Thomas Jefferson was a pioneer in tomato culture; planting this relatively unfamiliar vegetable from 1809, the first summer of his retirement, until his death in 1826. He also noted that tomatoes were grown in Virginia gardens in Notes on the State of Virginia, 1782. Costoluto Genovese is an old, indeterminate Italian preserving tomato. Although an oddity in today’s vegetable garden, this variety’s heavily-lobed and convoluted shape reflects the character of early 19th-century tomatoes. Its stellar flavor is intense and acidic; its unusual shape makes it most suitable for sauces and pastes after its skin is removed.
Sow seeds ¼" deep in pots indoors 6-8
weeks before last spring frost; keeping the soil moist
but not soggy. When several leaves have developed,
harden off the seedlings outdoors, then transplant
to the garden 18"–36" apart. 85-90 days to maturity.
Approximately 35-40 seeds per pack.
Line Drawing by Lucia Stanton.