This is the latest in a series of posts that I’ve done about my favorite varieties of fruits, vegetables and herbs we grow at Happy Acres. To see my other Spotlights, and those from other garden bloggers, visit the Variety Spotlights page.
Today’s Spotlight is on a red cherry tomato I’m growing for the first time this year. It’s called Jasper, and it’s a 2013 National AAS Winner. After tasting the first one that ripened a month or so ago, I knew it was going to be a winner in my garden too!
Jasper was bred by Johnny’s Selected Seeds and grows on vigorous indeterminate vines that have resistance to a number of diseases, including septoria leaf spot, fusarium wilt, plus early and late blights. I’ve got the plants growing in 5 foot tall remesh cages, and the vines quickly reached the top of the cage and then grew back down to the ground. I’ve seen no sign of disease on my plants this year, and they are loaded with fruit.
Jasper bears fruit on trusses of up to a dozen or more tomatoes, and the individual fruits are about 3/4 inch in diameter. They have the added bonus of keeping well both on the plant and after they are harvested. This has been a challenging year here for growing tomatoes, with lots of rain and high temperature and humidity, but the Jasper tomatoes have resisted cracking, splitting and rotting. That is important for me, as fruits that split and crack don’t keep well at all, and often start rotting while still on the vine. Jasper starts bearing early too, at about 60 days after setting out transplants.
Of course one of the most important things for me is the taste, and Jasper delivers in that department too. The deep red ripe fruits are sweet and flavorful, and wonderful for eating out of hand and on salads. Though they keep well after harvest, ours don’t hang around too long because they disappear from the kitchen in no time! I haven’t tried dehydrating them yet but they should dry well too.
I hope you have enjoyed this spotlight on a tomato that is easy to grow and one of my new favorites. Seeds for Jasper are available from a number of sources in the U.S. including Johnny’s, Nichols Garden Nursery and Fedco Seeds. You can read more about Jasper tomato on the AAS Winners page for it. I’ll be back soon with another variety to spotlight.