End of Summer? Enter the Fall Garden.

Fading Summer Brings in Fall Greens, and Hollyhocks for Cheer

There’s a flurry of seed sowing and setting out of transplants going on here. Am I deluded that it’s springtime? No. Autumn is around the corner and there are vegetables to be planted.

For many gardeners, summer’s end and the garden’s end are one and the same. But planning for and planting an autumn vegetable garden bypasses the funereal look of waning tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and other vegetables that thrive only with summer heat and long days of sunshine, and puts plenty of fresh vegetables on the table. Having an autumn vegetable garden is like having a whole new garden, one that gradually fades in, like a developing photograph, as summer vegetables fade out.

Autumn vegetables come to the fore as tomatoes fade away

Autumn vegetables come to the fore as tomatoes fade away


Which is why today I tucked two dozen endive transplants into a double row of holes spaced fifteen inches apart in a three-foot-wide bed. And which is why, in a different bed two weeks ago, I sowed a row of Watermelon winter radishes (the resemblance to watermelon only in the color of their innards), a row of turnips, and a row of Chinese cabbage. Also, why back in March, seeds of Brussels sprouts were sown, the seedlings of which were transplanted to yet another bed last May.

Not that the time has passed for planting any autumn vegetables; plenty of vegetables that enjoy the cool moistness of autumn are still to be sown. This week, I plant to sow lettuce, spring radishes, arugula, mustard, and spinach. 

Edamame Out, Endive In

The question might arise as to where to plant all these autumn vegetables when the garden is already overflowing with summer vegetables. Overflowing, really?
I planted the endive transplants in a bed that I had just cleared of edamame plants; edamame bear over a period of a couple of weeks and then they’re done, which they were. Likewise, a whole bed of onions and a first planting of corn are finishing up, freeing up space for planting. Even the bed from the second planting of corn will be freed up the end of August.


Endive transplants go where edamame once grew

Endive transplants go where edamame once grew

Harvest of bush beans does not halt as abruptly as that of corn, onions, or edamame. Nonetheless, the bean harvest does begin to taper down after two or three weeks, so out went the first planting of bush beans a couple of weeks ago. A second planting, sown in a different bed three weeks after the first planting, took up the slack, and today I’m pulling even those plants out of the ground. Pole bean plants will keep green beans on our plates until frosty weather, which it what it takes to put a stop those plants.

Can’t Help But Smile With Hollyhocks

My garden isn’t only about food. I’m also sowing some flower seeds now, not to blossom in autumn but to get a jump on next spring.
This past spring I sowed seeds of Apricot-Peach Parfait hollyhocks (from Right now, the plants’ seven-foot-high spires are studded along their length with frilly blossoms in delicious shades of apricot and rosy-peach. I want more.

Spires of Apricot-Peach Parfait hollyhocks add a smile to the garden.

Spires of Apricot-Peach Parfait hollyhocks add a smile to the garden.


Hollyhock self-seeds so future population growth could be left to the vagaries of nature and weather. But overly diligent weeding or mulching might quash newcomers, so I’m going to sow more seeds. Hollyhock is a biennial or short-lived perennial so that self-seeding habit is welcome.

As either a short-lived perennial or biennial, hollyhocks tend to grow just leaves their first year and flower their second year — then die if they behave like a biennial, or go on to flower for more years if they are perennial. I was able to get flowers this season from spring-sown seeds because I planted the seed early and the seedlings spent their first few weeks of growth in the greenhouse. (Through breeding, some varieties of hollyhock behave as annuals, and bloom reliably their first year — but not as seven-foot-high spires.)

Planting the seed in late summer guarantees that the plants will bloom next year, and earlier than spring-sown plants. Cool weather of late fall and late winter helps trigger the flowering response.

Delphinium is another flower to sow this week. In addition to the advantages of enjoying spires of blue flowers earlier and more reliably next summer, delphinium seeds sprout more reliably if fresh, which they are more likely to be in autumn than the following spring. Chilling the dry seed — some sources suggest stratification, that is, chilling the moist seed — for a week or so also is said to help wake it up.

Once seedlings of hollyhocks and delphiniums get going, they’ll need special accommodations to get through winter. After all, they’ll still be tender, baby plants when the weather turns frigid. The goal is to keep them alive and growing slowly going into winter. I’ll either tuck the pots close together in the cold frame or in the slightly warmer large window in my barely heated basement.

