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Aug 12, 2009 01:15 PM

Seeking information on Ontario tomato variety

Hello from NYC. I was raised in London with summers in Port Franks, and fondly remember a type of late-summer tomato my father would get from farm stands near the cottage. It was smallish and pointed at the stem end (so the vertical slice was basically heart-shaped) (my father used to call it the tomato with a nipple, har de har har har). In texture it was closer to a plum tomato than to a beefsteak. It was intensely tomatoey in taste. I have been looking for this tomato all over the States and have enlisted the help of a good friend who is a master gardener (and would be interested in growing these), but have never come up with anything similar. Does this ring a bell with anyone? If so are they still grown? And does anyone know the name of the variety? (Would be wonderful to be eating these this time next year). Thanks much.

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  1. I would suggest contacting Upper Canada Seeds - they might be able to point you toward a similar tomato.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mmmarmoset

      Some large-ish plum varieties look like that. Wait another couple of weeks, though don't be surprised if the selection isn't huge--horrid tomato year.

      1. re: Kagemusha

        Oops - the point is at the BLOSSOM end. It's really not a plum, it's a round tomato with a point on the blossom end, not elongated like a plum. Unfortunately I won't be having any Ont field tomatoes this year, stuck here in NYC. And would really love to find these so I can force my gardener friend to grow them for me next year!

    2. Oxheart? I'm growing them now but they're not ripe yet.

      9 Replies
      1. re: Nyleve

        Maybe so, are they smallish and a true deep red when ripe?

        1. re: buttertart

          They're a medium size tomato, definitely red when ripe (mine are still green) and sort of elongated, with a pointy end and kind of misshapen. I will have to go outside and have another look at them today to give more specific details.

          1. re: Nyleve

            I looked at the tomatoes - still virulently green, but big enough. They're definitely heart-shaped if you look at them from the side. Pointy bottom, medium size.

            1. re: Nyleve

              I think this must be it. The name also rings a dim bell. My gardener pal and I are keeping an eye out for plants for next year.

              1. re: buttertart

                Oxheart plants were very widely available this year. I always browse the Italian nurseries in the spring for interesting stock. Have a look along Keele between Wilson (Galati Bros. has a good nursery outlet) and Steeles (there's a farm stand just north of Steeles along Keele that had some cool stuff). There's also a guy that sells plants on the west side of Keele, just a few blocks north of Wilson beside a barber shop. I've always loved his stuff - plants outside, sausages in big vats inside where you pay.

                1. re: Nyleve

                  I would love to, those places sound fantastic, you're making me homesick for my U of T days in the city - unfortunately I live in Brooklyn and the USDA would frown on transborder plant shipments. I emailed Upper Canada Seeds and David Ackerman answered that the only tomato he knows of that matches the description is the Principe Borghese. Will also look for it (although the likelihood of a posh cultivar being grown at the Thedford Bog is rather slim). Gonna get Oxheart plants for my gardener pal.

                  1. re: buttertart

                    Ohhh - I missed that part about NYC in your original post. Oh well. Seeds should be easy enough to order anywhere. Good luck next summer.

        2. re: Nyleve

          I woudl say it makes sense that an oxheart woudl be heart shapped :-)

          Take a look at this:

          1. re: OnDaGo

            Looks like we have a winner. Thanks all!

        3. Try Vicki's Veggies -- she sells seedlings and runs a heritage tomato festival every year. She's located in Prince Edward County and she really knows her stuff:

          1 Reply
          1. re: Arcadiaseeker

            What about Richter's? They sell thousands of different types of seeds. If you find the seeds you could plant them in barrels. Perhaps it's still not frownworthy in the eyes of the USDA, but at least you'd have the plants grown from seeds and in containers.

          2. Check out Seed Saver Exchange out of Iowa:

            They sell seeds and plants of hundreds of tomato varieties, including several heart-shaped ones.

            1 Reply