Sunday, September 6, 2020

Tomato selection by my family, cv. Optimal

Back in 2012, I was regularly buying (U-picking) tomatoes from Brad Gates at his stand and fields in Solano county. He also had a field with F2 progenies from his crosses, and he allowed me to pick some tomatoes from there too.  After tasting the fruits from the F2 field together with my friend Harvey, I ended up with few fruits that I wanted to stabilize. Over the next 8 years, every summer my family chose the best tasting fruits/plants from each hybrid line. Every year I planted 12 progenies from the best tasting plant of the previous year.  In 2019 we ended up selecting just one stable cultivar out of the three hybrid lines we started from.  Presented here is Optimal: a beautiful, productive, and tasty tomato. It is sweeter than Pink Berkeley Tie-Dye, but has about the same amount of salt. It has less acid than Pork Chop, but still some acidity is present, and it has its own flavors that are not present in either Pork Chop and Pink Berkeley Tie-Dye.  It does not have any smoky flavor that can be tasted in many darker and some green tomatoes from Brad Gates.  It is a beautiful yellow-red tomato that is best tasting when it becomes more red than yellow.

 Here is the final selection, the fruits are from 2020

Some tasting plates from 2018

Collected fruits and one of the plants from 2016

For anyone who wants to try growing this tomato cultivar, I will make the seeds available for purchase at

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