The Biggest Tomatoes!
These heirloom varieties produce fruit from 2 to 6 lbs.
Ideal for Big Tomato contests and impressing the neighbors.
Amana Orange ($5.95) (BB) 80 days. This huge, extremely prolific and beautiful late season heirloom beefsteak is named for Amana, Iowa. The light-orange fruits grow to 2 - 3 pounds or more. Amana Orange is full flavored and slightly sweet with an enticing hint of tropical fruit flavors and a lovely texture. Along with producing huge numbers of fruit, our customers all over the country from coast to coast and in the southern states, including Florida and Texas, are reporting great success with Amana Orange in hot weather.
NEW FOR 2013
Bear Claw ($6.25) 75 days
I've been hearing about this extremely rare fruit lately in heirloom tomato circles--everyone wants it! We've got it! Incredibly high production. From Lisa VonSaunder, "A fabulous tomato in every way you can measure. A huge tomato with some of the most outstanding flavors I've ever known. I never saw tomato plants grow so large so fast. Huge plant with stems like tree trunks. The first tomatoes of the season were one pound, then the fruit started coming in larger and larger and larger until they were the largest of all my tomatoes this season. Fabulous deep, rich, pink fruit that beat all the others in taste.
They grew so large the branches were drooping even with one fruit on them. So, if you want to win first place for size but you treasure flavor above all else, this is the tomato to grow! Do you want to have the most tomatoes ever grown on a vine? Then this is the plant for you!"
Photograph by Lisa VonSaunder of Amishland Seeds, used here with her kind permission.
Beefsteak (AKA Red Ponderosa or Crimson Cushion) ($5.95) (BB) 85 days. Here is the original beefsteak heirloom tomato. Beefsteak will conjure memories of how real tomatoes taste. Huge, fragrant, delicious red fruits, up to 2 pounds or more on a big vine, this amazing plant will need extra support to keep up with the giant, juicy, sweet and scrumptious old-time tomatoes. A classic.
Big Zac is back for 2013!
Big Zac ($7.95) 80-90 days. (H) (BBB)
(HG)The biggest tomato of all! This gigantic and very delicious tomato normally reaches 4 lbs., and can reach 5 to 7 lbs., with luscious meaty fruits growing on a hearty disease-resistant plant. Big Zac is very easy to grow and reliably produces gigantic tomatoes in all climates.
Big Zac was developed by Minnie Zaccaria of New Jersey, a kind and kindred spirit, who has been growing big championship tomatoes for more than 20 years and has won the biggest tomato contest 7 times. Minnie, shown in the photograph with a 5.2 lb. Big Zac fruit, worked tirelessly to create this humungous fruit by crossing the largest heirloom tomato varieties she could find and finally came up with this amazing and yummy whopper of a tomato.
Cuostraleé ($5.95) (Koo-struh-LAY)
85 days. Big, hearty, prolific plant, with beautiful huge red beefsteak type tomatoes, up to 4 lbs. I have to use both hands to pick them. Gigantic fruits have a superb, classic tomato flavor. Very easy to grow, disease resistant and a reliable producer, in my top 10 favorites. Another hot weather favorite which will grow easily and wonderfully in all gardens.
Hillbilly ($5.95) (BB) (E) 78 days. This old time heirloom from the hills of West Virginia, growing to 2 lbs., has stunning yellow and red dappled skin with sunset-hued rainbow stripes inside; makes gorgeous slices. Very sweet. Another top vote getter at TomatoFest in Carmel, California. This one has sold out early every year.
Mortgage Lifter, aka Radiator Charlie's Mortgage Lifter
Radiator Charlie and his big tomatoes in
a newspaper photograph from 1964.
This gigantic legendary heirloom from Logan, West Virginia developed by M.C. 'Charlie' Byles in the 1930's, is huge, sweet, juicy, delicious and prolific, with splendid old time tomato flavor. The meaty pink-red fruits weigh at least a pound, averaging 2½ lbs. and reaching up to 4 lbs. A very prolific plant which continues to bear fruit right up until frost, it also keeps very well.
Marshall Cletis Byles, who much preferred to go by MC or just Charlie, owned a garage specializing in radiator repair.
He developed Mortgage Lifter over a six year period by crossing German Johnson, Beefsteak and 2 other really big varieties, all chosen for their huge size and grand flavor. He sold the resulting plants for a dollar each (in the 40's), and was able to pay off his $6000.00 house mortgage in only 6 years with the profit from his plant sales. "I didn't pay but six thousand dollars for my home, and paid most of it off with tomato plants", said Charlie in a tape recorded interview with his grandson which aired recently on National Public Radio.
Charlie's repair shop was at the bottom of a steep hill so travelers whose radiators over-heated during the climb had to coast back down to Radiator Charlie's for repair. Other folks heard about these huge luscious tomatoes and came from hundreds of miles to buy the plant. As my customer John in Virginia says, "It's just not a real tomato garden without Mortgage Lifter." Charlie Byles lived to be 97 years old. Here is a link to the story, in Radiator Charlie's own voice:
Our deepest thanks to Jeff McCormick, founder of Seed Saver's Exchange, for keeping Charlie Byle's tomato seeds and so many other great heirloom varieties alive and thriving for gardeners worldwide. Without Jeff's efforts many of these grand old family heirlooms would have been lost forever.
Neves Azorean Red aka NAR. (Pronounced Neh-ves Ah ZOR ee uhn) ($5.95) 75 days. Boy are you in for a treat! This terrific, boldly flavored, 1 to 3 lb tomato is produced on a big hearty plant with a large central stem branching out into loaded branches of big beefsteak tomatoes so delicious they have become the talk of the tomato world. I have been custom growing this variety for certain very discriminating customers for the past couple of years, and now that the world is catching on to this spectacular fruit, it could become the ultimate sandwich tomato or to show off your special tomato salad. This one packs quite a flavor punch--not for sissies. Featuring great disease resistance and an excellent production right up until frost, we heartily thank Anthony Neves who brought the seeds home with him from a trip to The Azores, a Portuguese archipelago in the Atlantic about 900 miles west of the mainland.
Omar's Lebanese ($5.95) (BBB)
80 days. The big one! Omar's Lebanese has a passionately sweet and complex flavor. One of the finest flavored huge tomatoes. These immense fruits--deep dark pink and juicy--grow to 3-4 lbs, with excellent disease resistance. A spectacular tomato. Really easy to grow, out of this world. Takes 2 hands to pick it. In my top 5.
NEW FOR 2013
Todd County Amish ($5.95) 82 days.
NEW FOR 2013
(One of Laurel's new Favorites!) A genuine Amish family heirloom tomato.
Last season I had a chat with my sweet friend Lisa Von Saunder of Amishland Seeds. I asked, "So, Lisa, what's the very best big Amish tomato? The most awesome flavored one -- I mean the one that makes your eyes roll into the back of your head?" She said, "Laurel, you have got to try Todd County Amish, it is incredible!" So I did. Lisa's right. We went crazy for them! Huge, beautiful, luscious, deep pink, 1 to 2 pound slightly fluted beefsteaks on potato leafed plants. Delicious, elaborate, sweet, rich, old time tomatoey flavors. Todd County Amish produces scads of fruit all season right up to frost. U
nforgettable.When you bite into one of these you won't want to share it--but go ahead, it produces huge harvests. Lisa knows what she's talkin' about when it comes to things Amish.