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Supporting Salad and FIRST Robotics in Herndon, VA.

All photographs below by Jere Gettle, compliments of Baker Creek Seeds.

Ananas Noire

Ananas Noire

Carbon

Carbon

Green Moldovan

Green Moldovan

Great White

Great White

Vorlon

Vorlon

Yellow Pear

Yellow Mortgage Lifter

Umberto Pear Tomato

Umberto Pear

Blue Berries

Blue Berries

Poma Amoris Minora Lutea

Poma Amoris Minora Lutea

San Marzano Lungo

San Marzano Lungo

Green Grape

Green Grape

Cuor di Bue

Cuor di Bue

Ivory Pear

Ivory Pear

Constoluto Genevese

Constoluto Genevese

Scotch Bonnet Pepper

Scotch Bonnet Pepper

Rosita Eggplant

Rosita Eggplant

 

 

 

Our 2014 Sale was the Best!

Thank you all for coming out this year! You helped make this the best sale ever. We still have just a few excellent varieties left, so check our updated list below, and come on out to the Relay For Life Rummage Sale for the last of the Robot Tomato Seedlings.

This has been a big year for us. Nova Labs, a Maker Space Co-op, has come aboard to sponsor our teams with ample workspace and tools for our kids to work on their projects; and we expanded our seedling capacity this year in response to last year's sellout.

Six years ago, we had one team for ten kids. This year, we fielded six teams for kids ages 6 and up. One of our teams went on to compete at States' Championships. Our rookie FTC team won an Innovation award and made it to final rounds in two regional competitions.

Happy Growing!

All proceeds go to Nova Labs Robotics, dedicated to founding and supporting FIRST Robotics teams for young inventors, and introducing them to the excitement of lifelong learning. Thank you for supporting our kids!

Happy Growing,
Beth
grower (at) robottomatoes (dot) org

Our 2014 Varieties

We currently have several beefsteaks in hand, including Cherokee Purple and Kellogg's Breakfast, one of my favorites. Check the lists below for updates.

An asterisk (*) indicates a variety we have grown before in our Herndon garden, and which did very well for us. Germination and growth rates will affect final availability. All varieties are indeterminate unless noted.

Beefsteak and Slicer Tomatoes

These will range in size from 8 oz to 2 pounds. Even the largest types can produce fruit of varying sizes on the same plant. All of these vines are full size and indeterminate; if you want full-sized fruit on smaller vines, check out the Dwarf Tomatoes, below.

Name Color Notes
Ananas Noire*
Tri-Color: yellow, green, & pink See photo, left. Delicious, fruity, 12 oz. One of our family favorites, aka "Black Pineapple" potential for high sugar, can become overripe quickly.
Aunt Ruby's German Green* Green Vines are 4-6', fruit large with an irregular shape, and have high acid for a tart finish. Productive and delicious for us.
Carbon*
Sold Out
Purple or "Black" Contest winner for it's rich, earthy, sweet flavor, smaller vines than Cherokee Purple. I can attest to its deliciousness.
Cherokee Green*
Green, w/ some yellow Mutation of Cherokee Purple, an excellent tasting green for us in 2013.
Cherokee Purple*
Sold Out
Purple An old reliable, dating back to 1800's. Meaty and earthy, my husband's favorite, can be oddly shaped.
Costoluto Genovese
Sold Out
Red Medium sized slicer with a flattened, ribbed shape, dates back to early 1800's Italy, excellent in sauces, "flavor is intense and acidic."
Cuor di Bue
Sold Out
Red 6–10 oz. The name means "oxheart" and that is the shape; a beloved Italian variety, vigorous vines with very good yields. Flavor is said to be excellent.
Dr. Wyche's Yellow Yellow to deep gold 1 lb beefsteaks, with deep flavor more typical of reds. While some growers report high yields, moderate yields are more typical. A Carolyn Male recommendation.
German Johnson*
Sold Out
Pink Vigorous vines, 6-10', 1-2 lb fruit, meaty, lots of happy growers. Recommended to me by Herndon gardeners, and yes, these are awesome.
Great White*
Sold Out
Ivory to pale yellow 12-16 oz. A family favorite, mellow, almost tropical fruit flavor, mild and sweet. My son gets annoyed if I fail to grow at least one.
Green Moldovan Green w/ yellow blush when ripe 6-8 oz green fruit with yellow blush, very good flavor, nice tart/sweet combination, very good reviews on Baker Creek and Dave's Garden. Compact plants, almost a dwarf.
Green Skin Long Keeper green skin, pink flesh 8 oz-- I have not been able to find a lot of info on these, but I love the idea of a slicer that will keep into winter. We will be testing these this year, and plan to offer a few for those who want to try it.
Grub's Mystery Green*
Sold Out
Green, may have golden color when ripe. 8 oz - 1 lb, very productive. Tomatoheads often list this as their favorite green. According to Tatiana's, "outstanding flavor, one of the best green-when-ripe tomatoes I tried." Potato leaf, compact vines.
Kellogg's Breakfast*
Gold to Orange Best overall tomato for us in 2012; disease resistant, huge fruit with small core, few seeds, meaty, rich, fruity, vigorous vines, very productive. I love this one.
KBX
Sold Out
Gold to Orange A potato leaf variant of Kellogg's Breakfast, above. Some growers find this equivilant, some report KBX is superior, with more "zing" and sometimes larger fruit.
Omar's Lebanese
Sold Out
Pink 1–3 lbs, up to 4 lbs with specialty growing techniques used to grow the largest fruit possible, Omar's also gets good reviews for flavor, and is recommended by Dr. Carolyn Male; yields are lower for some growers, but not at Tatiana's.
Pork Chop*
Sold Out
Yellow w/ gold stripes This was the big surprise for us in 2013; they came in early for a beefsteak and produced enough for sauce (I only grew one vine). Fruity, juicy, leaning to the sweet side, delicious.
Rozella Yellow w/ pink center New. Big juicy bi-color beefsteak, a cross of Lillian's Yellow and an unknown variety. Potato leaf vine. Expect this to be sweet.
Solar Flare
Sold Out
Red w/ gold stripes Medium to large slicer, relatively new but early reviews are positive. Bred by Wild Boar Farms, who also gave us Pork Chop, so I am hopeful for this one.
Vorlon*
Sold Out
Purple 8-12 oz, Excellent, classic smokey flavor; I think this is better but less productive than Cherokee Purple, a personal favorite. Named for alien race on Babylon 5. Potato leaf.
White Tomesol Ivory to pale yellow Medium to large slicer. Most whites are fruity and mild, this one is said to taste of lemon; reviewers note high yields.
Yellow Mortgage Lifter Yellow 1 lb beefsteak with very good flavor; dates back to 1940's.

