Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mortgage Lifters

We have found out all time favorite tomato variety- Mortgage Lifters. The flesh of Mortgage Lifter is thick, tangy, juicy, with relatively few seeds and not too acidic. We have grown a lot of varieties but flavor wise, this variety tops the competition. Brandywine's come in second place for us but they can grow into unusual shapes making them more challenging to prepare and eat. Mortgage lifters grow to a large round shape making it easy to slice, roast, can or freeze.

Background on the variety:
Mortgage Lifter heirloom tomato was developed in the early 1930's by a man named M.C. “Radiator Charlie” Byles. Byles was a radiator repairman who, like many of his countrymen, struggled to keep his finances in order during the Great Depression. As the story goes, Radiator Charlie cross-bred the largest tomatoes he could find in his hometown of Logan, West Virginia, and sold the resulting plants for a dollar each. The profits he earned were substantial enough that he was able to pay down his mortgage with them!

Mortgage Lifter is an indeterminate tomato variety, which means that the plants will grow vines and continue to grow taller as the gardening season progresses. Without pruning, the plant will continue to grow longer. To allow the plant to focus on growing higher yields of fruit, pinch the suckers on the tomato vine, and stake the plant well.


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