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Heirloom Tomatoes

BRI328 Jul 11, 2012 08:06 AM

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. caganer RE: BRI328 Jul 11, 2012 08:25 AM

    Most farmers markets have someone selling heirloom tomatoes. You can find market locations and dates for markets throughout the area here:
    and here:

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      Bigley9 RE: BRI328 Jul 11, 2012 10:04 AM

      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
        caganer RE: Bigley9 Jul 11, 2012 12:47 PM

        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
          Bigley9 RE: caganer Jul 11, 2012 02:17 PM

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

      2. caga tio RE: BRI328 Jul 11, 2012 10:34 AM

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

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          Adenn1 RE: BRI328 Jul 11, 2012 11:41 AM

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

          2 Replies
          1. re: Adenn1
            cwdonald RE: Adenn1 Jul 11, 2012 11:50 AM

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

            1. re: Adenn1
              jujuthomas RE: Adenn1 Jul 17, 2012 09:32 AM

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

            2. CindyJ RE: BRI328 Jul 11, 2012 06:47 PM

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

              1 Reply
              1. re: CindyJ
                FISHINC RE: CindyJ Jul 13, 2012 01:15 PM

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

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                barryg RE: BRI328 Jul 15, 2012 08:29 AM

                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.

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                  llkm00 RE: BRI328 Jul 15, 2012 09:19 AM

                  Does anyone know of pick your own heirloom tomatoes?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: llkm00
                    CindyJ RE: llkm00 Jul 15, 2012 09:35 AM

                    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.

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                    Kshell RE: BRI328 Jul 16, 2012 08:23 AM

                    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.

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                      borntolovefood RE: BRI328 Jul 16, 2012 10:19 AM

                      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.

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                        Hungryin theBurbs RE: BRI328 Jul 16, 2012 10:41 AM

                        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
                          Kshell RE: Hungryin theBurbs Jul 16, 2012 11:40 AM

                          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.

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                          llkm00 RE: BRI328 Jul 16, 2012 01:40 PM

                          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!

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                            llkm00 RE: BRI328 Aug 3, 2012 11:04 AM

                            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
                              barryg RE: llkm00 Aug 3, 2012 11:50 AM

                              Must have been a really big grilled cheese!

                              1. re: barryg
                                arepo RE: barryg Aug 5, 2012 02:17 PM

                                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
                                doxiemom RE: llkm00 Aug 8, 2012 11:11 AM

                                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
                                  llkm00 RE: doxiemom Aug 8, 2012 01:25 PM

                                  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!

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                                Chefpaulo RE: BRI328 Aug 6, 2012 02:36 AM

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

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