Cherokee Purple Tomato
“An old Cherokee Indian heirloom, pre-1890 variety; beautiful, deep, dusky purple-pink color, superb sweet flavor, and very-large-sized fruit. Try this one for real old-time tomato flavor. Our favorite dark tomato and one of our best selling varieties.” –Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
Lahoullier planted the seeds and enjoyed the tomatoes so much that he passed them along to friends at seed companies, marking the beginning of their commercial availability in the United States. tomatoes first emerged in western South America, where they can still be found growing wild in Peru, Ecuador, and Northern Chile. However, there is not much historical record of their being cultivated there. The first record of their cultivation is in Central America, by Mesoamerican peoples. It was the Aztecs who picked the name that stuck, calling the fruit ‘xitomatl’, and spreading its usage north to Mexico. The western world first encountered the tomato in 1519, when Hernán Cortés began his conquest of Mexico in the name of Spain. Seeds of this plant were disseminated throughout the Spanish empire and traded with the rest of Europe. The first credible observation of tomato cultivation in the US was made in the late 17th century, but it may have travelled there from Spain, France, Britain, or the Caribbean.
Listen to the Seed Stories interview with Craig Lehoullier
Seed Stories is hosted and produced by Zachary Paige (aka Zeke Greenside), North Circle Seeds. Seed Stories highlights a unique garden seed variety each episode with interviews, history, seed saving techniques and more in a fun and educational format.
Sowing and Growing
Best practices and timing for planting any variety will depend on your growing zone and your frost dates. Put your zip code into the Farmer’s Almanac Planting Calendar to see expected frost dates for your where you live and helpful notes about planting indoors/outdoors, and when to do which one!
Beautiful illustrations and great story-telling! We appreciate the stories, deep rooted in tradition and culture that keep these seeds alive! Can’t wait to share this knowledge with students!
These are great teaching tools! Thank you for your research into these delicious foods! #snailkids
Love heirloom seeds…
Love your websie….