The Season Begins

Gentlemen (and ladies, and kids), start your engines. The 2014 gardening season has begun, here on the farmden, at least.
The day began with my lugging the big pail of potting soil from the cold garage to a warm spot near the woodstove. My home-made potting soil — equal parts peat, compost, garden soil, and perlite, with some soybean meal thrown in — is moist when I make it, so was frozen solid. Not usable or suitable for germinating seeds.
Once the potting soil defrosts and warms, I scoop it into a seed flat and a small plastic tub into which I’ve drilled drainage holes. Firming the soil in place with my Furrow Maker, a small board with spaced out,
The Furrow Maker in action

1/4-inch dowels glued to its underbelly, creates a miniature farm field. Into the tub’s “field” go rows of fresh onion and leek seeds (fresh is important with these seeds, which lose viability after a year or two), about 7 seeds per inch, which is enough to well populate the “field” without causing crowding. After the seeds are covered with soil and gently and thoroughly watered, the tub gets covered with a pane of glass and placed on a heating mat that provides gentle warmth of between 70 and 80 degrees F.

I could sow onion seeds outdoors in early spring. The onions I’m growing, and the ones all northern gardeners should be growing, are so-called long day (in fact, short night) varieties. Their leaf growth comes screeching to a stop in early summer’s 15 or

16 hour days. The plants shift gears and redirect their energy into pumping up growing bulbs. More leaves at that time means more stored energy available to swell up sweet, juicy bulbs. That’s what I want and why I go through the trouble(?) of early, indoor sowing. I’ll plant out the seedlings in early May.

The small seed flat gets similarly filled with potting soil and sown with seeds, lettuce seeds in this case. Greenhouse lettuce is still going strong but I want to have some transplants ready for when the older stuff peters out. A 4 by 6 inch flat with four furrows of lettuce seeds should provide all the lettuce transplants I need for many weeks.
A greenhouse full of only lettuce could get boring. Other sorts of edible greenery currently share the space, and will continue to do so in the coming weeks. Some has been planted, and some has planted itself.
Among the planted greenery is a whole bed of kale and Swiss chard livened up with a couple of fennel plants. Also mâche, which usually plants itself except that overly diligent weeding in the greenhouse
Fennel, chard, lettuce, and kale in this bed

necessitated transplanting self-sown mâche from outdoor garden beds into the greenhouse last September.

Self-sown greenery includes claytonia (miner’s lettuce), minutina, and — more familiar to most people — celery. Claytonia doesn’t have much flavor but adds texture and color to a winter salad. The same goes for minutina, which is actually an edible species of plantain (the common lawn weed, not the banana relative). Celery plants are in various stages of growth. We’ve been eating the mature ones for months and the smallest seedlings will be ready for transplanting out into the garden in early May.
So my friend Bob is over for a visit. It’s near lunchtime and he beelines for the freshly baked loaf
Celery for eating and celery babies for transplanting

of bread sitting innocently on the kitchen counter. Bob grabs a knife and already has a sandwich in mind. “Do you have any tomatoes,” he says. What? Tomatoes? It’s midwinter!

I guess he’s made the link gardening-greenhouse-tomatoes. Never mind winter. Sorry, not in my greenhouse in winter, for a few reasons.
Fruiting demands a lot of a plant’s energy. That energy comes from the sunlight. Even though the sun has been rising higher in the sky and for longer periods daily, its light is still paltry compared to midsummer sunlight. A bright summer day bathes the garden with about 10,000 foot-candles of light. My greenhouse, according to measurements taken at high noon on this crystal clear day, is bathed  with about 6,400 foot-candles of sunlight.
Natural sunlight could be supplemented with artificial light. Not a table lamp or even a bank of fluorescents, though. Light intensity falls off as the inverse square of distance from the light source; double the distance and you’ve got only one-quarter the intensity. So plants need to be close to the light source, which then will shade natural sunlight. Special high intensity bulbs are needed to make a dent in winter’s relative darkness.
And then there’s the temperature needed to raise a crop of tomatoes in February. For tomatoes, I wouldn’t want temperatures lower than in the 50s. My greenhouse heater kicks on at 37°F. Each degree of warming increases heating costs about three percent.
Winter tomatoes don’t seem worth the extra cost in dollars and to the environment from increased usage of gas or electricity. And they don’t taste that good. I can wait.

