Chalk's Early Jewel Tomato
Nice, small tomato with uniform redness and roundness. These round, red "jewels" ripen slightly on the early side, and produce well in clusters of three to five. James Chalk of Norristown, Pennsylvania developed this variety in 1899. According to William Woys Weaver from whom we got our original seed, Chalk crossed Hubbard's Curled Leaf and Perfection to create this variety. It was released by Moore & Simon of Philadelphia in 1900, and W. Atlee Burpee in 1904. It is now listed in the Slow Food Ark of Taste as an endangered and culturally important heirloom.
Days to maturity: 66-80
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.