NZH. We received this seed from the Heritage Food Crops Research Trust. It came to them with a story from Michael Cooper, who has been growing his Uncle Leo’s tomato in Christchurch for many years, and wanted this tasty tomato to be shared with more gardeners, as he says it tastes the way tomatoes are supposed to. The story of this tomato starts for us in 1945 when Leo Cooper was in Cassino, Italy serving in the NZ Army during WWII. He passed by a gorgeous looking, large beefsteak type tomato, growing in a garden with a high fence and guard dog hanging about. Leo was so taken with the tomatoes he saw growing in the garden, he decided to return late in the evening to see if he could bribe the dog and pinch a tomato for its seeds to bring back home. Lucky for Leo, the dog was absent when he returned and he was able to climb the fence and procure a tomato unnoticed. He returned to his home of Ashburton with the tomato seeds in his pant cuff and grew them out each year. He passed them to his nephew Michael who shared the seeds with us. Michael shared with me that he has harvested this tomato weighing up to 700g! On average, they weigh in at 400g. It is blight resistant and a good cropper with excellent flavour. Great for fresh eating and sandwich slicers, but also outstanding for preserving due to is high flesh to seed ration.
Sow in August into trays in a glasshouse. Keep soil temp at 18-20°C for ideal germination. Prick out when true leaves appear to 4cm diagonal spacing. Pot on to small pots to further develop roots. Transplant after last frost to 40cm diagonal spacing into fertile ground in direct sun. Stake and de-lateral as needed.