Brandywine

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Over the next few weeks we anticipate starting to harvest these lovely looking open pollinated Brandywine tomatoes. One of the best-tasting tomatoes, it's luscious, heirloom flavor was described as "very rich, loud, and distinctively spicy", and "beautifully sweet that is offset by a wonderful acidity". The large fruits have a deep pink skin and smooth pink to red flesh with a beefsteak shape. Even when fully ripe, the tomato can have green shoulders near the stem.

Brandywine is among the slowest maturing varieties of common tomatoes. The plant is distinctive in that it has potato type leaves (smooth and oval with a pointy tip) as opposed to normal tomato looking leaves (jagged and fjord-like). It is also distinct in that it has powered on whilst other tomoatoes around them have been dying with fusarium wilt in our garden. This old 1885 variety is even outperforming those who are supposed to have had fusarium resistance bred into them! An oldie but a goodie!

But, as good as it is, it is prone, like the rest of its kind, to attack from heliothis caterpillars. If you are growing tomatoes at home this season, keep an eye out for these rascals or they will eat their way into the centre of a beautiful tomato and make a real mess of it. Oh the joys....!

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