Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wisconsin 55 Gold

Wisconsin 55 Gold 80 Days RL
Wisconsin 55 Yellow/Gold is a yellow mutant of Wisconsin 55 (This splendid cultivar represents some of the last focused open pollinated tomato breeding done at the University of Wisconsin in the early 1950's. by J.C. Walker, who was actually a plant pathologist. Shortly after that time, breeding efforts shifted to F1 hybrids and this was among the varieties that were nearly forgotten.) that Dr. Robert Raabe, professor emeritus UC Berkeley, found growing in a field of the original Wisconsin 55 growouts in 1953/54 when he was a student tending fields and picking fruit for processing. Raabe saved some seeds as a curiosity. He's grown them for them 50 years since because he likes them but never thought there would be widespread interest in such a thing until Alison Stewart got excited about it and asked him for seeds. Raabe gave Alison some seedlings from which she got a supply of seeds some of which she sent to Martin Longseth, a champion of Wisconsin 55. This tomato grows hardy plants under harsh conditions in shallow soil and makes thick walled, dense tomatoes suitable for canning and slicing. WI-55 Gold seems tolerant to disease, heat, heavy rain, and survives bug infestations while producing relatively blemish free fruit without cracks that ripen to a very pretty yellow/gold color that is not orange. (Variety info from IN JE B2)