This fall, the Dutch seed company, De Bolster, is marketing three new vegetable varieties: 'Bronzy' cherry tomatoes, 'Ormato' snack tomatoes, and 'Kaikura F1' snack cucumbers. Several organic growers, including Organic Greenhouse Farm Carnas' Martin Carnas, have extensively tested all three.
Before De Bolster introduced these new varieties, Martin was one of the organic farmers that tested them. “Collaboration between seed companies and growers is vital for organic farming's future," he says.
Carnas does small-scale organic vegetable farming and cultivates about 25 different crops under glass. "We mainly grow vegetables others find too labor-intensive like radishes, turnip greens, unusual tomato varieties, winter purslane, and hand-picked beans."
He is, thus, definitely open to the new varieties De Bolster is introducing this growing season. Martin loves how they grow and taste and the yields they produce.
‘Bronzy’ cherry tomatoes taste like more
What makes ‘Bronzy’ tomatoes special is their small (15 to 20g) brown fruit that can be harvested loose and on the vine. This seedfast variety comes into production early, is reasonably resistant to powdery mildew, and can be grown both outdoors and in the greenhouse. "It has fantastic yields," Carnas points out. "At first, people find their brown color a little odd, thinking they can't possibly taste good. But once they taste 'Bronzy,' they want more."
‘Ormato’ snack tomatoes have good, constant yields
‘Ormato’ has sweet, orange, 12 to 18g fruit. This snack tomato grows quickly, outdoors and under glass. According to Martin, this sturdy plant has an open structure, thick stems, and lovely leaves. Plus, the stalks break off easily, saving a lot of work and reducing disease risk. "It's also a very productive variety with a highly stable yield. That's very nice for my mixed tomato trays."
Kids love ‘Kaikura F1’ snack cucumbers
‘Kaikura F1’ produces crunchy, sweet cucumbers. The variety has three to five fruits (5 to 8 cm) per axil and can be grown throughout the season. The crop has excellent yields for two months, and then it is best replaced with a second round of cultivation. "I've never cultivated mini cucumbers before," admits Martin.
"But I've been pleasantly surprised by its sizable crop." These sweet snack cucumbers are also very popular with children. "A woman regularly visits our vegetable stall just for these cucumbers, which her kids ask for all the time. That's fantastic," he concludes.
These three organic varieties are now available.