Blueberries & Cicadas, Mmmmm

“It takes a patient man to net an acre of blueberries.” The New England accent added weight to the declaration, as did the gentleman’s 80-something year old frame standing ramrod-straight and adorned with checkered jacket, a cap, and chinstrap beard. That was 30 years ago, and I was standing in the New Hampshire garden of Elwyn Meader, looking across the field at his acre of blueberries. Elwyn was a plant

breeder extraordinaire, then retired, who had developed new varieties of such plants as persimmons, chestnuts, lilacs, cucumbers, soybeans, watermelons, and everbearing strawberries. The honey-sweet Fallgold raspberry, my favorite, was Elwyn’s handiwork, incorporating genes from Korean raspberries he found while working there for the U. S. Army. 

Now, many years later, I think of Elwyn’s words as Deb and I rush to net our small plot, two-hundredths of an acre, of blueberries. (Not so small, though, to obviate a very respectable harvest of about 190 quarts of delectable, organic, sustainable, artisanal berries from 16 plants!) I append Elwyn’s words with “Covering two-hundredths of an acre of blueberries is a test of a marriage.” Nets can sag; tempers can thin; ladders can become unwieldy.
We survived. My latest incarnation of blueberry protection against birds starts with an enclosure of locust posts about 8 feet apart, with rebar running through holes a few inches from their tops. The sides, as my friend Bill calls it, my “Blueberry Temple,” are enclosed permanently in heavy duty, plastic bird netting ( Eighteen-inch-high chicken wire at the bottom keeps rabbits from chewing through the plastic. 
Now for the seasonal net, the one that tests our marriage and covers the planting while berries are

ripening, from late June until September. This net is of woven nylon, so is sturdy and drapes well (available from such sources as,, We spread the rolled up net on the ground near the entrance to the planting, then, each of us climbing a ladder at either side, lifts the roll up across the top, with either end of the roll resting on opposite sides of the rebar. Letting the free end drape a little over the entrance side, we each use a binder clip to fix the beginning of the roll near the entrance side. From then on, it’s a matter of unrolling the netting over the top, clipping and moving ladders as we go and — this is the part

that can get testy — making sure to keep the net even on both sides and sufficiently taught.

This year, the net was up in less than a half-hour, the blueberries were safe from birds, and the marriage was still intact.
Pruning tomatoes is such a pleasant garden “chore.” As I look over each plant for suckers — any shoot that originates at the upper part of juncture between a leaf and main stem — I get to monitor the swelling fruits, do a health check on the leaves and stems, and admire the plants’ neat growth habit. The latter comes from my weekly pruning off of the suckers followed by tying of the main stems to adjacent bamboo poles.
I can appreciate disorder in the garden but I also appreciate order. Disorder lends a pleasant, loosey-goosey atmosphere to the landscape. I find order more calming and an easier environment in which to satisfy the needs of each plant. For the tomatoes, pruning and staking them — which surely puts them in order — also gives greater yields (per square foot of garden space), and fruits that are cleaner and a bit earlier.
All this orderliness crumbles as August fades into September. By then, errant suckers get the best of me and the ever-elongating main stems reach the tops of their bamboo supports. Then where can they go? Sideways? Down? To an adjacent pole? No matter. By then, the end of tomato season is in sight and the plants pretty much do what they will as long as they keep pumping out juicy, red orbs.
The novelty of cicadas has worn thin. Their electronic cacophony whines in various pitches throughout the day without a moment’s respite. If you saw me walking past any one of my many infested trees or shrubs, you might see my arms flailing about to keep airborne ones at bay.
Thankfully, cicadas aren’t feeding on any plants. But their egg laying, beneath slits they make in bark, can cause damage. Young stems dying back do little damage to established trees and shrubs (gratuitous summer pruning of shoots?), but can kill young plants.
Here, the cicadas favor the lilac bush and pear trees and, to a lesser extent, the apple trees. I’ve gotten pretty good at snatching them by their wings. My chickens are very fond of the fresh, less so the frozen, catch of the day. This hand to hand combat feels good but makes but a small dent in the population.
The other afternoon I could no longer stand the sight of so many cicadas clustered on the trunks of my 8-year-old pear trees. I needed a bulk method, so ran indoors to grab a dust broom. The dust broom was quite effective, sending cicadas flying everywhere. And then back onto the trunks.
My last resort was to get out my sprayer and coat the trees and any resident cicadas with ‘Surround’, a commercially available,

organically approved pesticide made from kaolin clay. The coating makes for unpleasant footing and egg-laying for a variety of insects, and it clogs their spiracles.

