My first post on a forum
Having time on my hands due to a recent illness I decided to fill part of it by doing some gardening. I am trying to learn what I can about tomatoes, and as I live in the Texas Hill Country I am particularly interested in tomatoes developed in Texas or tomatoes that can thrive in our hot dry Hill Country conditions. Porter tomatoes fit those criteria but I am confused about the varieties of Porter tomatoes being referred to by these names.
1 Porter A small smooth or rounded plum shaped tomato that is dark pink and weighs about 2 ounces?
Many agree on the characteristics of this one though it is also described as a 4 oz plum, a 4 oz egg, as blocky rather than smooth, as pale pink, or as round. I have also seen tomatoes of this description referred to as Dark Cherry Porter.
2 Improved Porter An egg shaped dark pink tomato that weighs 4 ounces?
About half agree with this description, although the size is said to be 2 oz, 2-4 oz, 4 oz, or in one case 4-6 oz's.
Improved Porter is referred to as "pullet shaped" by a few. Others describe it as a red, round, 4 oz tomato.
3 Porters Pride A round red tomato with good keeping qualities and weighing four ounces?
Porters Pride is usually described as this red round tomato, but I have often seen it described as a pink egg shaped fruit.
All are said to be well adapted to harsh Texas conditions such as extreme heat, drought, and some say also to poor soil.
Because of the pullet shaped reference I think that either Porter or Improved Porter where once probably described as being the shape and size of a pullets egg. Pullets eggs weigh about 1 1/2 ounces.
More than one seller of Improved Porter claims it is "also known as" Porters Pride. One such seller depicts very small plum shaped pink tomatoes, describes a medium sized dark pink egg shaped tomato and goes on to include this excerpt from the 1959 Porter & Son Seed Company catalog about a red tomato.
"Porter's Pride Tomato is an ideal variety for home gardens and for summer and fall marketing.ÃÂ Medium sized fruits of excellent quality and flavor are very firm and have the best keeping qualities of any tomato.ÃÂ Scarlet-red fruits of uniform size and shape are smooth and meaty and very flavorful."
I believe this probably is an actual excerpt from the 1959 Porter & Son Seed Company catalog, and is an accurate description of Porters Pride tomatoes. It does not seem to be in any way related to the tomatoes this seller pictures or to the tomatoes they describe.
I have purchased examples of each from different sources and am growing them out, but it occurs to me that this relatively small sample may not tell me much. If you are familiar with these tomatoes or their history, or if you have access to an old Porter & Son catalog I would like to hear what you have to say about them.
I hope to learn brevity as I gain experience.