Pick Your Own


CSA members have access to our pick-your-own crops (heirloom tomatoes, hot peppers, fresh flowers, green beans, and a variety of herbs) as soon as they are ready.

Tomato Picking Guide

Heirloom tomatoes are varieties that have been around for at least fifty years. They are not often sold in grocery stores because they do not suit commercial production requirements, but they are usually much tastier and more varied than supermarket tomatoes.

Our heirloom varieties come in many different shapes, sizes, and colorings. For the most part, ripe tomatoes will look full and heavy, will be pliant to the touch, and should come off of the stem without too much effort. Some varieties are best when they have what are known as "green shoulders" (green around the top), so don't worry if the tomato seems otherwise ripe.

You will probably come across some plants with fruits that look different from those in the rest of the row. This is due mostly to hybridizing, which has occurred among our varieties, and partly to planting error. See what you can find!

  • Bisignano: Small, very round, and pinkish-red when ripe. A solid beefsteak variety that makes a great slicer or sandwich tomato.
  • Black Cherry: Two-bite cherries with a dusky color and complex flavor. Don't be afraid of the green shoulders; they can be the best part.
  • Black from Tula: Don't be put off by these small, strange-looking tomatoes, mottled with shades of red, brown, and green. They are very tasty, with a rich and full flavor.
  • Black Krim: Ripe when red-brown, this tomato is rich and salty.
  • Brandywine: These tomatoes are a tried and true favorite among tomato lovers. They are large reddish-pink beefsteaks with tender, juicy flesh and a rich, spicy flavor.
  • Cherokee Purple: Delicious, medium-large, and rounded. Green around the top, fading down into shades of brownish-red when ripe.
  • Eva Purple Ball: Uniformly pinkish-red when ripe. Mild flavor.
  • Garden Peach: Nancy's favorite, beautiful little tomatoes with fuzzy skins and a rosy yellow hue. Sweet, mild, and delicate.
  • Green Zebra: Perhaps some of the most interesting-looking tomatoes we grow, these are yellow with deep green stripes when ripe. Sweet, zingy flavor, and small enough to eat in just two or three bites.
  • Hawaiian Pineapple: Dense, enormous fruit resembling a pineapple when sliced open, with faint streaks of red radiating from the middle. Externally they look anywhere from yellow with an orange bottom to orange with a red bottom. Delicious fruity flavor.
  • Indian Moon: Lovely oblong tomatoes, bright yellowish-orange when ripe. Mild and flavorful, perfect for adding some color and a sweet, subtle taste to a meal.
  • Little Pink Plum: Cherry tomato with a beautiful pinkish color and a sweet, delicate flavor. Small and oblong in shape, perfect as an addition to a salad or as a tasty snack.
  • Livingston Beauty: Pinkish-red with green shoulders; pretty, sweet, and good.
  • Maule's Success: Orangish-red and medium sized, taste like your standard garden tomato, good for canning.
  • Mortgage Lifter: Very large, often misshapen, pinkish-red with green shoulders when ripe. Flavor is sweet and good.
  • Mule Team: Beautiful, smallish, red tomato.
  • NoHo Paste: A local paste tomato with a long tapered shape and meaty flesh.
  • Orange Banana: A beautiful orange-colored paste tomato. Excellent for sauces or drying.
  • Persimmon: A wonderful orange slicing variety.
  • Paul Robeson: Named for the famous singer, orator, and crusader for racial equality and social justice, this tomato is one of the best. These maroon-brick fruits with green shoulders have a distinctive sweet smoky taste. One bite will have you singing in the tomato patch.
  • Purple Perfect: Blemish-free, medium sized, pinkish red, delicious tomatoes.
  • Rose D'berne: Oblong, orange-red, pretty tomato.
  • Striped German: A bi-colored fruit of red and yellow. Looks beautiful sliced. Complex, fruity flavor and smooth texture.
  • Thessaloniki: Baseball-sized, mild-tasting red fruits are the hallmark of this variety developed in Greece.
  • Tomatillo: This tomato relative comes in a papery husk that splits when ripe. The flavor is sweet and mild and good for salsa or mole verde.
  • Trucker's Favorite: Mid-sized, pinky-red, sometimes with green shoulders. A flavorful tomato with a nice bite.
  • Watermelon Beefsteak: Very large oblong beefsteak tomato with pink skin, yellow shoulders, and darker flesh.
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Hampshire College
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Amherst, MA 01002