Thursday, June 13, 2013

Our first Mortgage Lifter Tomato... this is the one to beat!!!

We pulled our first Mortgage Lifter today, and it weighed in at a hefty 14 1/2 ounces!  The Pipsqueak could barely hold it in two of her little hands. 

This is the one to beat! 

I remembered that there was a story to the Mortgage Lifter Tomato, and I wanted to look it up and post it here so I wouldn't forget.  I found the most detail on  Yes, there is a website for tomato geeks...  lol.  Glad to know I'm in good company. 

Here's the Tomato tale:

The birth of the Mortgage Lifter Heirloom Tomato (from
 With absolutely no experience breeding or growing tomatoes, Marshall Cletis Byles, aka "Radiator Charlie" decided to develop a large and meaty tomato that could feed families. He looked for tomatoes available in his area that met his criteria and started with 4: German Johnson, Beefsteak, an unknown Italian variety, and an unknown English variety.  Byles then grew plants from each variety and planted 3 Beefsteak, 3 of the Italian variety and 3 of the English variety in a circle. In the center of the circle, he planted the German Johnson Tomato.

    With a baby syringe, he cross-pollinated the German Johnson with pollen from the other 9 plants in the circle. He saved the seeds, which he planted the following year. Byles then selected the best seedlings, and planted them in the middle of a circle, surrounded by the other seedlings. For 6 years, he repeated this process and cross-pollinated the strongest plants in the center with pollen from the plants in the circle.

    When he was satisfied that he had grown a stable tomato that met his criteria, he sold the seedlings for $1.00 each, which was a hefty sum back in the 1940s.

    The tomato was of course named after him: Radiator Charlie’s Tomato. The tomato was so popular that people drove hundreds of miles to purchase the seedlings. With the proceeds of the sales, Charlie paid off his $6,000 mortgage in 6 years. Byles’ legacy is now called Radiator Charlie’s Mortgage Lifter Tomato.

That's it for now... 
Green Thumb Out.

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