Origin: Carbondale, Colorado
Improvement status: Cultivar
Seeds per packet: ~20
Germination tested 12/2022: 95%
Life cycle: Annual
Another gem of a tomato from the breeding program of Casey Piscura and Wild Mountain Seeds. Like all of the anthocyanin (blue-purple pigmented) tomatoes, this one has its original roots in the breeding program of the great Jim Myers at Oregon State University. Prior to the release of their 'Indigo Rose' in 2012, gardeners could only grow tomatoes that expressed anthocyanin (a useful antioxidant) in their inedible leaves and stems. Myers and his predecessors, including breeders in the US and Bulgaria in 1960s, worked with wild tomatoes from Chile and the Galapagos Islands which expressed anthocyanin in their fruit. They used traditional plant breeding (not any kind of genetic engineering) to cross the closely-related species. The past decade has seen an explosion in diverse new anthocyanin-expressing tomatoes being released, but while they are very pretty, few of them actually taste good enough to write home about. Casey and the team at Wild Mountain have produced the most notable exceptions we're aware of, and we're thrilled to be offering them to all of you.
Here's what Casey says about this one: "A rare combination of traits that is truly something special. A surprise F1 cross arose out of a wide intermingled grow out of cherry tomatoes on the farm nearly four years ago. We saved the seed and planted it out to check for trueness of type. In the next generation we found that the indigo-orange trait was stable and surprisingly found one plant that produced
“super tresses” of 30+ fruit per set. In 2022 we replanted these supertresses and all plants grew true! The offspring of these plants are what we have available today. The plants are indeterminate and have shown good resistance to disease in the trials at Wild Mountain Seeds at 6400’ elevation. Fruits are crack-resistant and can hold on and off the vine for a ridiculous amount of time. Enjoy this rare discovery from the team in Carbondale, CO."
Limited seed available.
A note on the price of these seeds: There is a lot of talk in the organic seed world about how to properly compensate for the vital work that small-scale, organic, open-pollinated plant breeders are doing. Because, of course, once a variety is released, another seed company can get ahold of it, grow it out, and sell it themselves. This is a complicated debate, but one way to put more money in the hands of the breeder is by pricing unique seeds at a premium upon their initial release. Casey put years into the development of these seeds, and the reality is, once you buy them, you can save the seeds yourself and keep growing these varieties for years to come. We work with all of our seed growers and breeders to set prices that they believe will fairly compensate them — and we believe the price of these tomato seeds is fair for Casey, for us, and for you. Thanks.