Stephania Heritage Tomato
'Stephania Heritage' tomato.

Stephania Heritage Tomato

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Small saladette-type, 2-4 ounce, red, fruit with a nice, old-fashioned, mildly sweet flavor. Early maturing, cold and heat tollerant.
Stephania Heritage Certified Naturally Grown Seed

65 days, indeterminate — The extremely productive, potato leaf plants of 'Stephania Heritage' are relatively compact for an indeterminate tomato, and they do benefit from support. Its fruit are a small saladette-type, two to four ounces each, red in color, and have a nice, old-fashioned, mildly sweet flavor. Interestingly, as they develop, they tend to have a "tip" on the blossom end that disappears as the fruit matures and fills out into a more globe shape.

In early 2021, we received a handwritten letter from a gardener named Stephania Janovec Potter, with an accompanying sample of tomato seeds. She described that they were a cherished family heirloom variety, which she hoped we would work to help to keep from disappearing.[1] She went on to give an exceptionally detailed history of variety, its description, its amazing attributes, and because of all this, we fit it into our already full grow-out plan ... and we are so glad that we did!

Not only was all of the information that she shared with us accurate, we found an interesting trait that was not documented. In the summer of 2021, our area experienced a "heat dome," the likes of which had never been experience here. Very early in the summer, when typical average temperatures are in the low 70ºs, we had multiple days above 100ºF. These heat records came at the most inopportune time for us as the majority of the tomato plants in our fields were in full bloom. This heat killed pollen, blossoms dropped, and it ultimately drastically reduced our yields. There were a couple of exceptions, but 'Stephania Heritage' stood out. Its yields were spectacular and it was seemingly unaffected by the heat!

'Stephania Heritage' began in the early 1970s when Stephania's mother, Martha Janovec, received seeds from local Skamania County (Washington) Extension Agent Dick Adlard.[2] He explained that the tomato had originated in the high altitudes of the Chilean Andes and that they would be well-suited for the colder, shorter growing season of the Columbia River Gorge region. Multiple family grew the varieties over the decades, in various locations in Washington State. Although the family had several names for the tomato, it was named 'Stephania Heritage' by Clark County (Washington) Master Gardener and local "tomato guy," Al Pavelko, whom Stephania had given seeds to in the 2010s. Each packet contains approximately 20 seeds.
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