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50 days, determinate — The productive 'Siberia' tomato plants produce very early in the season due to its ability to set fruit in cool temperatures where other varieties will not. Reportedly, it is capable of setting fruit down to 38ºF, however, 'Siberia', like any other tomato, is not actually frost hardy. They are bright red, globe shaped, and weigh up to five ounces each.
'Siberia' was discovered by Ron Driskill, a horticulture teacher at the Jack James Secondary School in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, on sale at a local nursery. The nurseryman told him that a woman touring Canada from the Soviet Union in 1975 stopped by the greenhouse and supplied ten seeds. The unidentified woman told them that the variety was being trialed in Siberia at that time.
Mr. Driskill saw its potential and became a big promoter of the variety to Northern gardeners, first giving seeds away in exchange for a self-addressed stamped envelope and ultimately starting a small, family operated seed company appropriately named "The Siberia Seed Company." Each packet contains approximately 20 seeds.
- "Tomatoes: New varieties may be good in small garden," by Tom Porter, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 12, 1984, page 11.
- "Unusual Gift For Gardeners," Chittenango, New York Bridgeport Times, November 21, 1984, page 11.
This variety, 'Siberia' is not to be confused with the similarly named variety called 'Siberian'. The later, 'Siberian' is a rugose leaf, dwarf-type plant first listed in the 1984 Seed Savers Exchange Yearbook by Will Bonsall who got it from the Edward Lowden Collection in Canada. Edward Lowden was an independent seedsman from Ancaster, Ontario, Canada. It is not known where his seed originated.
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