Posted on: June 14, 2019 | Written By: Doug Oster |
I’ll be giving away seedlings of the 3945 tomato at 11 a.m. Sunday at Hahn Nursery in Ross. It was found on the battlefield during WWII by the late Joe Roberts. The tomatoes are huge, sometimes reaching four pounds and are a reddish orange with a texture that’s both meaty and juicy, and a wonderful old-fashioned flavor.
After the seedlings are gone, I’ll be at the nursery as your personal shopper to help you find some cool plants. We can walk around together and look over what’s available. There is a lot of stuff on sale, too.
It was my friend Dan Cummings who introduced me to 3945, he has since passed away too. “When I plant the tomatoes, I usually make a sign of the cross, bless them and ask the good Lord to make them grow so I can share them with everybody,” he said to me in 2016. Cummings had patriotic decorations throughout his garden and reflected on why he kept this historic tomato alive for all these years.
“I fly a flag every day in my yard in memory of those who fought and died for us,” he says proudly. “Can you imagine a unit of soldiers going across a battlefield and seeing a field of tomatoes? They took time out from protecting themselves to stop and eat some tomatoes and then to bring the seeds home and to grow them. It’s just mind-boggling.”
Doug Oster is manager and editor of Everybody Gardens with a passion for gardening and a love of sharing is experiences with other gardeners. You will also find Doug’s gardening contributions in the Tribune-Review each week. He’s an Emmy Award winning producer, television host and writer. Oster is co-host of The Organic Gardeners Radio show every Sunday morning at 7 a.m. on KDKA radio in Pittsburgh. Oster’s Outstanding Documentary Emmy was awarded for Gardens of Pennsylvania, a one hour special he conceived and produced for the PBS affiliate WQED. Doug appears every Thursday morning on KDKA-TV’s Pittsburgh Today live at 9 a.m. “Gardening is fun, he says, enjoy every day spent outside tending vegetables, flowers, shrubs and trees.”