(70 days) Medium sized, 12 - 16 oz., flattened globe. Could it be the elusive real
"Jersey" tomato? After a 20 year hiatus, Ramapo,
named for an eastern Indian tribe, was reintroduced
in 2009 to satisfy backyard gardeners who had yearned for that
real "Jersey" tomato flavor they remembered as a kid.
Scientist at Rutgers University realized that one of their state’s bragging rights, the “Jersey” tomato, had disappeared and they began a search in 2000 to rediscover it. After seven years of extensively testing more than 150 varieties, they found 13 that merited the “Jersey” title. But one variety was judged clearly superior to all the rest, and that was Ramapo.
Ramapo was developed during the 1960's by Rutger's professor Dr. Bernard Pollack who crossed tomato cultivars KCA and Abbie resulting in a great tasting tomato with high acid and average sugar content. After its release in 1968 Ramapo became an instant hit with consumers, but Sakata Seed Corp., the Japanese company that produced the seed, lost interest when the big commercial growers switched to newer determinate cultivars that did not require staking, were higher yielding, and could be harvested earlier.
and moved to California, but fortunately for Rutgers U. he had one 20 year old seed that had
retained its ability to germinate.
Genesis Seed Ltd. in Israel agreed to produce seed for Rutgers at a
reasonable price. For three years Rutgers U. collected extensive data from
home gardeners growing Ramapo. Terry Coley, pictured above, was an eager and meticulous contributor
to their research.