Thursday, September 17, 2009

Central Coast Tomato Taste Tests 2009 - Camp Joy

The next tomato up is Camp Joy.

Seed Catalog Description:
Heavy bearing heirloom variety that offers an abundance of luscious 1" fruit with huge, well-balanced, sweet tomato flavors. One of Gary Ibsen's favorite cherry varieties. Strong disease resistance. Perfect for snacking or salads.
Days: 81
Size: Indeterminate
Color: Cherry
Season: Mid-Season
Type: Heirloom

Production and Earliness:
Camp Joy produced a ripe tomato on 7/8. Great, I thought! But then my 2 plants made me wait until 7/24 for another taste. So I consider this pretty good earliness. The average plant has produced 96 tomatoes so far, weighing 3.27 lbs.

Fruit Size, Color and Shape:
This is a small sized tomato, think cherry to golf ball range. They are nice, round, and red. The average Camp Joy tomato weighs half an ounce. I like how all of the Camp Joy tomatoes are a similar size - there are very few little runts. This doesn't seem to happen with most of the other varieties I'm growing, which have a much larger range of sizes.

Plant Growth Habit:
These plants can grow! The catalog description says they have "strong disease resistance". I think their strategy is to simply outgrow diseases. I'm thinking that if my plants weren't growing all over the place, but were instead tied to a really tall stake, they would be 12 feet tall by now!

Lots of gel and seeds and juice. Rather creamy texture - nice.

They have a nice, sweet flavor with a hint of earthy-ness. There is medium acidity and salt enhances the flavor. Most of the flavor is contained in the gel, not in the 'meat'. I really liked the flavor and so did my husband. We both picked Camp Joy over Lahman Pink and Nepal.

Cooking and serving options:
Camp Joy is a snacking tomato, and a darn good one. Though it's not meaty enough to be considered for sauce, that's ok. I've enjoyed slicing the larger ones for topping my tomato sandwiches. And the smaller ones are great in salads.

Is it a winner?
I like this tomato. The great, sweet flavor and (relative) earliness are it's best qualities. I'll likely be growing this one again.


Mary Delle said...

It's really nice to read a post by someone who is so into their vegetables. I'd call you a connoisseur.

Stefaneener said...

Hmmmm. Every time I read something like this, I wonder if I should try it. But then I come to my senses and realize that if I'm going to run trials, it's going to be on something smaller. . .