Abraham Lincoln Tomato?

seedboyMarch 11, 2010

Has anyone grown the Abraham Lincoln tomato? There are a half dozen or so suppliers, but there seems to be some question regarding the original strain. I've read that R.H. Shumway's sells the "original" strain and I'm considering ordering from them. Have any of you grown and/or sampled this variety from this supplier? Please tell me what you think of the Abraham Lincoln tomato AND where you purchased it.

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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

No one has the original b'c the original had bronze tinted tfoliage as described by Buckbee's when they introduced it.

Wayne Hilton bought the Shumway name for about $2,000 and no seed inventory came with it b'c it had been extinct. He went to many SSE members to get seed stock. He also started the companies Totally Tomatoes and Seymours Seeds and then bought out Vermont Bean CO and I forget the name of the other Co he formed. All were sold to Jung's Seeds several years ago.

Other than the name in an historical context I don't see anything special about the variety Abraham Lincoln and other so called strains also exist, such as:

Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln Improved
Abe Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln, Buckbees
Abraham Lincoln Original

I have no idea if there are any significant differences amongst the above. The only one I've grown many years ago is Abraham Lincoln.

I think fine for a canning tomato but there are many other medium to large reds that I think have a much bett4er taste.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 5:19AM
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I'm growing this tomato - or one of the strains of it - from TomatoFest called "Abe Lincoln". It's supposedly an old fashioned tomato taste on good productive disease resistant plants with little to no cracking - That's one of the reason I'm giving it a shot.

I had a good few tomatoes rot on the vine last year due to deep radial and or concentric cracking that then either got infected with mold or invited insects to chew them to pieces (granted we had non-stop rains and cold temps, but still). That being said, I'm trying a few varieties this year that have more regular shapes and less cracking. I didn't stop growing the other kinds, because I still like the taste, I just want more of a balance.

Another reason I'm growing Abe Lincoln is that my wife is looking for some more "old-fashioned tomato taste" varieties, and based on what I've read on reviews and descriptions, it seemed to fit the bill. This year I'm growing her Rutgers (she really liked this one in past years), and new for this year, Abe Lincoln, Red Brandywine... And I thought maybe she might like Brandywine OTV, Neves Azorean Red, but who knows, I'm still trying size up what she likes in a tomato, me personally, I just like variety :)

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 11:06AM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

home garden, if you like the more aggressive so called old fashioned taste you might want to look at the varieties:

Rutgers, you mentioned
New Yorker
Break O Day, a fave of mine
Wisconsin 55

... to name a few.

And it's good to remember that seed sources are SELLING seeds so seldom will you see anything written that's negative. There are only two places that I know of off hand that occasionally do mention something negative about a variety and that's Sandhill Preservation and SESE.

There's no OP variety that I know that's crack free, and many have the radial and concentric cracks at the stem end b'c it's part of their genetic makeup. And there's no variety, hybrid or heirloom that won't split with excessive rain or over irrigation.

When it comes to variety descriptions where something is said about disease resistance or tolerance, I shake my head b'c almost never are the specific diseases mentioned, or diseases distinguished between foliage and systemic diseases, and since the latter have certain geographic distributions it is important to know that.

And there's no variety that is totally resistant to ANY tomato disease, rather, it's a matter of tolerance.

So read variety descriptions with a wink. ( smile)


    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 1:34PM
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"There's no OP variety that I know that's crack free, and many have the radial and concentric cracks at the stem end..."

Thanks for the reply, and I also know this to be true, but I definitely noticed some varieties crack more than others, hoping to find some which are a little more "crack resistant" and keep a little better. Oh, and some the reviews I saw on this variety were on Dave's Plant Files, which looks like mostly individual reviews and I've definitely seen some negative reviews on that tomatoes there - so I just took what I read with a grain of salt and figured it was worth a gamble.

I also own a copy of your book on heirlooms for the American garden and picked a few of the varieties you mentioned, and I appreciate the realistic pictures of each variety - for years I thought I was doing everything wrong because my tomatoes would have concentric or radial cracks. To find out it's mostly genetic made me a feel a little better. The thing I don't get is how I see all these pictures of certain varieties online and they look flawless; How do they get those fruits? Luck?

To be honest, I wouldn't mind the cracks at all if they didn't get infected and or chewed on by slugs (and whatever else). They don't look as nice, sure, but they still taste good. I just hate watching tomatoes grow, get almost full ripe, and then crack and potentially go to waste.

In any event, I've already got this variety sprouted so I'll give it a shot, I'll be more than happy to report on my experiences - but as well all know, it's relative, subjective, etc.

P.S. - Oh, and thanks for the new varieties, I'm saving them for list of trials for next year :)

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 2:26PM
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"Break O Day, a fave of mine...."

Carolyn, I grow that variety (thanks in large measure to the recommendation in your book). :-)

Since I only have enough room for 10 or so plants, I'll stick with Break O' Day. It sounds like Abraham Lincoln is similar but not as good.

Dr. Frederick J. Pritchard, the creator of Break O' Day, contributed a lot to the development of modern tomato varieties. Here's an interesting site for anyone who's interested: Dr. Frederick J. Pritchard

    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 4:25AM
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