The ‘Surround’, which I applied only to the apples and pears, had but little effect on the cicadas. Cicadas on plants became statuesque; a few fewer flew back on, for awhile. Of course, the incessant cacophony emanating from the woods continued. Only a couple of weeks or so to go, and then a 17 year hiatus.

Tomato Sowing, and More

Sowing tomatoes was the big moment in the garden last week. The sowing was actually indoors and it was on April 1st, which is 6 weeks before the “average date of the last killing frost,” or, to those in the know, ADLKF.
I’m finicky about what varieties to grow because good tomatoes just waste garden space, never getting eaten if great-tasting tomatoes, are also to be had. But look at tomato variety descriptions in seed catalogues and on seed packets, and you’d think that every tomato variety tastes great and is worth growing. 
I read those descriptors carefully to narrow the field. For starters, I avoid any tomato listed as “determinate.” Determinate varieties grow by branching repeatedly because each stem ends in a cluster of fruits. The plants are compact and ripen their fruits over a short season, which appeals to commercial growers. Downsides are that their lower leaf to fruit ratio results in poor flavor and concentrated ripening causes more stress and, hence, susceptibility to diseases.
So I grow only “indeterminate” varieties, whose clusters of fruits hang from along their ever elongating (indeterminate in length) stems. These are the varieties that can be pruned for staking.
Short of tasting a particular variety of tomato, the next descriptor that would guide me is whether or not it’s a “potato leaf” variety. Yes, their leaves look like those of potatoes (a close relative), that is, thicker and with smooth, rather than serrated edges. Still, a lot of great-tasting tomatoes are not potato-leaved.
Pink, heart-shaped tomatoes also have the edge on flavor. Same goes for tomatoes that don’t ripen to a

Two great tomatoes: Cherokee Purple & Amish Paste

uniform red color. Or tomatoes that don’t ripen to perfectly round orbs. I also happen to like dark colored — so-called “black” — varieties. You could almost say that the uglier the tomato (by commercial standards) the better the flavor. Which is not to say that every tomato variety bearing ugly fruits is great-tasting; but it’s a start.

A man (or woman, or child) can grow only so many tomatoes. This year I narrowed my lineup to 16 varieties, some old favorites and a few new ones, the new ones chosen on the basis of being indeterminate, perhaps potato-leaved, etc.
The old favorites are Belgian Giant, Anna Russian (good cooked and fresh), San Marzano (good cooked, bad fresh), Cherokee Purple, Blue Beech (good fresh and with unique, good flavor cooked), Amish Paste (good

Some of last year’s tomatoes

cooked and fresh), Rose de Berne, Valencia (orange fruit), and Nepal. Also two cherry tomatoes, Sungold and Gardener’s Delight. The latter was my favorite decades ago and I’m curious now how it compares with the incomparable Sungold.

New varieties for this year are Brandywine Black, Black Prince, Cherokee Chocolate, German Giant, and Black Krim.
Whew! That’s a lotta’ tomatoes.
Even with a greenhouse, indoor planting space is at a premium. Besides those 16 varieties of tomatoes, with plans for at least 4 plants of each variety, I have dozens of other vegetable seedlings — broccoli, lettuce, kale, Brussels sprouts, pepper, eggplant, and more — growing or in the works. And multiple varieties of each.
I’m managing all this by starting out sowing seeds in what look like miniature fields. These “fields” are 4 by 6 inch seed flats, filled with potting soil into which I press 4 furrows with my MFT (my “mini-furrowing tool”). MFT is a 4 by 6 piece of plywood with a handle on its upper side and four, spaced out, 1/4 inch diameter dowels glued to its underside. Into the furrows impressed by the dowels I sprinkle the seeds, cover the furrows, and then smooth the “field” with a similar plywood rectangle lacking the dowel underbelly. The seedlings, when they sprout, look like miniature fields of plants.
Once sprouts unfold their second sets of leaves, they’re ready to be “pricked out” and given their own home. That home could be a pot or a cell in a plastic tray of multiple cells. Sliding a small, blunt knife into the potting soil beneath a seedling lets me gingerly grab its leaves and lift it out with roots intact to be dropped

A lot of seedlings in a little space.

into a waiting hole I’ve dibbled with my cone shaped “dibbler.” As each seedling is in place I tuck potting soil in around its roots. Without delay, once a tray of seedlings has been pricked out, I spray a gentle but thorough mist of water to moisten the soil and settle the little sprouts into place without knocking them down.

