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Heirloom Tomatoes

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Need suggestions on where to buy good heirloom tomatoes? I live in the Western Burbs, but travel throughout the area. Thanks.

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  1. Most farmers markets have someone selling heirloom tomatoes. You can find market locations and dates for markets throughout the area here:
    http://www.farmtocity.org/FarmersMark...
    and here:
    http://www.foodtrustmarkets.org/marke...

    1. Be patient too - heirlooms generally take longer to get to market. A farmer at the 5th and Passyunk market has had them for the last two weeks (tuesday market) but they haven't had them at Headhouse or the FairFood Farmstand yet this year

      2 Replies
      1. re: Bigley9

        I bought some last Saturday from Rineer Family Farm at the Rittenhouse market (they'll be at Suburban Station tomorrow).
        I also just bought some from the farmers who sell on Broad @South St on Wednesday afternoons (and who also sell at the Saturday Rittenhouse market - the Amish family.)

        1. re: caganer

          Realized after I posted that I missed headhouse this past Sunday! Glad to know they are there!

      2. There have been heirloom tomatoes at the Rittenhouse markets on Tuesdays and Saturdays for over two weeks.

        1. Maple Acres Farm in Plymouth Meeting usually has some heirlooms. WHole Foods will also have some soon.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Adenn1

            Whole Paycheck has already had some at their North Wales location. Wegman's is another good bet.

            1. re: Adenn1

              saw heirlooms at Maple Acres last night, $3.50/lb I believe.

            2. I bought a variety of heirlooms yesterday at Pete's Produce in Westtown. They were beautiful and delicious.

              1 Reply
              1. re: CindyJ

                I'll second Pete's. Great selection of local and their own produce

              2. Headhouse Square was overflowing with heirloom tomatoes this morning. Prices were reasonable too--$3.50-4 at most places, even cheaper at the Asian guy's stand.

                1. Does anyone know of pick your own heirloom tomatoes?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: llkm00

                    I'm not a farmer -- I'm hardly even a gardener -- but it's my understanding that heirloom tomatoes are more delicate than more traditional tomatoes and require more care in the picking and handling. If that's true, it's unlikely that a farm that has taken pains to grow heirlooms would want customers in their fields picking them. I "pick my own" from among the assortment in bushel baskets at the produce stand.

                  2. Meadowbrook Farm in Abington Twp. is selling mature potted heirloom tomato plants. They were seeded some time ago and are now flowering and will be bearing fruit soon. I don't have a garden and just put them on my deck in the pots provided with some plant fertilizer. $8 a plant.

                    1. Maple Acres Farm Markets (2656 Narcissa Road, Plymouth Meeting, PA) has them.

                      Stopped by this past weekend and bought some small (size of cherry tomatoes) ones with the coloration of Brandywine. Sliced them into halves, dribbled some La Tourangelle oil on top. They were savored by dinner guests.

                      1. Ok, so I'm curious. When people say they want "heirloom" tomatoes, what's the reason? I ask because there is such a huge variety of heirloom tomatoes--different sizes, colors and very different tastes and textures. Some are incredible, and some I find no better or worse than "regular" tomatoes that are freshly grown, vine ripened, and available at local farmer's markets.
                        (I bought some delicious, but not heirloom, tomatoes just yesterday at the farmer's market in Elkins Park.

                        Is the assumption that all heirloom tomatoes are better? is it the cachet of buying something called "heirloom"? I'm honestly curious.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Hungryin theBurbs

                          From what I understand, they are called heirloom, because the seeds have been passed on over several generations and thus are less of a hybrid than socalled commercial tomatoes. They are generally considered sweeter than regular hothouse versions and are bred for taste .
                          They were once shunned because of their strange shapes and colors. Supermarkets in the past felt that shoppers preferred a more perfect round red tomato and those tomatoes were bred more for looks than for taste and were generally picked green and not ripened on the vine. I have grown both the "regular" kind as well as heirlooms and I find that freshness is more important than looks. There is nothing like eating a tomato just picked from the vine--whether heirloom or not.

                        2. I saw they had some heirloom tomates off to the side, not near the normal tomatoes. I did take advantage of maple acres tomato sale on Sunday (not heirloom,...and not plum..so it will be interesting to see how the sauce turns out). A basked for 15 dollars, they are ripening now so that I can make roasted tomato sauce. I was a member of a CSA a couple of years ago, where I got 50 lbs of heirloom tomatoes for 50 dollars, the sauce that I made that year was so delicious, I am hoping to re-create it!

                          1. Maple Acres Farms has heirloom tomatoes on sale for 1.00 a pound. I went this morning and bought 50 lbs, I made a grilled cheese for lunch and they are delicious!!!

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: llkm00

                              Must have been a really big grilled cheese!

                              1. re: barryg

                                Pete's Produce in Westtown is awesome for Heirlooms. Don't miss the Brandywines -- the premier of heirlooms. They also have their own grown Marai corn. It doesn't get any better.

                              2. re: llkm00

                                Thanks to your tip I canned 50 lbs of heirlooms this weekend, all different varieties, plus have eaten nothing but tomato based dishes since Friday evening...amazing!

                                1. re: doxiemom

                                  That is great..where I'd u get your heirlooms from? What did you can with your heirlooms? Enjoy those tomatoes! I hope they last till frost!

                              3. The famous no-name farm stand on Smith Road down Germantown Pike from Methacton H.S. has an abundance of Heirlooms.
                                CP