Fejee Improved Tomato
This tomato came in to my grandfather ’s collection from his friend Dr. Harold E. Martin (1888-1959), the creator of Dr. Martin’ s Lima Bean. Dr. Martin used it as a breeding parent to create the True Black Brandywine tomato which I discussed several years ago in The Heirloom Gardener. Fejee Improved or True Beefsteak appeared as a new cross or selection about 1883 in the seed catalogs of David Landreth and Robert Buist of Philadelphia. Ideal for slicing, the fat, oblate fruit about 4 to 5 inches in diameter features maroon or brownish-purple flesh with a red “bloody” center as shown in the picture. It received the name Beefsteak because it resembled raw aged beef. Treat as a late season tomato. Due to the heavy fruit, plants should be staked or caged.