Tomato, Pigletwillie’s French Black (Organic)
Solanum lycopersicum. Maroon/Brown. 75 days. Indet.
Dark, 2-3” fruit weigh 2-3 oz and have a full-bodied meaty taste. Not a true black tomato, but very dark red with chocolate shoulders. Fruit ripens in clusters of 4 or 5 and can be harvested by snipping the cluster stem. Sometimes a name is all you need to know when deciding to grow a variety. When a customer sent us this seed a few years ago, we were on the fence about growing Pigletwillie’s French Black, even with the amusing name. But since that customer was John Miller from the Old Schoolhouse Plantery in Vermont, a nurseryman with an eye for good varieties (and our original source for Cilician Parsley), we decided we had to grow it out. John’s hunch is that this tomato originally came from former garden blogger Pigletwillie, when he was on vacation in France some years back. Aka, Piglet Wille’s French Black.
Sow indoors in flats with good potting soil as early as February, but no later than April. Keep warm and well-watered. Up pot seedlings into 4” pots once they have two true leaves. Transplant into the garden once danger of frost has passed.
Collect seeds from ripe fruit by squeezing into a jar and add 25% more water. Wait a few days for mold to form. When seeds sink and gel-sac is gone, stir, add water, then decant and rinse to clean. Dry thoroughly. Tomatoes are mostly self-pollinating; isolation is not usually needed for seeds to be true to type.