Tiger Tom Tomato
Tiger Tom Tomato
70 days, indeterminate — 'Tiger Tom' has become a favorite in our kitchen garden and enjoyed as a snacking or salad type. It is very early and usually one of the first to ripen in our garden, and is very prolific. The juicy fruit average about six ounces each, are globe-shaped, and have yellow-orange stripes on red-orange skin. The flavor is rich with a very good balance sharp and sweet.
'Tiger Tom' reportedly originated from a Czechoslovakian tomato breeder finding its way into the collection of the late Ben Quisenberry before eventually being shared among seed collectors and seed savers. Our original sample was received from Ray Yoder of Pennsylvania in 1999.
- 'Tigerella' was developed by Dr. Lewis A. Darby of the now defunct Glasshouse Crops Research Institute, Littlehampton, Sussex, England from a cross between 'Ailsa Craig' and an unknown variety sometime in the 1960s. Two other selections from the same cross were introduced as 'Tangella' and 'Craigella'.
- The Glasshouse Crops Research Institute, Littlehampton, Sussex, England, was a world renowned establishment where research was carried out on all aspects of crop production under glass and polythene. It was closed in 1995.
- Lewis Darby came to the Glasshouse Crops Research Institute in 1955 from the John Innes Horticultural Institution and retired in about 1976. [Source: "Annual Report," Glasshouse Crops Research Institute, page 15, 1981.]
- In the 1980s Seed Savers Exchange Yearbooks, there were many listings for "Mr. Stripey (aka Tigerella)" listing the original source as Thompson & Morgan in the UK. In their current (circa 2019) catalog, T & M sells 'Tigerella' tomato with no mention of 'Mr. Stripey'. Some seed savers hypothesized that 'Tigerella' and 'Tiger Tom' are the same variety.
- The American mid-Atlantic heirloom tomato called 'Mr. Stripey', which is not the same as the English "Mr. Stripey," is a bi-colored beefsteak discovered in Georgia and reportedly named and introduced in the 1990s by Wayne Hilton, the former owner of several seed company brands at that time (Totally Tomatoes, Shumway, Vermont Bean Seed Company).
- Ben Quisenberry (1910-1986) of Syracuse, Ohio operated "Big Tom Gardens." He was a seed preservationist and an early supplier of varieties to Seed Savers Exchange when it was first being founded.
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