Old German Tomato

This year I started a bunch of very old seeds from my stash, unsure if they would even sprout. The Old German tomato was one of them, but I think it was mislabeled as a Orange German Strawberry tomato, which I heard can happen. The Orange German Strawberry tomato is an oxheart, which traditionally have a pointed base, much the same shape as a strawberry. As you can see, this one does not.

What I believe is an Old German mismarked as an Orange German Strawberry

When I clicked on this link, I found an image of the Old German that looked almost identical to mine. It’s the kind of tomato that does that thing where the stem-side grows up and over the stem just a little bit.

[The Old German tomato] is an indeterminate tomato plant, and is not heralded as a heavy producer. The large size and excellent taste of this tomato more than makes up for its sometimes lack of production. These tomatoes are generally ready to pick about 75 to 80 days after the seeds germinate.


This information concurs with our actual tomato. The only major difference was the date to harvest from germination; it was much closer to 100 days, but we also might have put them in the ground a little late because New England. They sprouted in late March, but we didn’t put them in the ground until mid-June.

Anyway, they’re lovely sliced. Take a look!

Old German with freshly-picked basil.

These are very delicious, mild, and meaty tomatoes. I’m so glad we got a couple of them so far, and I’m really looking forward to more of them throughout the rest of the season. They are heavy, slow-growing fruit: the two we have harvested were both around two pounds each, and considerably bigger than my fist.

Because the seed I started with was pretty old (I think like 2012?), I wanted to preserve some seed for next year. Tomato seed is more reliable if you ferment it a few days before storing it, so I scraped out as much seed as I could in the parts we didn’t eat into a small wire-bale jar.

Preparing tomato seeds for storing

I have already done this for the Dutchman tomato that we ate earlier this week.

Dutchman tomato seeds after a 3 day ferment, rinse and set to dry.

I’ll try to remember to document the process of saving tomato seeds somewhere, but it’s a pretty easy google search if you’re interested right now. In any case, this is how we enjoyed this beautiful German beefsteak style tomato:

Old German Caprese Sandwich

If you are just growing the same old tomatoes every year, let me insist upon you to try these, even if just one experimental plant. They’re meaty, fresh, beautiful, mild, slightly sweet, not too acidic and I understand they are good for canning or freezing (though I don’t think we’ll get enough to try preserving).


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