Mandy's Greenhouses / Oxhearts
Here is a grouping of tomato varieties, that were at one time exclusive favorites of mostly European families. Judging by the demand of these in the last 3 years, they are surging upwards in popularity as never before. I remember Oxhearts in our family garden being some of the largest fruits, even larger than some beefsteaks my parents grew. Trade-marked for their typical wispy foliage, new forms of leaves have also been discovered, such as regular and potato-leafed varieties. Thanks to selective breeding improvements by die-heart tomato lovers & growers, this once “frail looking” family is no longer so frail in appearance, in production, nor late for maturity. Today, we can also find a rainbow of colors and flavors, a special one for almost anyone!
Available as Seed only! Once a var is marked as “N/A, no more will be offered. Packets will be $2.00
- Amish Paste – cultivated in Pennsylvania since the 1870’s and a heirloom variety from Wisconsin. Name can be confusing. Plants produce scarlet red oblong heart-shaped fruits of 8oz. with solid meat and sweet flavor. One grower says: somewhat flattened in cross section with a point at the end, 2 seed cavities with fairly good flavor, well balanced leaning toward tartness.” Ideal for canning, making paste and fresh eating. Very meaty , with few seeds. Resembles an acorn. A prolific producer under difficult conditions. Ind. 85 days ?
- Anna Russian – one of the first oxheart tomatoes that I ever grew in 1997. History records indicate that a Kenneth Wilson received it from the granddaughter of a Russian immigrant coming to Oregon, pre 1900’s. Dark pink/red heart-shaped fruits of 1 lb. Great flavor. Wispy foliage, very typical of most in this category. Very prolific for an oxheart! Plants are aggressive and grow tall. Ind. Early! 70 days
- Bull’s Heart – From Andrey Baranoski…Minsk, Belarus…a very old Russian variety. I just acquired this variety from a different source. I want to make sure that its attributes are either different or improved upon the 4th in our listing. The only way to find out is to trial them together! Large pink oxhearts with excellent flavor and noted as an equally great canner. Strong plants can reach 6 ft. Huge fruits of 12 oz. to 2 lbs are produced in abundance. Few seeds. Ind. 87 days
- Bull’s Heart Russian – I have grown this one for quite some time. It reminds me of old-fashioned oxhearts that I grew up with. Plants are strong, yet its foliage has that typical “oxheart”…wispy form with not much of them. Fruits are some of the largest I have had the pleasure of growing…ranging from 14 oz. to a 1 1/2 lbs and more. Color is a rose/red…more rose than red, with smooth skin in typical “oxheart” form. A late season finisher.
- Cuor di Bue – (aka “Bull’s Heart Italian”, aka “Cuore de Bue”) A heirloom from Italy. Huge pink oxheart-shaped fruits that weigh up to 2 lbs. A very sweet tomato that is also an excellent producer. Determinate! 89 days N/A
- Dad’s Mug – from the Ben Quisenbury collection. About the same time, I grew my first “Banana Legs”, “Costoluto Genovese” and “Isis Candy“, I was also growing this one. I choose not to stake any of these and instead just let them have lots of room to lay down and do their thing! It must have been a great growing year in 2002, because I have never had such a production from all these 4 as that year! Here is the heaviest tomato fruits that I have ever held in my hands. Soooo much meat is packed into these. And this tomato tastes quite delicious! The skin (a pearly pink/rose) is so smooth, just bursting from the pressure within. Fruits are very blocky, coming to a gentle rounded point. It would be a waste to stuff these, as there are so many others to do the job. The money is in the meat! Stores well with tiny seed cavity and therefore few seeds. Fruits had no problem growing to 1.5 lbs. Will always be one of my favorites. Ind. 80 days
- Dinner Plate – unknown history which is a shame, as this is huge! A jumbo sized tomato that can and will produce fruits up to 6″ across! It is a huge ”mama’ of deep rosy pink tomato, one of the largest and oldest, I have ever grown! Indeed, it can fit a dinner plate with little room to spare! Delicious flavor (sweet & acidic!), juicy and meaty at the same time with fine texture, more reminiscent of an oxheart. Superior slicing tomato AND a heavy producer! Plants are sturdy and strong. Ind. 90-100 days
