This is the first chocolate tomato harvested this year. If the birds do not get to them before we do, there should be many more, along with other types of heirloom tomato goodies. I fell in love once with a tomato called Cherokee Purple, An old Cherokee Indian heirloom, pre-1890 variety; it has a beautiful deep dusky purple-rosy red color and sweet flavor. And so I began to learn more about heirloom plants in general, and especially tomatoes. I love them for their stories, for their names, and for the adventure of growing them. They are not as hardy as the recently hybridized tomatoes. In addition to these 2, this year we have Brandywine, Louisiana Pink, Eva Purple Ball, and Kosovo plus a yellow heirloom I failed to tag. No, we don't have a large garden, only 1 or 2 plants of each. Joe, Ben, and my daughter in law Kristen do most of the work, and I get to pick a tomato or two and enjoy the benefits. Nora, at 3, already loves harvesting cucumbers and tomatoes and peppers with her mom.
I find heirloom plants intriguing, and am thankful for the pleasure gardening brings to all of us. I believe the love of gardening is another heirloom, one passed down to me and mine from my parents and grandparents, who first showed me how to garden, but also introduced me to delicious fresh food on our table. Long before the current farm to table trends, I knew that eating local (as in very local, our own garden) tasted better and helped to keep us healthy.