 

New Dwarf Tomatoes

Developed by the Dwarf Tomato Project using traditional breeding methods, these vines are excellent options for smaller spaces or containers of at least five gallons. They are being reviewed as some of the best-tasting tomatoes to be had, and our tests bear this out. They need support; those flimsy wire cages sold at nurseries are not enough. Stake them, and enjoy awesome deliciousness.

Name Color Notes
Dwarf Artic Rose
Sold Out
Pink 3–6 oz, round fruit with "Very good balanced flavor" according to Tatiana's.
Dwarf Wild Fred
Sold Out
Purple 6–12 oz, an excellent-tasting beefsteak with irregular shape. Bred from Carbon.
Perth Pride
Sold Out
Dark Purple 4 oz round fruit on 3 1/2 foot plants w/ rugose leaves; productive,
Rosella Purple
Sold Out
Purple Similar to Cherokee Purple in flavor and size, on a dwarf plant; excellent flavor, rugose leaf.
Summer Sunrise
Sold Out
Yellow Medium slicer on 4–5 foot vines, can have slight blush, "well balanced, full, delicious flavor. The plant seems to be quite disease tolerant and yields quite well."
Summertime Green
Sold Out
Green A remarkable variety, can produce very large fruit (1 lb) on a 3' vine. Check out the description at Tatiana's.

 

Salad, Canning, and Cherry Tomatoes

Perfect for tossing into a salad, serving as a snack, drying, and canning, or pickling when unripe.

