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Tomato Roulette



Heather Flores says that since tomatoes are self-pollinating, you can save the seeds and know that next year's tomatoes will be the same ("Humboldt Homegrown Tomatoes," June 18). Most currently grown tomatoes, though, are hybrids, developed for characteristics like disease resistance, flavor, texture, or — uh — tough skins; and hybrid tomatoes won't breed true. Since they are crosses between two different "parent" tomatoes, the seeds will reflect some unpredictable combination of the genes of the parents. In my experience, what you tend to get is undistinguished cherry tomatoes. Never know, though — could be the tomato of the future! I always let a couple of volunteers grow, for that reason.

Deanna Beeler, Arcata

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