The Biggest Tomatoes!
These plants produce fruit from 2 to 6 lbs.
Great for Big Tomato contests and impressing the neighbors.
Amana Orange ($5.50) (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 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.
Beefsteak (AKA Red Ponderosa or Crimson Cushion) ($5.50) (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 2012!
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 ($5.50) (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.
Giant Belgium ($5.50)85 days.
Developed in Ohio, this humungous deep-pink variety is immensely popular with long-time tomato gardeners for its huge size and incredible flavor.
Deepest pink with a luscious old-time tomato taste, Giant Belgium averages 2 lbs. and often reaches 4 lbs. Fabulous for fresh eating and because it's so meaty with very few seeds, it makes a wonderful canning or sauce tomato, too.
Hillbilly ($5.50) (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) ($5.50) 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 ($5.50) (BBB)
80 days. The big one! Omar's Lebanese has a passionately sweet and complex flavor. 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.