There’s something special about a home-grown tomato. But what about 320 home-grown varieties of tomatoes?
That’s the idea behind Rainbow Tomatoes Garden, a small farm stand located in rural southeastern Pennsylvania. The sheer range of shapes, sizes, and colors of the juicy fruit makes this place worth a stop. Owner, grower, and former chef Dan Waber became interested in agriculture, and after he and his wife Jenny bought a property with a small farm, the idea for the tomato haven was born.
There are more than 10,000 tomato cultivars, and Waber selected 320 varieties to grow (he based his decisions largely on flavor). Offerings include Maiden’s Fire, Charlie Chaplin, Green Zebra, Dancing with Smurfs, Long Tall Sally, Brad’s Atomic Grape, and Kaleidoscopic Jewel.
Each of these varieties has a story behind it, and Waber revels in conversations about them with customers. Perhaps Waber described the wide variety best when he told the Philadelphia Inquirer, “We have tomatoes that are white when ripe, green when ripe, black when ripe, brown when ripe, yellow when ripe, striped on the outside, multicolored on the inside, tomatoes that are round, oblong, pear-shaped, dumpling-shaped, impossible-to-describe shaped, as small as a currant, and larger than a 16-inch softball. And in every possible combination of these features. We have tomatoes like you’ve never seen before that taste better than any tomato you’ve ever eaten.”
The garden is completely chemical- and plastic-free; for example, plants are secured with bamboo and twine. So, in addition to tomato-lovers, organic gardeners (or those interested in it) may also find Rainbow Tomatoes a worthwhile place to stop and chat with the owners about their process.
Know Before You Go
It's important to remember that this is a seasonal business. Tomato season usually begins in July and daily stock is available until it's gone, so always check for hours and product availability before making a significant drive.