Oneda's German Tomato
Origin: Lexington, Kentucky
Improvement status: Cultivar
Seeds per packet: ~35
Germination tested 12/2020: 70% (below standard)
Life cycle: Annual
EFN INTRODUCTION. NEW. If you're looking for a huge, delicious, productive, crack-resistant, heirloom beefsteak tomato, you've come to the right place! EFN co-founder Nate Kleinman picked up seeds for this beauty at the great Appalachian Seed Swap in Pikeville, Kentucky, from a teacher and seed saver named Rita Milburn. The packet the seeds came in said "Oneida German," which intrigued Nate, whose farm in central New York is on the land of the Oneida people (part of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy). As it turns out, that was a misspelling!
Rita got the tomato a few years ago from a woman named Oneda Bain of Lexington, Kentucky (Rita and I have since conversed and decided it's best to call it 'Oneda's German'). Oneda got the tomato from a neighbor in her 80s who said she had been growing the tomato for longer than she can remember. She originally got it from a German-American friend who said the tomato had been in his family his whole life — and he passed away some two decades ago or more. So this is truly an old family heirloom tomato, and we're honored to be making it available to the wider world beyond Kentucky for the first time!
This tomato is beautiful, with a deep-red-pink color, enormous size, appealing shape (often two large lobes, with the slightest amount of ribbing), and on healthy plants. It seems to like heat, but also performed well for Nate in relatively cool central New York. The flavor is vinous and sweet, just as an heirloom tomato should be. The large unripe fruits are particularly great for fried green tomatoes too!
There are tons of heirloom tomatoes out there, so we know you have plenty of choices, but we can say with assurance that 'Oneda's German' will not disappoint.