- Frank’s Heart – obtained this one from a wonderfully “grump” old man, who I befriended through work. Our “garden conversation” was the highlight of his day…something he always looked forward to. I saw this very gorgeous tomato one day sitting on his window sill and asked him about it. He said that he always grew this kind and had brought it with him as a young boy from his homeland in Poland. His son was presently taking care of his garden in his absence and had brought it in for him to look at (he was too ill to eat it…) A few days prior to his passing, he gave me this one fruit. I have since grown it out and much to my surprise it is quite different from others that I have grown. I am honored to keep going his ox-heart legacy and am now offering this fine specimen to you. Update 2012! After growing it out for 2 years I have 2 strong versions of this awesome variety. Please indicate which color you want when requesting seed, as it is in my 2013 offerings. Don’t forget to check it out in my photo album section (or Flickr). Wispy foliage combined with real great taste and large sized, rose/red fruits. An old timer…from an old timer! (Gosh! I miss this grouchy/nice old man!) Ind. 78-85 days
- German Red Strawberry – German heirloom. Now here is a tomato you can have oodles of fun with! For starters, the plants are vigorous and tall, 5 ft., with real decent yields. Staking is needed or let them crawl all over your grape vines! Big red strawberry-shaped fruits, with mild ribbing which converge to a defined point (just like a big strawberry)!. Some versions have green shoulders, which make them that more interesting. They average from 12oz to 1lb.(some have recorded between 2-3 lbs!) with meaty flesh and an excellent taste, that is on the acidic side! Do not be afraid to plant them in rich soil. They will reward you! Ind. 85-90 days
- Grightmire’s Pride – originated from Yugoslavia, via Fred Grightmire who resided at Dundas, Ontario. Large, beautiful, heart-shaped fruits, with gentle ribbing, pink-purple tones and a mild, low acid flavor. I trialed this one in 2008 for the 1st time and was pleasantly surprised, when it (along with “Jerusalem”) were the first 2 tomato varieties to put on the “Ritz”! No others were ripening…just these 2… both oxhearts! Fruit production and size was in line with typical varieties that are much later. Taste tests indicated a 7/10. Plants are vigorous and the production is nothing to sneeze at. Ind. 65-75 days
- Hungarian Heart – obtained from a seed swap…they say. This tomato was brought to America in 1901 from a little village 20 miles from Budapest, Hungary. Plants are very leafy, producing pink heart-shaped fruits with few seeds. Some have fruits reaching 1 to 1.5 lbs with a sweet, excellent flavor and grand meat. One of the highest producing oxheart varieties. Ind. 80-90 days
- Hungarian Oval – unknown history. Large flattened, pretty oval-shaped pink-red fruits with few seeds. Plants are vigorous and fine producers, too. The flavor is interesting, fruity, meaty and some say almost seedless. A variety that produces early. Ind. 78 days
- Jerusalem – from Israel. Large heart-shaped rose/red “heavy” fruits of .75 to 1lb. weights with very good flavor, rated @ 8/10. Plants grow un-typically large for an oxheart type, with huge yields expected and received! Ind. 70-75 days
- Jewish – unknown history. Huge (1.5 lbs….) heart-shaped fruits with outstanding flavor. Some say…new favorite. Shapes are not consistent, showing much irregularity. Color is not common for oxhearts: intense scarlet/orange/red! Flavor is zesty and flesh is meaty. Flavor taste test was a 10/10 for this category! Rare. Ind. 80 days
- Kosovo – this wonderful variety comes from a former UN worker who was stationed in Kosovo, who passed it on to Glenn Parker. This variety offers huge, flattened, purple-red, heart-shaped fruits with weights of 10oz-18oz-1lb. possible. Their insides shimmer…a deep rose/pink. The flavor sets it apart from most others: sweet, rich and juicy, with intense acid to sugar balance. Delectable! One grower says they received 24 fruits from one plant. Wow! Wispy foliaged plants are very productive as well. Ind. 75-80 days
