Which is the REAL Box Car Willie?

barryla61(VA - 7)June 29, 2011

I was doing some online research on the Box Car Willie tomato to see if I might want to plant it next season.

Looked at 3 different web sites and saw 3 different tomatoes!!! See for yourself.

Gary Ibsen�s Tomatofest website they are round and smooth

http://store.tomatofest.com/Boxcar_Willie_Tomato_Seeds_p/tf-0075.htm

At Reimer seeds the look like little red pumpkins

http://www.reimerseeds.com/box-car-willie-tomato.aspx

While at Garden Harvest Supply their version looks somewhat in between the first two

http://www.gardenharvestsupply.com/productcart/pc/BoxCar-Willie-Heirloom-Tomato-Plant-p454.htm

Will the real Box Car Willie please stand up!!!

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

You'll find this to be the case with many different varieties. Many sites use copycat photos and descriptive copy with little regard for what it really is so you have to consider the reliability of the source you are using. Go with the reliable sources or take your chances. :)

Of the 3 you link only the first is considered a truly reliable source of info. Gary posts here now and again and communicates with many here on a regular basis. His and Dagma's reputation for accuracy is exceptionally high.

BCW is indeed a somewhat flattened orange-red tomato in the 10-12 oz. range depending on growing conditions. A commonly grown heirloom staple for many. The pic used by Golden Harvest 'possibly' BCW but the Reimer's photo is very questionable IMO.

Dave

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 2:26PM
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barryla61(VA - 7)

Thanks again Dave
Is there a "list" of reliable sources or should one just inquire/search here first?

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 4:13PM
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remy_gw

This is the a photo of real Box Car Willie tomatoes grown by me that I brought to the Buffalo~ Niagara Tomato party in 2007. The seeds were direct from Carlyn Male and grew exactly as described in her book 100 Heirloom Tomatoes for the American Garden. The ones in the photo are small. They were all I had at the time of the party. Most of the others were larger. The small ones were rounder. The larger ones, not shown, got a little flatter. In Carolyn's book, you can see the same thing as far as shape goes.

If you go to the link and scroll down, there is the photo from Carolyn's book flipped upside down(maybe in hopes no one will realize they stole the photo?)
I'm regrowing Box Car Willie this year.
Remy

Here is a link that might be useful: Real Box Car Willie Photo

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 7:11PM
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cozy

Agree with flattening out as they get bigger.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 8:09PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

There's a lot of wrong BCW seeds out there and at another message site there's a very long thread about it.

It's one of several varieties bred by Joe Bratka's father and Joe found the seeds in glass jars already named by his father but he couldn't germinate the seeds so sent them to me and I was able to germinate:

Box Car Willie
Mule Team
Pasture
Great Divide
Red Barn

There isn't much difference between the first two and I think the last one is overlooked and should be grown more.

As tor reliable sites for BoX Car Willie I would not suggest Reimers or Totally Tomatoes b'c in the thread at the other site BCW was not correct.

I'm going to link to Tania's page on BCW so you see some of the seed sources and again, from that other long thread I would suggest Sandhill Preservation and Heirloom Seeds in PA.

But remy just said I sent the seeds to her as I did to both Sanhill And TGS, so why not order BCW seeds from her, just Google The Sample Seed Shop.

And for those interested in Red Barn I know Glecklerseedmen, you can Google it, lists Red Barn.

I simply don't have the time to go to each of the seed sites Tania lists so can only suggest the ones I did above.

And even if I did it's not unusual to see a pictures that looks OK, but the seeds aren't. Sigh.

Hope that helps.

Carolyn

Here is a link that might be useful: Box Car Willie

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 9:17PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Is there a "list" of reliable sources or should one just inquire/search here first?

There are several lists of quality seed suppliers here in various 'where to buy seeds' and 'heirloom seed source' discussions that the forum search will pull up and there is also the Rate & Review Vendors forum here at GW.

Carolyn listed several of the frequently recommended ones above - Sandhill, Glecklers, Tatiana's, TGS (Tomato Growers Supply), Tomatofest, etc. I'll add Baker Creek and Johnny's. There are others of course but you can't go wrong with any of those for true heirloom varieties. On the other hand if the common variety hybrids are what you are looking for then source isn't as important.

Dave

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 9:32PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Carolyn listed several of the frequently recommended ones above - Sandhill, Glecklers, Tatiana's, TGS (Tomato Growers Supply), Tomatofest, etc. I'll add Baker Creek and Johnny's. There are others of course but you can't go wrong with any of those for true heirloom varieties. On the other hand if the common variety hybrids are what you are looking for then source isn't as important.

*****

No Dave, I did not list Tomatofest.

And my assumption is that the original poster is interested in OP's b'c he's started yet another thread about this topic of seed purity which wouldn't apply to hybrids.

For a genral great place to buy seeds I'd sugget Johnny's as well, for primarily hybrids since they list very few OP's and for folks who can do with less seeds I also suggest Pinetree Seeds where seed costs are much less b'c the packs are primarily smaple packs which works fine for those who don't want to lay out a lot of money, especially for tomato hybrids..

Carolyn

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 9:42PM
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cozy

I think Mule Team is better than BCW down here ( 40 plants in the ground ... just ripens/tastes a bit better for us), Red Barn tastes better yet but opted for Mule Team as production was better.

Just the way it is down here.

'Course I backed off of trialing hundreds this year and went with what has filled the pantry; Mountain Glory ( my fav so far of TSWV resistance), Christa ( prone to sun scald for lack of foilage, but decent maters), Brandy Boy ( I know), Mule Team and Jet Star.

Moreton was the wife's fav but you truly can not leave them sitting on the counter.

Again, just my history/taste and the way it has worked out down here.

Yes, Chuck was involved with some but I have found that most have matched up nicely.

Personally, I won't touch BC again but will give thumbs up to the others mentioned and add Harris.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 9:58PM
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korney19(z6a Buffalo, NY)

I have not grown BCW in a while, but it is pretty big if well watered (drip irrigation.)

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 6:02PM
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