About Heirlooms










     GROW 'EM





So, what's the big deal about Heirloom Tomatoes anyway?"

    The words 'heirloom tomato', refers to those vegetable varieties that have originated with a family and have subsequently been passed down from one generation to the next, to modern day. Typically, these varieties were obtained a single source who had maintained them for many years. Often these varieties were completely unique and had been limited to only one or two gardens per era. This not only made these varieties very rare, but also made them very desirable by gardeners who loved the idea of preserving a very small part of agricultural history, and a very tasty one too! The true definition of a 'Heirloom Tomato' is one that is not a hybrid and has been in cultivation for at least fifty years.

    At Eva's Garden Tomatoes, much of what we sell as 'heirloom' have come to include some interesting hybrids, a few Native American types, and also some unique foreign born varieties, brought over from our ancestors.  Although these are not all true heirloom tomatoes, the delicious and desirable result of your planting efforts make it a far cry from the tough, tasteless and over-priced tomatoes we see in our markets today.

    The reason you canít find supermarket tomatoes that taste like these because modern tomato varieties are created with tough skins to with stand thousands of miles of shipping, thus resulting in poor flavor. This is in complete contradiction with the way things were done over 50 years ago when consumers demanded a high quality tomato valuing wonderful flavor. In the old days, taste came first and very little attention was paid to their exterior appearance. As a result, they came in a wide range of colors, size, shape and texture, all suited best for different uses. We have discovered more and more consumers are discovering our beautifully unique and excellent heirlooms and hybrids. Stop missing out - order yours or order more, today!

Ran all the way to the bank.

(M.C. "Radiator Charlie" Byles shows off the fruits of his labor, the Mortgage Lifter tomato, for a Virginia newspaper in the mid-1960s)

Interviewer, 1964:  Turns out Radiator Charlie Byles had quite a knack for marketing, and sold tomato seedlings for a buck apieceóa lot of money for a little plant in those days. He sold enough of them to pay off the mortgage on his house.


BYLES: I didn't pay but six thousand dollars for my home, and paid most of it off with tomato plants.


(Wow, that kind of thinking could come in handy these days, too!)


(You can find 'Mortgage Lifter' on our catalog page - No. 3 of our heirloom varieties)