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Old January 4, 2017   #1
Nan_PA_6b
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Default Newly Discovered Heirloom Currant Tomato

Hi,
I've been entrusted with seeds of an heirloom currant tomato which has never been available. I need help & advice on getting it out there & known. Here's the story behind its discovery:

Currant Tomato "Post Office Spoonful"

When she was a girl, Pittsburgh folk singer Cathasaigh encountered a very old man planting tomato plants in front of a post office. The man explained that seeds of these tomatoes had been brought over by his grandmother from Italy. He was getting too old to garden, so he planted his last seedlings in front of the post office. It was his hope that people would taste the tomatoes, like them, and plant the seeds so this wonderful tomato could continue. His term for the currant tomatoes was "spoonfuls." Cathasaigh tasted, liked, and planted the tomato for years, naming it "Post Office Spoonful".
-----------------------------------------
When she moved, Cathasaigh (that's her full, legal name) gave her seeds to me to grow & pass on. I just received the seeds, but they were harvested in 2008. I have about 220 seeds that I can give away, reserving the rest for myself. I have never seen, tasted or grown this plant before. It's indeterminate, productive, with fruit the size of a pea, produced in clusters. It self-sows. Cathasaigh & her mother at first wondered why anyone would grow such a small-fruited tomato --until the moment they tasted them!

Is anybody interested in getting some seeds, growing these, and distributing seeds to others? Is there anyone in particular on this forum to whom I should be offering seeds? I suppose I'd also like to receive production data back from anyone who grows the seeds: days from plant-out to first ripe tomato, taste description, productivity, and any anecdotal evidence of disease resistance/susceptibility. (e.g., if you have any disease show up in your plot, which disease, and were these POS's the first plants to contract the disease? Or were they the last plants standing? etc.)

Carolyn137's technique for germinating older seeds can be found here:
http://www.tomatoville.com/showpost....79&postcount=6

PM me with seed requests. I'll need your address to mail seeds. If I get extra seedlings, I can deliver them to anywhere in a 50 mile radius of Pittsburgh PA. I can also get seedlings to a particular spot near Albany NY, and if CHOPTAG has a plant swap this year, I would be willing to bring some to the Cincinnati area.

If you receive seeds or plants from me, please promise to pass along seeds from your harvest to others. Let's get this heirloom out there.

Nan

Last edited by Nan_PA_6b; January 4, 2017 at 04:15 PM.
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Old January 4, 2017   #2
KarenO
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Sounds like a nice tomato. I wonder if it is the same though as a known heirloom currant tomato called "spoon"
Spoon tomato is also another term for currant tomato. Not trying to say yours is perhaps not unique but it may be a known variety.
Growing it out will help to know, especially by folks who ha e grown a lot of currant tomatoes.



KarenO

Last edited by KarenO; January 4, 2017 at 04:59 PM.
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Old January 4, 2017   #3
carolyn137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenO View Post
Sounds like a nice tomato. I wonder if it is the same though as a known heirloom currant tomato called "spoon"
Spoon tomato is also another term for currant tomato. Not trying to say yours is perhaps not unique but it may be a known variety.
Growing it out will help to know, especially by folks who ha e grown a lot of currant tomatoes.



KarenO
Karen, I agree with you and Spoon is NOT the name of a variety,rather,Park Seeds showed the wee ones in an actual spoon. It's a red currant tomato which are common.

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1330959/#b

Hope that helps,

Carolyn
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Old January 4, 2017   #4
Nan_PA_6b
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I guess we'll need to have its characteristics compared to other currants. Are there any currant tomato gurus who ought to get pictures/seeds/plants/fruit to help with that?

Nan
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Old January 4, 2017   #5
KarenO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carolyn137 View Post
Karen, I agree with you and Spoon is NOT the name of a variety,rather,Park Seeds showed the wee ones in an actual spoon. It's a red currant tomato which are common.

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1330959/#b

Hope that helps,

Carolyn
a number of sites offer seeds of a tomato called simply `spoon` Carolyn.
this one for example, there are others from several reputable seed sales site as well as somebody on amazon.comKarenO

http://www.tradewindsfruit.com/spoon-tomato-seeds

Nan, what year would you say the post office planting took place, that would rule out quite a long list of more recently bred currant tomatoes with known sources.

Last edited by KarenO; January 4, 2017 at 06:46 PM.
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Old January 4, 2017   #6
Nan_PA_6b
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Timeless Tomatoes says Spoon is from South America.
http://www.timeless-tomatoes.com/spoon.html

Nan
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Old January 4, 2017   #7
heirloomtomaguy
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Pm sent thanks
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“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it."
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Old January 4, 2017   #8
retiree
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Default re your seeds

PM sent.
Thank you.
Neil G.
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Old January 5, 2017   #9
Nan_PA_6b
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenO View Post

Nan, what year would you say the post office planting took place, that would rule out quite a long list of more recently bred currant tomatoes with known sources.
The post office planting was 1999. Also the seeds came from Italy, which should eliminate the South American varieties.

Nan
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Old January 5, 2017   #10
oakley
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It is worth a grow-out. Likely the same known? Only one way to find out.
If it turns out better than ones i've grown in the past, i'm in and will give it a good spot to thrive.

pm sending...
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Old January 5, 2017   #11
carolyn137
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For Karen and nan

Karen,yes,I know that there are many places that got Spoon,no doubt,from Park seeds initially, as I did myself,or elsewhere but it's still a tiny red currant tomato, Lycopersicon pimpinellifolium.

Nan,yes,originally it was from South America, all 14-15 species of Lycopersicon were from there.

Lots of wild red currant ones were spread by Spanish missionaries from Mexico along the Gulf Coast.

I think this link will help a lot.

http://www.landscapeimagery.com/tomato.html

Carolyn,who does think,as she noted in her first link that perhaps some might consider growing Sara's Galapagos since red currant ones did go from S America to the Galapagos islands.

http://tatianastomatobase.com/wiki/Sara%27s_Galapagos

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Old January 9, 2017   #12
oakley
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Got the seeds, thanks.
Just might grow Sarah's Galapagos as well. I should have room.
Waking up older seed is a challenge but i've done it before.

-thanks for including the story. I've packed them together.
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