Seeds and very young sprouts spend one or more weeks — four in the case of slow-germinating and growing celery — in the seed flats, and then another four weeks or so in their cells. That translates to 50 or more seedling in an area 4 by 6 inches for a couple of weeks and then about 20 older seedlings growing up in a space of about a square foot for the next four weeks.
All this not only squeezes oodles of seedlings into relatively small space; it also keeps me intimate with them in their youth. I’ll be planting tomato seedlings out in the garden one week after the ADLKF.

Tomatoes! (And a Workshop)

Tomatoes! Tomatoes! Tomatoes! I’m awash in fresh tomatoes. Sparkling red jars of canned tomatoes are lined up on the kitchen counter. Thin discs of dried tomatoes fill other jars. And out in the garden, tomato leaves are dropping from disease. All things tomato are center stage in the garden.
Kellog’s Breakfast, strange name but beautiful and delicious

It’s been fun comparing flavors of fresh slices of tomatoes. Brandywine and Belgian Giant, for instance, are both scrumptious, with Belgian Giant being a little more tomato-y. Cherokee Purple is also delicious, this one with a rich, slightly smokey flavor. In addition to my usual favorites, one new variety (for me), Kellog’s Breakfast, will become a regular in my garden. This heirloom has an odd name and a flesh that is at the same time meaty and juicy. The skin of these large fruits have a beautiful orange color with occasional deep red blushes.

Not all heirloom tomatoes are delicious. The main thing the heirloom Stupice (pronounced stoo-PEECH-ka) has going for it is earliness.  The fruits are small and ripen in clusters. We’ve been eating these fruits for weeks. Of course, since the later, better-tasting varieties have been ripening, we’ve been ignoring Stupice, for fresh-eating, at least. It’s better than any other supermarket tomato but not as good as Belgian Giant, Cherokee Purple, Rose de Berne, Kellog’s Breakfast, Sungold, and the other topnotch varieties I grow.

One heirloom tomato garnering special attention this year is Blue Beech, a variety that reached Fedco ( from someone in Vermont who got it from her neighbor’s niece’s uncle(??) who brought it to Vermont from Italy during World War II. I tasted sauce made from Blue Beech at the farm of that original “someone in Vermont” and right then and there decided to grow it for its unique flavor and orangish color.

I’ve grown Blue Beech for a few years now and this year finally decided to jar it up separately from my other varieties. (All my other tomatoes get thrown into one big pot for collective canning.) My Blue Beech sauce does not have that orangish color, but does have a distinctive, very rich flavor.

Blue Beech is elongated, so looks like a canning tomato. Besides being good for canning, this tomato also has excellent fresh flavor, something that’s true for a number of canning tomatoes. Other varieties that have excellent flavor either fresh or cooked are Amish Paste and Anna Russian.
A number of canning tomatoes are good only that way — canned. Most notable is San Marzano because it tastes so good after being cooked, and taste so awful fresh.

And then there are tomatoes with poor flavor “no matter how you slice them” — fresh or canned. Roma is a often used as a generic name for any canning tomato but is also the name for a specific and, unfortunately, widely grown variety of canning tomato. The variety with this name is bland cooked or fresh.

Yes, all things tomato does include some tomato diseases, just as it does every year. Gardeners and farmers seem hypersensitive to tomato diseases ever since the late blight outbreak here in the Northeast a few years ago. It made everyone start looking more closely at their plants, a good thing, with even organic growers ready to spray at the first symptom of any disease problem, not a good thing. 

I’m not planning to spray my tomatoes for late blight or any other problem. Late blight, although dutifully reported present at various locales by the Cooperative Extension Service, needs cool temperatures, humid or rainy conditions, and wind to loft it from one site to the next in order to develop and spread. We had those conditions a few years ago, in addition to multiple sources of infection from tomatoes distributed from transplants sold at “big box” stores. We don’t have that weather or the sources of infection this year (at least not as of this writing).

Late blight notwithstanding, my tomatoes, trained to single stems, are pretty much defoliated for their first foot or two. The culprits are early blight, characterized by tan blotches with concentric, darker rings, and septoria leaf spot, characterized by small, round spots with tan centers. Both diseases overwinter on infected tomato debris and wild host plants such as jimson weed.

