Karen Olivier is an independent tomato breeder here in the PNW based near Victoria, BC, on Vancouver Island. We are very excited to have been introduced to her work (on the recommendation of a farmer friend with impeccable taste) and had the opportunity trial some of her varieties at the home farm this year. Taiga (and its sibling Midnight Sun) are part of her "True North" series of ox-heart tomatoes bred for a combination of cool season production, beautiful and unusual bi-color appearance, and, most importantly, flavor.
Taiga has an unusual beauty, green streaked with bronze and red, cut to reveal flesh with a marbling of more of the same but with even more intensified colors. The flavor is 10/10, with a balanced combination of sweetness, richness, and depth. The meaty flesh has very few seeds or gel cavities and is equally at home sliced for a sandwich or cooked to passata.
Potato leaf plants produce quite large fruits with minimal cracking.
Oxheart types grow a little differently than many our our favorite tomatoes and require a different strategy to maximize harvests. Rather than a strong central stem and abundant foliage that lends itself to more common two leader pruning and "florida weave" style trellising, most oxhearts display slender willowy leaders, sparse leaf coverage, and many suckers that we only very minimally prune in order to prevent sun scald and maximize fruit yield.
80 days, Indeterminate. UO
Packet: 15 seeds