Mortgage Lifter Tomato

Mortgage Lifter Tomato

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A reliable red-pink tomato with a boastful name.

Large, smooth, 1-lb pink fruit has a delicious, rich, sweet taste. The story of this tomato has been around since the 1940s. There are a lot of versions of it, but this is the most detailed one we found:

Charlie owned a radiator repair business that he had purposefully opened at the foot of a mountain where trucks climbing the steep grade would often overheat. In his spare time, with no plant breeding experience, Radiator Charlie created a huge tomato by cross-breeding 4 of the largest-fruited tomatoes he could find. Using a baby's ear syringe and his ingenuity, he cross-pollinated plants. Each year he selected the best seedlings from the previous year's cross. Every year he continued his cross-pollinating and selection scheme saving seeds to replant the next spring. Eventually Charlie was satisfied he had created the largest, tastiest tomato he could. He sold plants for $1.00 each and claims that tomato sales paid off the $6,000 mortgage on his house in 6 years. The story goes that each spring, gardeners drove as far as 200 miles to buy Charlie's seedling tomatoes.

Of course, the story has had it's embellishments over time, as has the variety.

Mortgage Lifter is part of Slow Foods US Ark of Taste, a catalog of over 200 delicious foods in danger of extinction. By promoting and eating Ark products we help ensure they remain in production and on our plates.

Days to Maturity: 85 DAYS