We offer a curated collection of specialty tomato, eggplant and pepper plants at our farm in Stafford, CT. Plants are started from seed in our greenhouses. The collection includes 125+ heirloom and specialty tomatoes and 50+ sweet and hot peppers. Our wide selection gives gardeners the opportunity to try many varieties that would not be found at a typical garden center without having to start the plants from seed yourself. You can preorder tomato, eggplant and pepper plants or visit us in May and shop at the farm. We also offer herbs, annuals, perennials and other vegetable plants at the farm.
Heirloom and Specialty Tomatoes
What started as a love for growing and eating tomatoes has become an obsession:-) My (Kim's) great grandfather Ben grew Hendersons' Winsall and Big Boy tomatoes in his home garden along the railroad tracks and Susquehanna River in Milton, PA. As a little girl I would be right by his side helping him. As an adult with my own garden those varieties always had a place along with all sorts of different varieties each year. Once we started seeding and selling starter plants in our garden shop it made sense to me to have LOTS (125+) of varieties to offer our customers. They are established plants and all offered individually. Varieties can be mixed for discounts which makes it easy to try many types.
Most of the varieties are heirlooms but there are a number of our favorite hybrids in the mix too. The heirlooms include some rare and historically important varieties dating back to early 1800s. You will find heirlooms originating from many different countries including Germany, Russia, Australia, Italy, Czechoslovakia, Mexico, China, Greece, Poland, US, England and France. The heirlooms often have interesting stories of how the seed was kept and passed down through generations. The collection includes heirlooms, hybrids, open pollinated, all colors, tomato sizes, shapes, leaf types, indeterminate and determinate varieties and those suitable for container gardening or small spaces.
The dwarf tomato varieties are perfect for a gardener with limited space, but a desire to enjoy the great quality and flavor of tomatoes from an open pollinated, indeterminate, heirloom variety. They thrive in a small 5 gallon container or in a raised bed. The plants are very sturdy with thick, rugose foliage. Most traditional patio tomato varieties are determinate and only set fruit for a short season. The tomatoes are on the smaller side and often fall short on flavor. Dwarf varieties behave like indeterminate varieties in that they produce for the entire season. The dwarf plants are crosses between a handful of rare, old, dwarf heirlooms and their larger heirloom cousins. The Dwarf Tomato Breeding Project was launched by Craig LeHoullier and group of other tomato enthusiasts from around the world in 2006 resulting in a select group of stabilized varieties that have just become available recently. Delicious heirloom style tomatoes on patio sized plants! We offer several varieties as starter plants and as larger patio plants.
All of the Dwarf Tomato Varieties are subject to the Open Source Seed Initiative pledge. The seeds from these tomatoes may be saved and shared so long as you disclose the pledge.
Many of our varieties have been selected on the recommendations of Craig Lehoullier, author of 'Epic Tomatoes' and international tomato expert. We often refer to his book and it is definitely worth a read, especially if you are a tomato fanatic. Not only is the book full of technical information on tomato propagation the photos are beautiful.
Tomatillos are not actually a tomato but a member of the nightshade family. Also called husk tomatoes, they are commonly used in Mexican cuisine in sauces such as salsa verde. We offer several varieties but the Pineapple Tomatillo is our favorite. The plants produce hundreds of tiny, sugary sweet, pineapple flavored tomatillos in brown husks. They have a 2 week shelf life if left in the husk. The husk is removed before eating it. The fruit is harvested once it falls to the ground. 2 plants are required for best production. We made yellow tomato jelly and muffins with them and pack them fresh in our lunch. They would make a beautiful tart, delicious chutney or a terrific salsa for fish.
We offer 50 varieties of sweet and hot peppers. Along with the popular bell and frying peppers we have a large selection hot peppers with Scoville ratings from 100 to 2,200,000. Habanero Chocolate, Carolina Reaper (currently the world's hottest pepper), Dorset Naga from Great Britain, Scorpion, Tabasco, Utri, Atomic Hybrid, Bulgarian Carrot and Golden Ghost.
For low heat and sweet peppers try Tennessee Cheese which is an adorable lobed, sweet red heirloom perfect for stuffing or try your hand at Mole' sauce made with Mexican chocolate and Mole' peppers. Mole' sauce makes a hearty Mexican comfort food dish for the fall and winter. Whether you want sweet peppers for frying, grilling or stuffing or want to make some kick-ass hot sauce or salsa we have the right pepper. We grow the common but also the hard to find varieties.
New this year - we are offering eggplant starter plants on pre-order. You will find the basics like Black Beauty as well as some interesting hybrids and heirlooms. Our favorite is Rosita, a medium size lavender skinned eggplant with sweet flesh.
We purchase most of our tomato seed from Tomatofest. They provide high quality organic seed that is carefully harvested and packaged. The germination rate is high and all varieties are labeled correctly. We also purchase seed from Totally Tomatoes, Johnny's, Tomato Growers, Victory Seeds, Seed Savers and Pepper Joe's. If you are growing from seed we highly recommend sourcing seed from the most reputable companies. There are many options for seed online but it is quite disappointing to spend time germinating, then growing out a plant that proves to be something completely different than the image on the website. We purchase organic seed whenever possible.
Where to Buy?
Foster Hill Farm
9 to 6 Daily
21 Stafford St.
Stafford Springs, CT 06076
Saturdays starting 5.7.22
9 to 12
Ellington, CT 06029