Amish Paste Tomato
Amish Paste Tomato is listed by Slow Food USA in their Ark of Taste, which identifies and promotes culturally important, delicious, and endangered foods. This variety was first offered in 1987 by Thane Earl of Whitewater, Wisconsin in the Seed Savers Exchange yearbook, where seed savers share and swap rare seeds. Some say this variety dates back to the late 1800s in Wisconsin and/or Lancaster, PA, though the history seems to be vague and hearsay. While it is one of the most popular heirloom paste tomatoes for its productivity, size, and sweet flavor, some consider it more of a plum tomato better suited for fresh eating. Looking back further: the word for tomato comes from the Aztec word “xitomatl” or “tomatl”. Tomatoes have been cultivated as food in what is now Mexico since at least around 500 BC, and originate in western South America.
Days to maturity: 80-90
Seeds per pack: 40
Planting / harvesting notes
Start seeds 6-8 weeks before the last frost and transplant into garden well after the danger of frost. We recommend you prune the suckers that form in the crotches of the branches by the main stem. Water tomatoes at the soil level, keeping the leaves dry. Stake tomatoes so that their leaves and branches are kept off the ground, for good airflow between plants, and for easier harvest.
Seed keeping notes
Tomatoes are generally self-pollinating, though we isolate different varieties by 35-50 feet, in hopes that flying insects will not cross pollinate them unexpectedly. Tomato seeds are ripe when the fruits are ready to eat! Cut the fruit at the equator and squeeze or scrape out seeds from each of the cavities. In a cup or bucket, add a little water (1/2" is probably plenty) to your seeds and pulp to keep them from drying out, and allow them to ferment away from direct sunlight. Ideally, you will stir the concoction every day for 3-5 days. In the end, add more water to fill the vessel, stir one final time, and allow to settle. Pour off the floating material and then strain the seeds through a strainer. Sometimes, you will need to add more water and pour off the floating material several times until the water is clear and you can see the seeds sunken at the bottom. Squeeze dry the strained seeds in a towel, and then lay out to dry on a labeled screen or paper product in a ventilated place away from direct sunlight for a week or two.