Heirloom tomato seedlings are here

Photo by Piku (via stock.xchang)

Fall is my favorite time in South Florida.  One reason:  it means the time hastens when I replace the mealy, tasteless orbs that I deign to buy at the grocery store.   Heirloom tomatoes also have some evocative names.  This is your week if you’d like to grow your own Cherokee Purples, Chocolate Stripes, Charlie’s Mortgage Lifters, Sheboygans or Sudduth’s Brandywines.

Here are some of this week’s opportunities to buy your own heirloom tomato seedlings:


Sunday, October 16th at Little River Market Garden

Farmer/gardener Muriel Olivares will offer twenty eight heirloom tomato varieties, four eggplant varieties and four pepper varieties for sale at Little River Market Garden.



Cherry Tomatoes: Sungold, Brown Berry, Peacevine Cherry, Green Grape, Dr. Carolyn’s and Herman’s Little Yellow.


Small/Medium Fruit: Amish Gold, Amish Red, Ace 55, Green Zebra, Garden Peach, Earl of Edgecomb, Black Prince, Black Ethiopian, Chocolate Stripes, Orange Russian.  Olivares says she also has a variety called Lime Green Salad that is perfect for growing in pots since the plants are miniature, but still produce abundantly.

Paste/Sauce Tomatoes: Jersey Devil, Amish Paste, Federle, Speckled Roman and Purple Russian.

Large Fruit: Gold Medal, Mexico, Rose, Charlie’s Green, Black Krim, Tropic (a variety developed by UF specifically for South Florida) and Kewalo (a Hawaiian variety.)




Ping Tung Long, Louisiana Long Green, Rosita and Early Black



Sweet Chinese Giant, Kim-Chi, India Jawala (Olivares’s favorite drying chili) and Erawa.


When: 10a.m. to 3p.m. (rain or shine)

Where: 8290 NE 4th Avenue

How much: $4.00 each, for every five, get one free. Cash only.  Bring trays, boxes and bags to carry seedlings home.


Tuesday, October 18 at National Food Day Celebration

Bee Heaven Farm will be at this Food Day Celebration event selling heirloom tomato seedlings, eggs and honey.

When: 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Where: Stephen P. Clark Government Center, 150 N.W. 1st Street

How much: Seedlings are $3 each.  Buy five, get one more free.  Buy fifteen, get five more free. Pay with cash, debit, credit card or SNAP benefits.

Photo by Safari 11 (via stock.xchng)

Saturday and Sunday, October 22-23 at Fairchild Edible Garden Festival


Bee Heaven Farm is selling more than fifty varieties of heirloom tomato seedlings.  You can purchase some Slow Food Ark of Taste varieties, which have been declared endangered heritage foods by Slow Food USA.  You can also find eggplant and hot pepper starter plants.  Farmer Margie Pikarsky is giving a demonstration on planting and caring for your tomato plants Sunday at 11 a.m.


When: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Where: Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables

How much: Entrance to the festival: $25 for adults, $18 for seniors 65 and up and $12 for children 6-17.   If you walk, ride your bike or take public transportation to Fairchild, receive $5 off admission for adults and $2 off admission for children.

Tomato seedlings:  Seedlings are $3 each.   Buy five, get one more free.  Buy fifteen, get five more free.  Pay with cash, debit, credit card or SNAP benefits.



Saturday, October 29 at Bee Heaven Farm

If you couldn’t make it to the Edible Garden Festival, you can visit the farm the following weekend.  “Be warned,” says farmer Margie Pikarsky, “your selection may be limited.”  The farm is not usually open to the public for plant sales, so this is a rare opportunity.


When: 10:00 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Bee Heaven Farm, Bauer Drive (SW 264th St) 1/3 mile west of Redland Road (197th Ave). Look for the farm sign and flags.

How much: Seedlings are $3 each.   Buy five, get one more free.  Buy fifteen, get five more free.  Pay with cash, debit, credit card or SNAP benefits.










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