Name Color Notes
A Grappoli d'Inverno Red Small plum-shaped fruit in large clusters, good for canning, roasting, and considered an excellent long-keeper. Flavor said to be strong, acidic.
Black Cherry*
Sold Out
Dusky Purple 1-ounce fruit in large clusters. Very popular. Full flavor with a hit of sweetness; some splitting, but that won't stop you from eating them.
Black Icicle Purple 4-inch plum tomato, meaty, productive; vines are semi-determinate. Baker Creek just tested a selection of tomatoes for nutrients, and Black Icicle came out with the highest BRIX rating (for sugars) and the highest potassium levels.
Blue Berries
Sold Out
Red fruit w/ blue skin Small cherry tomato. Anthocyanins are good for you, and this tomato produces the indigo-colored nutrients in the skin. Flavor said to be sweet.
Blush
Sold Out
Yellow w/ pink streaks Shaped like a small plum tomato, 2 inches long. Flavor is sweet, w/ hint of pineapple. Good for drying.
Dr. Carolyn*
Sold Out
Pale Yellow Cherry tomato, known for reliable production and sweet flavor. Produced in a shady area of our garden; some cracking noted.
Green Grape
Sold Out
Gold skin, green flesh 1-ounce fruit w/ spicy, sweet flavor; a Carolyn Male recommendation. Lots of happy growers report great productivity and "tangy" flavor. Allow to ripen till skin is golden.
Green Pear
Sold Out
Green 1 oz pear-shaped fruit, fun in salads, very productive vine, good flavor.
Indigo Apple
Sold Out
Red w/ indigo skin High levels of Lycopene and Vitamin C in recent Baker Creek tests; growers disagree on taste, though Tatiana's likes them.
Ivory Pear
Sold Out
Ivory to yellow 1 oz pear-shaped cherries, mild flavor, good for kids who resist eating vegetables, and fun to grow. High yields.
Michael Pollan
Sold Out
green w/ gold stripes Size varies from 2-5 inches, fruit is elongated and vines are productive. Early reviews look promising.
Poma Amoris Minora Lutea yellow 2–3 oz round fruit, productive vine; fruit is tart, not sweet, good for canning, drying, sauce, and eating fresh. A long-keeper, with a history dating back to Italy, 1533.
Red Fig
Sold Out
Red Larger than most "pear" tomatoes, still considered a cherry tomato. Great reviews for flavor, very productive vines. History uncertain. Great for kids.
Roma
Sold Out
Red Plum-shaped fruit on determinate vines, very productive, most fruit ripens at once, making this an excellent selection for canning or sauce.
Rose de Berne
Sold Out
Pink 6–8 oz round fruit, uniform shape, "Highly recommended - this is one that I will grow regularly for comparing against the flavor of my 'experimental' varieties" according to Tatiana's.
Rose Quartz Multiflora
Sold Out
Pink Cherry tomatoes produced in abundance on aggressive vines. Balanced flavor.
San Marzano Lungo #2
Sold Out
Red 4–inch long plum, with dry flesh that is excellent for sauce, canning, drying; indeterminate vines give continuous production (in constast to Roma, above).
Sungella
Sold Out
Gold to orange Golf ball sized, sweet and tangy fruit in clusters, this is a stable cross between Tangella, an heirloom from England, and Sungold, a hybrid.
Svart
Sold Out
purple/ brownish "3-6 oz. Delicious excellent flavor. Very high yields throughout the season" according to Tatiana's. Little known about their history.
Umberto Pear
Sold Out
Pink 2 oz fruit, better known as King Umberto, dates back to 1885, used in cooking, canning, drying, although at least one grower likes them for fresh eating; balance of sweet and acid flavors.

Peppers, Eggplants, and Basil

Sweet Peppers—Sold Out
Some of us find bell peppers tricky to grow. Check out the tips in this article for advice.
California Wonder*
Sold Out
Classic bell pepper with great reviews for productivity. Ripens red. Disease resistant. Performed well in a pot for us in 2013.
Lipstick
Sold Out
Pimento shape, 2–4 inches long, ripens reds, very sweet. Great reviews for both flavor and productivity, and after three attempts, we finally have plenty to offer for sale.
Tequila Sunrise
Sold Out
A sweet pepper that looks like a hot one, 3–6 inches long, narrow, ripens golden orange. Fruit are bourne upright on plant for a unique, ornamental look, but thick stems make harvesting tricky; allow to fully ripen for best flavor.
Yellow Monster
Sold Out
Big bell peppers that ripen yellow, can be used at any stage; growers list them as a favorite;
Hot Chili Peppers—Sold Out
Mulato Germination failed; we won't be offering this one.
Onza
Sold Out
3 inch long, medium-hot chili that ripens red, plant grows to about 3 feet.
Scotch Bonnet (Yellow) Crop failure; none available this year, sorry.
Thai Red Chili
Sold Out
Very hot, we use these in one of our favorite recipes, so we're growing them. There are several chilis with similar names, they are all prolific. This one ripens red.
Trinidad Scorpian
Sold Out
Yes, it's true. Clocking in at 1.5 million Scovilles, these are hotter than Ghost Peppers. While they have not yet been weaponized (as far as I know), they probably could be. Handle with tongs, or at the very least, with caution. If you happen to accidentally test one, we recommend Mint ice cream as a balm. Ripens red. Low germination rates, just a few available.
Eggplant—Sold Out
Ping Tung*
Sold Out
8–12 inches long, 2 inches diameter, lovely lavendar color, delicious stir-fried. Eggplants are more vulnerable to frost than tomatoes, be aware if you're planting early.
Rosita
Sold Out
6–8 inches long, 4 inches wide, pinkish lavendar fruits with mild flesh, not bitter; great for stuffing, grilling.
Basil, in 2-inch pots—Sold Out
Classico*
Sold Out
Sweet basil traditionally used in pesto. Must have for mozarella-tomato-basil salad.
Napoletano*
Sold Out
Darker, rugose leaves, stronger flavor, stands up to cooking better.

 

Robots Rock!

Additional support from Nova Labs has made it possible for us to expand. Last year, we had a total of six teams: four FLL, one FLL Jr., and one FTC team. Our kids won awards for Robot Design, a Champions Award, and more; The Disorder of the Phoenix competed at the States' Championship in Harrisonburg.

Robots Rock, and so do our kids!

We welcome volunteers and community participation. Contact Nova Labs Robotics to learn more about coaching and mentoring local teams.

Perfect weather for a seedling sale

Thank you for supporting our kids. Happy Growing!