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The Great Tomato Book Paperback – May 1, 1999


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Frequently Bought Together

The Great Tomato Book + The Heirloom Tomato Cookbook + The Heirloom Tomato: From Garden to Table: Recipes, Portraits, and History of the World's Most Beautiful Fruit
Price for all three: $53.13

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (May 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580080480
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580080484
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 10.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #840,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The authors tell us that there are about 34 million gardening households in the U.S., and of those, 93 percent grow tomatoes. Their book begins with tips for successful planting, and they recommend starting seeds indoors. They give advice on seed selection, soil preparation, designing a garden, trellising techniques, watering, organic fertilizing, and saving seeds. Ibsen also provides a glossary of his 85 favorite tomato varieties. Instructions on harvesting, drying, canning, and freezing tomatoes are also included in this photo-filled paperback, as well as 27 appetizing recipes. George Cohen

Review

"Can help you enormously" if you'¬?re interested in growing tomatoes.-Sunset Magazine'¬?s

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is the essential book on heirlooms. Easy to use and well organized, it's an entertaining and beautiful read. I loved it. It's on my reference shelf to use when I'm ready to plant, shop for the best tasting heirlooms, or prepare a special tomato dish. The clear descriptions and photographs helped me identify my individual preferences. I've tried some of the recipes and they've been a huge success. This is the basics of heirloom tomatoes in one short, simple, beautifully photographed and put together book. It's on my Christmas gift list-for David, Karen, Teri, Sherry and Lynn.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By M. Walton on January 10, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful book. The pictures show many varieties of lush tomatoes. The recipies look delicious as well and I look forward to trying many of them this coming Summer. The author's general descriptions on certain varieties is nice as an overview. The book is really an overview of tomatoes and growing methods and fertilizers and offers specific recipies.

If the author would have included tomato info on time to maturity for each of his tomato descriptions, then the book would have been more helpful to those trying to plan out what varities to grow to space out harvesting. Now I have to bop between the book's tomato descriptions and some seed web-sites to figure out what to plant to get a relatively spaced harvesting, which I have to do often since the tomatoes described in the look comprise a long list. Also, it would have been nice to know which varieties were hybrids and which were heirlooms. I'm surprised the author didn't mention Red Brandywine in his list as the flavor is the same with a better yield and some say it's easier to grow than the pink variety.

The chapter of "Tomato Fest" could have been eliminated. I wasn't sure as it's purpose other than noting that the author liked to set up tastings.

The chapter on favorite soil amendments can be summarized as a description of the soil amendment (typically organic which is great) and then the use "apply to soil prior planting." Again, this was an overview and I would have liked to know why to use one over the other, how to use, etc.

If you're looking for a beautiful overview book on tomatoes, then this is it.

But if you've become passionate about tomatoes and not only want an overview, but also require better instructions on the "how to" of growing and seeding and access to to more specific info on the varieties themselves then check out "100 Heirloom Tomatoes for the American Garden" which is beautiful as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. T. Socci-Brown on July 30, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Great Tomato Book
Gary Ibsen
This book is a good starter book of both Hybrid and Heirloom tomatoes. It is a good jumping off point for someone who is wanting to grow tomatoes from seed and is new to the experience. There are many good ideas for growing and sowing the seeds. Also included are several helpful hints, and some fun trivia as well. The book has many gorgeous pictures that cause some definite mouthwatering. The pictures that appear near tomato descriptions will be helpful for first timers to those varieties, because the more knowledge you have of any particular variety the better off you are.
The book is also full of tomato recipes. Most are simple yet elegant recipes highlighting the fruit. A few examples of those recipes would include, gazpacho, tomato tapenade and of course salsas and sauces.
I wish however that there had been fewer recipes and more varieties highlighted. I was also a bit disappointed in the descriptions, as many of them read like seed catalog blurbs rather than true grow out descriptions.
All in all a good book for someone new to gardening or who is looking for some unique tomato recipes. It could also be a fun addition to the gardening library of someone who loves tomatoes but isn't looking for anything in-depth.

Although my stars appear as a 3 I am actually rating this book a 3.5.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By zyphlus on May 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
Great book to learn which ones to grow and what soil should be ammended w/. Best all around tomato book i have and i have 15.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book doesn't have any valuable information in it. I love to read about tomatoes, but this is a waste. I didn't lose too much money b/c I bought it cheap, but it is just disappointing.
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By J. Graham on January 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
I bought this book for a friend, and when it arrived I wanted to keep it for myself! It has lots of great information about tomato growing, plus wonderful recipes. You can't go wrong.
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