrid also called creole, but Celebrity, BetterBoy, Beefmaster, and late summer tomatoes like SolarSet and Florida are all routinely sold under the moniker "creole".

              2. Some of Emeril's heirlooms come from Hollister. I went to the SF Ferry Plaza farmers market, which features a lot of central coast and central valley growers, and Sebastopol's local last weekend and there were tons of tomatoes available alongside fall fruits and vegetables. Also green tomatoes offered for sale. Very late season this year. Talked to the Oh! tommy Boy's dry farmed potato guys who said they were 2 months behind schedule on being able to plant due to the heavy spring rains. Some vineyards are more than a month behind typical harvest schedule, still some wine grapes hanging out there to get to normal ripeness.