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Something new for your garden: Blue tomatoes

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Courtesy of Tom Wagner

(Read caption) Tom Wagner crossed heirloom tomatoes with wild tomatoes that contain blue pigment to create these.

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Tomato-breeding whiz, Tom Wagner of Tater’Mater has a new treat for us. Blue tomatoes!

He’s stabilized several cultivars, including Pansy Ap, a 2-1/2-inch blue salad tomato [see Photo 2 above]. and a blue cherry, Helsing Junction Blue [see Photo 3 above].

Currently, he is in the process of increasing seed stock and forging marketing partnerships, so we will be getting blue tomatoes in catalogs and nurseries in a few years.

However, you can contact Wagner via his website if you want to purchase seeds with which to experiment. He'll want to know your results and add the information to his database.

From the breeder of Green Zebra

If you don’t recognize Tom Wagner’s name, you know his tomato creations. Green Zebra, an amber and green striped and Schimmeig Stoo (also called Striped Cavern), a ruffled, hollow red and gold striped beauty are two offered in nearly every seed catalog. So are Banana Legs and Green Grape, others he bred.

He takes heirlooms and crosses them to create new ones. Technically, these open-pollinated tomatoes are not heirlooms, but experts in the field recognize the offspring as heirlooms.

There are other blue tomatoes in the pipeline, too. Oregon State University (OSU) created a blue, P20, that contains high levels of anthocyanin, which gives the tomato its blue color. The compound is what gives blueberries, for instance, their abundant cancer-fighting properties.


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