The Ramapo Tomato: Back by Popular Demand!
The Ramapo Tomato was developed at Rutgers NJAES in 1968 by Dr. Bernard Pollack. It became a gardener's favorite due to its wonderful flavor combined with excellent fruit quality, reliability and production. It was one of the many delicious varieties grown by Jersey Tomato growers before commercial production switched to firm shipping varieties. Many years ago Ramapo tomato disappeared from seed catalogues. Seed companies were favoring varieties that produced higher yields and firmer fruit for commercial growers. Despite its disappearance, Rutgers continued to receive many requests for this tasty tomato and produced small batches throughout the years. In 2008, the first commercial lot of genuine Ramapo F1 hybrid seed was reintroduced through an effort by Rutgers NJAES. We continue to supply the seeds of this old time classic variety that was among the many delicious varieties grown by Jersey tomato farmers in days gone by.
What’s all this fuss about the Ramapo Tomato?
There are a number of garden favorite tomato varieties that people rely on every growing season. The Ramapo tomato is among those time-honored favorites. Here’s what other gardeners have to say about Ramapo tomato (responses from 2008 gardener survey):
“I usually grow several different varieties of tomato. Starting in 2009, I'm not going to waste garden space on anything other than Ramapo.”
“Very pleased with the quality of the Ramapo. From seeds to final product A+.”
“They were really good, sturdy plant, lots of fruit, good taste. I will grow them again and wish they were ripe in May, (I am a hopeless dreamer).”
“Great germination, hardy growth, very prolific, virtually blemish-free, and of course the taste is top notch. The plants seem to be more resistant to the early blight (which plagues us every year) than the heirloom varieties we grow.”
“This season Ramapo exceeded all our expectations and we intend to grow Ramapo for many years to come.”
“I neglected the seedlings, poor watering, and late to get them into the ground when they were scrawny and pale...despite all that, they took hold, grew fast and strong and delivered amazingly good and plentiful fruits!!”
“The vines were like machines - once they started producing tomatoes they never quit until frost. Loved them and so did everyone else who received seedlings from me.”
“Couldn't have been better... Sturdy plants... Massive yields... Fabulous taste!”
“The Tomato was DEElicious!!”
...And finally: Named a Test Garden Favorite in 2009 by Organic Gardening Magazine: “Hats off to the breeders at Rutgers University for putting their energy and resources into a tomato just because it tastes good. …In our Pennsylvania garden, the manageable-sized, healthy plants yielded medium-large, flawless red fruits. And yes, the taste was superb."
Frequently Asked Questions
Articles of Interest
In Search of the Real Jersey Tomato, Part I (202k PDF)
In Search of the Real Jersey Tomato, Part II (183k PDF)
2008 Gardener Survey Results See the results from our online survey of over 1200 gardeners growing Ramapo tomatoes
2008 Gardener Survey Favorite Tomato Varieties From the above survey, the results to the question "What is your favorite tomato variety?".
Read more about the Ramapo tomato and the Rediscovering the Jersey Tomato project here.
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Last modified 01/09/2015