This time of year I start some of my garden plants from seed with a grow light. In the first years of my garden I would go out and just buy the plants from the nursery. Over time, my wife Deborah taught me how to sow and start seeds from scratch. Then came the step of saving the seed from last year for the next season, at this point I started to appreciate the vast world of heirloom plants. Reading the heirloom plant catalogs I couldn't help but notice some funny names for tomatos like: Missouri Pink Love Apple, Henderson's Crimson Cushion, Orange Oxheart, Riesentraube, Zebra...the list is very long. Then I came across the history of the Mortgage Lifter Tomato and I couldn't resist the idea of turning this legacy into this years spring promotion:
The story of the Mortgage Lifter Tomato has been around since the 1940s. Charlie owned a radiator repair business that he had purposefully opened on a mountain
where trucks climbing the steep grade would 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. Every year he cross-pollinated plants using a baby's ear
syringe, selecting and 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 his $6,000 mortgage on his house in 6 years. Each spring, gardeners drove as far as 200 miles to
buy Charlie's seedling tomatoes.
I didn't have the foresight to collect seeds for a large mailing. Somehow faith dealt me a lucky card and I hooked up with Ken & Doug from the Hudson Valley Seed Library. I proposed the idea of a shared Limited Edition Stimulus Pack, and they said "We love it". I printed 150 8x11.5 seeds and cut, scored and hand glued 150, 6x4 seed envelopes and inserted a glassine sleeves with the "Mortgage Lifter" seed.Ken had all the seeds sleeves sealed with a special planting instruction sticker.In addition, I did hand write all the addresses and off they went to a selected bunch of art directors and editors of garden, finance and realtor magazines.
I had a gas creating this collaborative stimulus package.
Here is look into some sketchy seed packages of my private stash of collected seeds.
I've saved seeds from a single plum sized yellow tomato with a frosted velvet skin that somebody brought
to David Goldin's 4th of July party. I plan to cross bread that one with the mortgage lifter and
call it "Velvet Madoff" the possibilities are endless...
Please take a moment and read and sign this partition against a horrific bill that will screw up organic farming (bill HR 875)backed and sponsored by no other than genetic engineering corporation Monsanto.
I can't find the link editor bar in Drawger 2.0, so you have to copy and paste for now.