Harrowsmith Gen XYZ - Emma’s Edible Yard Save Tomato Stories with the Seeds

Harrowsmith Gen XYZ – Emma’s Edible Yard Save Tomato Stories with the Seeds

In my family, Lebanese Mountain tomato is a favourite variety we save seeds from every year

A Whopper

Lebanese Mountain is a big, meaty tomato. Actually, it’s more like huge and meaty! One year I grew one that was almost 3 pounds! I think it would have made the three-pound mark if the squirrels hadn’t taken a bite out of it!

And though I haven’t grown one that big since, it’s still the biggest tomato variety that I grow.

In the Kitchen

I grow Lebanese Mountain for more than its size. It has a pink-red flesh and thin skin, and the flavour is amazing!

Its huge size, meaty texture, and great flavour make it perfect for fresh eating, especially sliced, in a sandwich.

Growing It

This tomato is an “indeterminate” vining plant, so if you have a limited amount of growing space like me, I recommend pruning it and growing it in a cage, up twine or a trellis or stake. The main thing is that it’s a big plant.

Save Tomatoes and their Stories

When Dad worked near Montreal, he had a favourite customer, George, who always brought in traditional Lebanese foods like baklava, green almonds, and the Lebanese cucumbers that he grew in his greenhouse. One day, Dad visited George’s place and George gave him a beautiful, large tomato. Dad asked what variety it was—and George simply told him that it’s the tomato from the mountains in Lebanon.

That’s the story behind Lebanese Mountain. A nameless tomato that our family adopted and loves.

Because Dad loves these tomatoes so much, he saved seeds—and the story. And now, I am the one who saves Lebanese Mountain Tomato seeds every fall, and then plants them again in the spring.

Keeping Family Favourites

Does your family have a favourite tomato? Many people have a special tomato variety they love and grow year after year.

Even if your favourite variety is carried by seed companies, think about saving seeds because if companies stop selling that variety, you’ll still have it. (Plus, I have to mention that swapping saved seeds with other gardeners, either through the mail or at event, is quite fun, rewarding, and a great way to find new favourites!)

Lebanese Mountain has a pink-red flesh and skin, and great flavour!

Where to get Lebanese Mountain Tomatoes

When garden writer Niki Jabbour posted pictures of the Lebanese Mountain tomatoes from seeds I sent her, I was swamped with people wanting seeds. So I started to sell the seeds. Drop by my website, emmabiggs.ca/seed-sales, later in the year if you’re interested.

Emma Biggs
Emma Biggs

Emma Biggs is a 13-year-old gardener and garden communicator. Emma raised over 130 tomato varieties in her Toronto garden in 2018—gardening in containers, in straw bales on a driveway, in a neighbour’s yard, in wicking beds under a walnut tree, and on the garage roof. Her garden is the source of many of her stories—and the source of produce that she sells in her neighborhood. In 2015, at the age of nine, Emma co-authored of Grow Gardeners, Kid-Tested Gardening with Children with her father and started helping him at garden talks and workshops. For the past couple of years, Emma has been giving her own talks at libraries, seed exchanges, garden clubs, and garden shows. Emma is the co-host of The Garage Gardeners Radio Show. She hosts kids gardening videos on the From Dirt to Dishes gardening channel on YouTube. Her latest book, Gardening with Emma, helps kids find the fun in gardening (and helps adults remember how much fun gardening is!)


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Posted on Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020
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