- Author: Nancy Forrest
My sister-in-law Sandy has always grown the best heirloom tomatoes ever. We would go to her house in San Jose and the plants would be 6 feet tall. No kidding! She had tons of them, they tasted so good. She recently moved to Washington State. Lucky for us she wanted to keep her heirloom tomatoes in the family. Sandy's heirloom tomato seeds are about 40 years old. I am amazed she trusted me with them.
The story from her neighbor is that the tomato seeds were removed from her home and were smuggled into America when their family migrated here 40 years ago from a small village in Italy. The variety is not exactly known, so they just called them Paesanella (meaning "country peasant girl" in Italian: per Google).
Sandy gave us seeds that we planted indoors for about 6-8 weeks until they sprouted. We transplanted those small pots until they reached about 4-5 inches. We waited until the average outside temperature was about 65F to place in our planter box which gets full sun. When we transplanted, we thinned the seedlings and pinched off the top. Once the plants become sturdy enough, we staked them for support. We have been watering them regularly and fertilizing them as needed.
Below are the pictures were taken at each stage of development. I am happy to report they are thriving and taste delicious.