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Tomato of the Year 2021
'Lava Flow'

We found this gem a few years ago in the offerings of a small hybridizer that we’ve come to respect. It’s been trialed it in different places and spaces for the last couple of years. We love its bright countenance and it’s also delicious, multi-purpose and just flat interesting. There’s nothing this baby can’t do.

Look closer, it gets even better!

So how do we decide?
There are SO many good tomatoes for home gardeners.
First and foremost, the Tomato of the Year needs to taste incredible. This is real tomato flavor, especially for a yellow. We’re used to this color coming with milder taste and citrus-like flavors but this one has a more round and full tomato flavor. We give it high marks for that.

Another key factor: Production
Many tomatoes will lure you in with bright color, and yes, even stripes (!), then offer you a handful of fruit after a long season. Fine if you’re growing 50 plants and sure, we can forgive the tastiest among them. But there’s no harm in bowls or buckets of fruit is there? It’s grown well from the coast to the valleys and it always delivers. Yes, sometimes in buckets.

Long season, huh? So how did the plant hold up?
A plant has to have a strong constitution to be in this category and this one fills the bill. We’ve watched it get through weather struggles and critter attacks and still come out on top. Plus, it’s an indeterminate tomato so it can offer a long season for sure. It tends to be a shorter to mid-sized plant, making it more manageable in a container and generally less work for the home gardener.

What’s the story on this tomato?
How many tomatoes do you know that come from Hawaii? With stripes reminiscent of Kilauea, these indeterminate plants produce 2" round, bright tomatoes. They truly look like they are lit from the inside.

Are they yellow or gold? Maybe orange? Is that a subtle green stripe I see? The outside dazzles with red stripes and the inside flesh is a pastel blush of yellow and often red or pink. The tomatoes are juicy and contain complex, intriguing, well-balanced, fruity flavors that invite you into your next bite with a smile on your face. This is a wonderful salad tomato or perfect for snacking.

What exactly do you use this one for? Sliced or Sauced?
Come on, use it for everything. Find it some burrata, roast it to highlight its flavor even more. Use your imagination. We promise it will make you smile every time you see it on the plate.

We’ve got so many wonderful varieties to share with you this season!

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