Growing Heirloom Vegetables

antique seed catalog

How’d like to pay off your mortgage by selling tomatoes?

“Radiator Charlie,” a West Virginia radiator repairman, did it. During the Great Depression, he developed a delicious tomato that he dubbed the ‘Mortgage Lifter,’ because he sold enough plant starts–at $1 each–to pay off the $6,000 mortgage on his farm.

Not many of us can settle our debts like that anymore, but we can still grow Charlie’s tomato. It’s now considered an heirloom, and like most old-timey vegetables and fruits, it’s packed with great flavor and has lots of desirable growing characteristics, like the ability to resist many pests and diseases.

Planet Natural has a great video about the charms of heirlooms that you can view here. And thanks, PN, for recommending my book, Gardening with Heirloom Seeds, in an online article about these plants.

Ready to try some heirloom seeds? Click on for Planet Natural’s catalog.