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Lubera stops plant deliveries to the UK
Due to Brexit, we are not able to deliver to the UK. We are working on a solution on how we can continue to bring a wide range of Lubera plants to the UK and directly to our customers' homes in the future. However, such a solution will not be available before 2022 or 2023.

Heritage tomatoes

Heritage tomatoes Pixabay from Lubera

The term heritage tomatoes, also known as heirloom tomatoes, literally means "old" tomatoes. Heritage tomatoes are open-pollinated, non-hybrid cultivars of tomatoes.

Beefsteak Tomato 'Orange Wellington'

Solanum lycopersicum 'Orange Wellington' - the orange, flavourful beefsteak tomato

From £4.90 *

Heirloom Tomato 'Barrys Crazy Cherry'

Solanum lycopersicum 'Barrys Crazy Cherry' - the crazy cherry tomato with huge clusters...

From £4.90 *

Heirloom Tomato 'Black Beauty'

Solanum lycopersicum 'Black Beauty' - the black tomato with the pink nose

From £4.90 *

Heirloom Tomato 'Blue Berry'

Solanum lycopersicum 'Blue Berry' - the bluish black cherry tomato

From £4.90 *

Heirloom Tomato 'Blush'

Solanum lycopersicum 'Blush' - the small, yellow plum tomato, slightly blushed

From £4.90 *

Heirloom Tomato 'Brad's Atomic Grape'

Solanum lycopersicum 'Brad's Atomic Grape' - the tomato with the unique mixture of...

From £4.90 *

Heirloom Tomato 'Chocolate Pear'

Solanum lycopersicum 'Chocolate Pear' - the pear-shaped cherry tomato with the...

From £4.90 *

Heirloom Tomato 'Dattelwein'

Solanum lycopersicum 'Dattelwein' - the pear-shaped, yellow cherry tomato with huge...

From £4.90 *

Heirloom Tomato 'Indigo Blueberry'

Solanum lycopersicum 'Indigo Blueberry' - the blue/black/red tomato with vigorous growth

From £4.90 *

Heirloom Tomato 'Lucid Gem'

Solanum lycopersicum 'Lucid Gem' - the orange beefsteak tomato with the violet-coloured...

From £4.90 *

Heirloom Tomato 'Pork Chop'

Solanum lycopersicum 'Pork Chop' - the large, yellow beefsteak tomato with a good flavour

From £4.90 *

Tomato 'Indigo Rose'

The tomato with the black fruits

From £4.90 *


More information about heritage tomatoes


Hertiage tomatoes referes to old tomato varieties, tomatoes as they have been grown in the region, in the family, on the farm for quite some time. Every year seeds were kept, the varieties were preserved for generations and also improved (since people always wondered from which plant they got the seeds).

These rural varieties gradually disappeared after World War II with the advent of industrial tomatoes and F1 hybrids. From the late sixties and seventies, a counter-movement began: people wanted and still want to preserve and maintain the old varieties, our vegetable legacy, which is part of our cultural heritage.



Heritage tomatoes: tomato diversity from the past


Heritage tomatoes make a lot of sense in the first place: it means that diversity is preserved and diversity in nature and plants is a value in itself. In any case, one should not voluntarily give up diversity. But when it comes to the subject of "old/heirloom varieties" - that's what heritage varieties are called in Europe and in the German-speaking countries - there is also a great danger that the subject of "old varieties" will degenerate into a dust-dry collection of varieties that are no longer relevant. We have nothing against collecting currently irrelevant varieties; but it is much more important to let new things emerge from this diversity, which corresponds to our wishes and requirements, to our current reality. Because it is quite obvious that society's and the environment's demands on plants, especially on cultivated plants and, of course, on tomatoes, change along with society's and the environment's demands.


Heritage tomatoes: tomato diversity for the futureHeritage tomatoes pixabay from Lubera


And this is exactly where the heritage tomatoes and the heirloom movement, which originated in the United States and has spread to other countries, are special: here, not only is diversity collected and precisely registered, but it is also deliberately developed for the future. Above all, the heritage tomato breeding movement in the United States has made it its business to make the tomato, which as an old tomato was mainly red and yellow (albeit somewhat more irregularly coloured), even more diverse and thus fitter for the future by breeding wild varieties, other tomato colours and the like. However, one must also admit that within the heirloom movement, besides diversity, resistance breeding, i.e. the inbreeding of resistance to the most common tomato diseases, has been rather neglected. This can be explained not least by the fact that the heirloom movement originated to a large extent in southern states, especially in California, where there is much more sun and less rain...


Heritage tomatoes in the strict sense


Heirloom varieties, therefore, include old country varieties and new varieties developed from these with new genetics, with a particular emphasis on diversity, new and different colours, shapes and flavours. These varieties in the narrower sense of the word are also true-to-seed varieties, not F1 hybrids. The heirloom movement quite rightly regards F1 hybrids as dead ends, one-way streets, since it is not possible to use the seeds of F1 hybrids for new sowing and breeding since the F1 hybrids then split up. We also understand this argumentation with Lubera®, but we also see the great contributions that have been made in F1 hybrid breeding, especially in the breeding of disease resistance. We believe that diversity and openness should not stop at F1 hybrids. While we also believe that F1 hybrids tend to lead to less diversity in terms of length, as they are very expensive to breed and maintain, F1 hybrids are also very productive sources for breeding seed-strains by splitting the F1 hybrids and starting to combine them again.


Our heritage tomato assortment at Lubera®


We actually see our entire tomato assortment as an heirloom assortment. But in this category, we have mainly gathered varieties that originate from the American heirloom movement (e.g. many varieties from Wild Boar Farms) or go back to it. However, against the narrower intention and against the limitation of the term to true-to-seed varieties, we have also included some F1 hybrids - those that obviously, in turn, are based on the heirloom tomato and its innovations in taste and colour. Diversity - we believe - does not stop with F1 hybrids, but includes them.


The future


The future of heritage tomatoes is - in our opinion - the future of garden tomatoes in general. To achieve this, however, resistance must gradually be built into the heritage tomatoes, so that they can be grown not only in protected cultivation but also outdoors without protection. With the Lubera® breeding programme we have started this work.


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