red barn

skatcon(z3 MN)August 9, 2011

I finally decided I had to take a moment to share. Months ago I asked for recommendations for heirlooms for my high tunnel. Carolyn had mentioned Red Barn from Glecklers and I wanted to try it.

First, the service at Gleckers was great. I had an email several hours after I made the order acknowledging receipt of the order. Two hours later I had an email saying the order had been filled and would be mailed the next business day. And when I received the order I had two free packets of seeds.

Second, after growing 16 varieties of heirlooms and ops this year, I came to some conclusions based on my personal taste. I grew three black tomatoes, Black Krim, Paul Robeson, and Roger's best Black, and in my opinion, any black tastes better than any color of any other tomato.

However, Red Barn blew me away. The tomatoes were huge. I thought the first few were big at 1#7oz, and 1#11oz. But the latest was 2#7oz! and it is perfect! Globe shaped and perfect. Red barn does not get as gnarly as other large tomatoes. And as if that is not enough, the taste is incredible. It is the essense and concentration of everything tomato. The first bite and I was a child again sitting in the garden eating tomatoes. It truly tastes like I remember tomatoes tasting 60 years ago.

But, as we know, there is always something. Of the four plants I planted, two were indeterminate and two were determinate. It got challenging when I was trying to train them up the twine. I just couldn't find a vine on the two. Every shoot went to blossoms.

So, does anyone know if determinate or indeterminate is dominant? Does anyone have any guesses about if I save seed what the odds may be from each plant that it breeds true?

Anyone else grow red barn this year and have a similar experience? Any ideas or suggestions?


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bobb_2002(Z6 S.W. CT)

Is the fruit the same on all of the plants even though the plants are different?

Bob B.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 9:07AM
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Red Barn should be indeterminate. If two of your plants are determinate, those are surely crossed or stray seeds. I would only save seed from the indeterminate plants, if I hoped to be saving Red Barn.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 12:06PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Agree with Jim.

I'd have to look up the genetics but I'm pretty sure that indet is dominant to det.

All of the ones that Joe Bratka's father bred that I was able to save since Joe could germinate them were indeterminate:

Box Car Willie
Mule Team
Great Divide
Red Barn
Pasture, which is so indet that the darn thing could be used to cover an old outhouse and I've been told by those in the south that it grows almost as fast as Kudzu.

When you get fruits on both plant types please let us know what they are.

I say that b'c I remember the situation with Green Grape where the original was indet as bred by Tom Wagner and all of a sudden it became a det.

In any case, after you see what the fruits look like and you're convinced you have both indet and det versions of the same variety you might want to let Adam know about that b'c he's a stickler for having everything right and would want to know about it.

And yes, I sent Red Barn seeds to Adam. ( smile)


    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 12:23PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Wit just a minute here. LOL

I saw the zone 3 and just assumed wrongly that you didn't have fruits yet this season, but are you saying you do and that both the det and indet ones are giving you the same fruits?

Me be a bit confused methinks. LOL


    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 12:26PM
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skatcon(z3 MN)

Hi Carolyn
Yes, I have four plants, have been getting fruit for about 2 weeks, and the fruits on all four plants are the same even though two seem to have indeterminate growth and two seem to be determinate. I keep trying to think of some way I may have screwed up but the fruits are all so uniformly the same that I am sure I did not mix up seedlings or seeds. And red barn, as you know, is very distinctive. The two plants that appear to be determinate are starting to look rough, with the leaves looking poorly. Of course there has been no new growth from suckers so I would expect that. The two that are clearly indeterminate are continuing to grow slowly. I think the great size of the tomatoes may be slowing the vegetative growth, though they are obviously indeterminate. They are about 4-5 feet tall now.(Hillbilly is about 9) Now I am afraid to trim off any suckers because I am not sure if my trimming of suckers could have somehow ruined the other two plants. I knnow that sounds silly but sometimes I make stupid mistakes. I have been growing tomatoes for fifty years though and have never run into something like this before.
Do you think I should save seed this year or I should get seed again and start saving next year ? I intend to keep growing them because I love the flavor.
I will contact Glecklers and share my experience with them.
I hope everyone is having a good season. Weather conditions have been so strange in so many places. I thought it would never get warm here.But I feel really bad for those folks experiencing extreme heat.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 2:33PM
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If you are getting 1 lb+ plus fruit from the determinate plants, please save some seed. I think a number of folks would like to to help repeat your experience.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 9:35PM
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Just thought I would throw this out there since we are near each other and experiencing the same weather. I have at least 3 indet. plants that have ended in blossoms the past few weeks. Were yours growing indet. up until recently?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 11:45PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Kathy, if you're absolutely convinced that you have both indet and det plant habits and both are giving you the exact same fruits, then I'd suggest you save seeds from several fruits from the indet ones as well as same from the det ones.

Then contact Adam and go from there and ask if he'd like seeds back from the two plant types and let him grow out both next season to see what he sees.

In the meantime I would share seeds, if you do that, with only the fruits taken from the indet vines.

I'd let Adam make the final decision on whether what you have is really a det plant habit.

There's lots of tomato savvy in that family. His grandfather started the seed business in the 40's, that knowledge was passed down to Adam's father who kept the company going for many years, did retail and wholesale bulk seed for many retail seed companies as well.

His father stopped the business in 1994 and I can't tell you how pleased I was to see Adam restart it about three years ago.

So let Adam make the final deciion, and enjoy those fruits as I have.


    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 7:55AM
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skatcon(z3 MN)

Mudman- I have seen what appeared to be determinate growth since the plants were 18"tall when I first wanted to train them up twine. But I too wondered if it could somehow be environmental, or day length or incorrect pruning or some such thing. Where are you in Z3?
Carolyn- I will take your advice. I will only be able to save seed from one of the determinate plant because there are no other blooms or fruits left on the other.(I ate them all, all by myself, I didn't share! LOL)
And I will let you know what happens. Thanks for the advice.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 5:44PM
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I am about 20 miles east of Taylors Falls. This seasons weather has been such a rollercoaster that I have seen strange growth on several varieties. But you might just have a cross or mix up.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 9:13PM
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