The Story of the Mortgage Lifter Tomato

This spring one of our most popular heirloom tomato varieties was "the Mortgage Lifter."

This plant practically flew off our shelves and people were coming from far and wide to purchase this famous variety of tomato.


Well, as the story goes "the Mortgage Lifter" was developed by M.C. Byles of West Virginia in the 1940s.

After crossing different tomato varieties for 6 years and selecting the best producers,  he sold the resulting new variety of plants for $1 each and paid off the $6,000 mortgage on his house!

The result of all of his hard work was a huge, meaty tomato the size of a small pumpkin—amazing for canning and for sandwiches. The tomatoes produced are so big that the tomato vines often require extra staking to support the excessive weight.

Today, one of our staff brought in a mortgage lifter tomato from her own garden to share with us. Look at the size of this thing!

It almost didn't fit on this piece of toast!

It almost didn't fit on this piece of toast!