I am writing about this tomato because I find the passionate disagreement over it very amusing. Many tomato growers turn their nose up at this one as "silly" and a "gimmick". I will give you my take on it and you can make up your own mind.
There is a family by the name of Wagner. This tomato has been in their family for many generations beginning with their ancestors in
Well, here's the rub, the family that has been growing this tomato, decided to give it a name and thought it would be funny to call it Monkey Ass. They trademarked the name and sell the seeds on E-Bay. That is the part that annoys some tomato growers.
The family didn't use the normal channels of tomato growers, the forums, seed savers or giving seeds to a commercial seed supplier. I say; SO?
Some of the arguements I have heard are; "it could be a know variety and they re-named it". So? That happens every year all over the country. People buy a tomato at a market stand and like it but don't know what it is. So they give it a new name and call it there own.
I've heard " the name is silly". I personally find it funny. I don't think all tomato names have to be serious.
Some tomato growers don't like the fact that they sell the seeds on E-bay. So?
What this family has done is taken a family tomato and marketed it. And cleverly I might add. What they have done is no different than what many seed companies do with their tomatoes. Some growers find it irritating that they didn't use the "proper" channels.
This tomato meets all the criteria for an heirloom. It's been in a family for generations, beginning with their Grandmother that brought it from Italy. It's been passed down thru the family as most heirlooms are.
I grew this last year and it was good. I would give it a 7.5/10 It did indeed develop a crack like a Monkey Ass. My gardening friends and I had a blast with it. Caused alot of laughs at some of the tomato events I went to.
I don't see the harm done here. The family was smart enough to market the tomato and ensure it's longevity for many generations by selling the seed to everyone. As far as I'm concerned, the family did what many seed companies do. Come out with a tomato,trademark the name, and market and sell the tomato only from their company.
So, in closing my thoughts are, Good for you Wagner family. You are a clever group. Tomato growers should stop treating this tomato like a silly joke, and realize that it is a true heirloom from Italy. Just happens to be sold on E-bay.