- Mate’s Big Pink Heart – Given to me by a friend of mine originally from Croatia. Has the untypical form of a potato-leaf, which is still wispy! The fruits are also very large, oxheart-shaped and light pink, produced in modest amounts. Needs rich soil and lots of moisture. Should be supported. Well worth the wait. Ind. 100 days
- Monomakh’s Hat – a Russian heirloom named after a Tsars’ crown! (said to be named after the Diamond encrusted coronation crown that Peter the Great wore…) These plants produce huge wedge, heart-shaped fruits growing close to 2 lbs! Flavor is honey-like sweetness and crave-able! Raspberry red in color and meaty. Semi-Det. & early! 75 days
- Oxheart – an old fashioned favorite, pink colored heart-shaped fruits. Flesh of these are very meaty, containing few seeds. On most occasions these can easily reach 1 lb or more, depending on how you grow them! This heirloom has good flavor and the plants are very dependable and productive. Ind. 80 days
- Pink Oxheart – Originated from Geza Korbely of Hungary. Some gardeners have won ribbons with this variety! This one reminds me of the kind my family used to grow. Just a regular wispy leafed variety that looks like nothings going on and BANG…then arrive these oval, deep pink, heavy, pointed, wedge shaped fruits late in the season! Flavor is old-fashioned, sweet with a sharp bite. For the most part we always enjoyed one like this, because it started when most others were petering out. Plants will need to be staked and production is good. Ind. 89 days
- Portuguese Bullheart – Now we can’t leave out this one! Here is a Portuguese heirloom oxheart! And what a performer in 2011! Healthy, very productive plants AND very early for an oxheart of this size. Fruits were huge, mostly 2 lbs, deep rose red and heavy. Most trusses had from 3 to 6 on each! Personal favorite. Regular leaf. Ind. 70-75 days
- Russian #117 – here is one I never want to be without! The only known DOUBLE-hearted form of oxheart! Fruits are deep, deep dull red, huge and most times quite flat, with some ribbing, right to the tip. Excellent flavor: rich with real old-fashioned overtones. Also unusual…these large sized fruits are some of the heaviest for their size, as well as the driest I have ever experienced! Watch out Romas! Plants are not large, putting their energy into creating fancy fruits and wispy foliage! Ind. 85 days
- Russian Heart – Some more Russian hearts to confuse you! Deep pink/red oxheart shape with some irregularities: some with tapered bottoms, some with rounded bottoms! 12-16 oz. fruits with wonderful blend of sugar to acid flavor. Typical wispy foliage. 2011 proved to be just right for this one, producing huge fruits all season long. Ind. 80 days N/A
- Sylvan Gaume – an old heirloom from Canada. (I’m told…) that it was obtained from an elderly gentleman (in his 80′s) who seemed to think it orig. from Russia. Everyone who sees this one, their chins drop! Its super red huge hearts can reach 3 lb.+! Chubby and very heavy. Not only that, its flavor (classic old-time tomato, wonderfully rich, sweet & meaty) and its yields are both outstanding! Once again, the plant and its leaves do not follow a typical ox-heart style…producing regular lvs. Ind. Early….75 days
- Wes – hopefully I have sourced a “true” version of this one. Another variety (that I had been offered) kept showing more beefsteak type fruits than oxhearts. So will have to trial this one this summer. I will keep you posted on my results.
- Zorica’s Croatian Bull Eye – New for 2013! Well, wonders never cease. My “tomato” friend, upon hearing my husband was from a certain area of Europe, sent these on to me as a matter of interest. Seems they truly are a Croatian heirloom, from Zorica Dukie. Said to be huge 1lb. oxheart-shaped red fruits, meaty with few seeds and great flavor. In trials from this summer, I cannot trumpet enough about this one! Plant “pooped” out a ton of monsters, ranging from 1 to 3 lbs…scarlet red with a mass of weight and meat. Has become my favorite (early to late) oxheart. Plants are Ind. and long season producers. 75 to 90 days
Within these pages you will find some of the most unusual vegetables (plants and seeds) from all corners of the globe, as you will not find anywhere else! Welcome...be amazed and enjoy!