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‘Box Car Willie’ tomato was bred by Joe Bratka’s father and named probably after Lecil Travis Martin vel Boxcar Willie, an American country music singer. According to Tatiana’s Tomato Base, Joe found the seeds for this tomato (among several others varieties like Red Barn, Mule Team and Great Divide) but could not get the seeds to germinate, and sent them to Carolyn Male, who succeeded in germinating the seed and shared this variety with other gardeners and SSE members in the mid-1990s. Carolyn Male of Latham, New Jersey, USA offered this variety in the Seed Savers 1994 Yearbook.
‘Box Car Willie’ is a great choice if you’re looking for good old-fashioned flavor. This prolific heirloom is better than most of today’s hybrids, and its round red fruits are 12-18 oz. The indeterminate vines produce excellent, crack-free, disease tolerant tomatoes with a sweet, yet tart flavor. Midseason, about 75-80 days to maturity.