My approach to keep early blight and septoria, which rear their ugly heads here every year, in check are to clean up all tomato debris at the end of the season, to plant tomatoes each year where they have not grown for the previous 2 years, and to mulch to keep spores from splattering up to the plants. And one more thing: not to worry. Every year, my tomatoes lose some leaves to these two diseases, and every year I harvest plenty of pesticide-free, juicy tomatoes bursting with flavor.
I will be giving a workshop “Grow Fruit Naturally” at Hawthorne Valley Farm in Ghent, NY on September 9th. For more information:

Upcoming Workshops & Cracking, Red Tomatoes


NOFA Summer Conference, Amherst, MA, 8/10-12,http://www.nofasummerconference.orgGrow Fruit Naturally, Fruits for Small Spaces, Multidimensional Vegetable Gardening
Philadelphia Orchard Project, 8/22, Growing Simplified
Hawthorne Valley Farm, Ghent, NY, 9/9, Fruit Naturally
Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, NY, 9/22, for Small Gardens


Not that I needed explanations, but now I have two more as to why my tomatoes taste so good. A green thumb is not one of them.
Actually, the explanation is not why tomatoes plucked from my vines taste so good but, rather, why the perfect, red orbs — called “tomatoes” — dumped onto supermarket shelves don’t taste so good. For this study, agricultural scientist Harry Klee, at the University of Florida, gathered together a whole lot of heirloom and modern tomato varieties and enlisted a whole lot of people to taste and rate them. 
Followup chemical and statistical analysis pointed the finger at the balance of sugars and acids as one important component of flavor. Modern tomatoes bear so heavily that there’s less sugars to go around, so flavor suffers. For a similar reason, I avoid growing “determinate” tomatoes (listed on the seed packet or in the variety description), which are varieties that make flowers and fruits at the ends of, rather than along, their stems. The determinate growth habit results in fewer leaves per fruit; leaves, along with sunlight, are what puts sweetness and other aromas into tomato fruits.
Dr. Klee also found that, besides sugars and acids, heirloom tomato varieties have certain flavor components lacking in modern tomatoes, some of which enhance any sweetness. Geranial, which has a lemony aroma and is used in perfumery, is just one such component; it’s also present in a wild basil (Ocimum gratissimum), orange, lemongrass, and, of course, lemon. 
The other bit of pertinent tomato research has to do with color. Nice, on those commercial tomatoes, eh? If you eat with your eyes, the color will make your mouth water. If you eat with your mouth, probably not.
In recent decades, tomatoes have been bred to color up uniformly to a nice, red color. Recent research shows that the gene that makes for that uniform coloring was a mutation of a gene that helped make tomatoes flavorful. Before ripening, the uniform ripening tomatoes are pale green rather than the deep green of tomatoes without the mutated gene. Dark green fruits harvest more of the sun’s energy than light green fruits; more green means more photosynthesis and more sugars and other flavor components. That ripening mutation, stumbled upon by breeders about 70 years ago, was widely adopted and has resulted in those beautiful orbs that have lined supermarket shelves and have even been often offered at some farmers’ markets for many years.
Using genetic engineering, researchers confirmed their findings by creating tomatoes that stayed dark green before ripening and then ripened uniformly red. As expected, laboratory analysis showed that the fruits had more sugars and other flavor components than fruits with only the uniform ripening gene mutation. Nobody ate the “Frankentomatoes.”
So beauty is not only skin deep in tomatoes. 
The best heirloom varieties also seem to share some superficial characteristics. Potato-leafed (with smooth leaf edges) tomatoes, such as Brandywine and Prudens Purple, generally make tasty fruits. So-called oxheart varieties (pinkish skins and heart-shaped fruits), such as Oxheart, Orange Russian, and Hungarian Heart, also are rich and flavorful. The same can be said for dark varieties, such as Black Krim, Black Crimson, and Black Prince.
Hybrid tomatoes don’t have to be less flavorful than heirloom varieties. They don’t have to be bred for maximum production at the expense of flavor and/or to ripen uniformly red. But they usually are.
The familiar Sungold and the less familiar Carmello are two flavorful hybrid varieties in my garden. In my opinion, Sungold is far and away the best tasting cherry tomato (and also a beautiful persimmon orange color). Carmello is quite tasty and actually does ripen into perfectly red orbs.
Nonetheless, for unabashed flavor whether sliced with onions and olives in salad, laid in slivers on dark bread with cheese, or cooked into a sauce, heirloom tomatoes are my number one choice. 
Which brings me to Cherokee Purple, the first one of which ripened today. It was very tasty and not at all pretty.