An Alameda Garden: Tomato Sighting

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Tomato Sighting

Although my original plan this spring was to skip planting tomatoes altogether, when I visited the Baia Nicchia booth at the Alameda Farmers Market several weeks ago, I couldn't pass up the chance to try out some of their tomato plants. Baia Nicchia is a local grower that specializes in tomato plants that are particularly well-suited for our coastal climate. They sell heirlooms as well as F1 hybrids and judging from the pictures I've seen, their tomatoes are gorgeous.

I picked four varieties to try out:
  1. Maglia Rosa, a Baia Nicchia original, is an egg-shaped tomato with mottled pink skin. It is a cross of Speckled Roman and Black Cherry.
  2. Vesuvio, another Baia Nicchia hybrid, is derived from San Marzano. It is shaped like a long-pepper and well-suited for container growing.
  3. SunGold is a cherry tomato.
  4. Costoluto Genovese is an Italian heirloom.
The first to fruit is Costoluto Genovese, pictured here. They are only about the size of a penny right now, so we're a long way from anything edible. But there's something about that first tomato siting--it just smacks of hope.

(And yes, I still can't stand the taste of tomatoes, but I do like growing them for family and friends. I'm also hoping to get some sauce or salsa canned this year, and I'm also determined to try fried green tomatoes for the first time. The Costoluto Genovese should be a good candidate for this.)


  1. You will love Sungold! It might even change your mind about the taste of tomatoes...very sweet and oh so good! Let it get nice and ripe (orange, of course)...and pop into your mouth! You will be able to taste the sunshine, I swear!

    I'll be interested to hear about the first two as they are, naturally, not around these parts!

    Good luck with them...(how can one not have a summer garden without tomatoes, right?)!

  2. Sungold and costuluto have become my favourite tomatoes to grow-this year I got 50 costuluto on one plant!


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