greenish streaked variety of tomato, isolated on wooden table
(Image credit: Rosario Scalia / Getty Images)

There are numerous heirloom tomato plants to choose from and one of the more recent acquisitions available to us are Malakhitovaya Shkatulka tomatoes. Don't worry, there's a translation that most of our tongues can wrap around: malachite box tomatoes. Where did these particular heirloom tomato plants come from?

About Malakhitovaya Shkatulka Tomatoes

Malakhitovaya Shkatulka tomatoes originated in Russia (Siberia, actually!) at Svetlana Farm. In a 2006 seed exchange, Tatian Kouchnarev received seeds from Tmara Yaschenko of Biysk, Siberia, Russia. They were then acquired by Seed Savers Exchange and subsequently offered by Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds in their 2008 catalog. The translation for Malakhitovaya Shkatulka is "malachite box," so named for the beautiful green jewelry boxes made from this mineral mined in the Urals, Russia and Timna, Israel - the location of King Solomon's mines. Additional malachite box tomato info provided by Baker Creek Heirlooms Seeds describes these tomatoes as medium sized (6-20 oz.) with bright green, flavorful flesh punctuated by a lighter yellow core.

Growing Heirloom Tomato Plants

Growing these heirloom tomatoes isn't any different than growing tomatoes, in general. In fact, the malachite box tomato seems to be fairly adaptable just about anywhere. This low acid variety of tomato is outstanding for its vigor in cooler climates. It was developed in Siberia after all! It also does quite well in warmer climates in the South. Prolific producers, Malakhitovaya Shkatulka tomatoes rarely crack like many other heirlooms. Fruit comes to maturity in about 70 days. I live in the Pacific Northwest and while I haven't personally grown this varietal, it is high on my lists of prospects for next year, specifically due to its ability to withstand cooler temperatures. All in all, a gorgeous, juicy and flavorful heirloom tomato that is as at home in northern gardens as those in the South.

Amy Grant

Amy Grant has been gardening for 30 years and writing for 15. A professional chef and caterer, Amy's area of expertise is culinary gardening.