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Mortgage Lifter, Radiator Charlie’s

  • Variety
  • Color
  • Shape
  • Fruit Size
  • Culinary Use
  • Plant Type
  • Leaf Type
  • Flavor Profile

About Mortgage Lifter, Radiator Charlie’s

Developed by M.C. Byles in the 1930’s, this heirloom tomato remains very much in demand in the Mid-Atlantic states. Mr. Byles, affectionately known as “Radiator Charlie” earned his nickname from the radiator repair business he opened at the foot of a steep hill on which trucks would often overheat. Radiator Charlie, who had no formal education or plant breeding experience, created this legendary tomato by cross-breeding four of the largest tomatoes he was able to find and developed a stable variety after six years of pollination and selection. He then sold his heirloom tomato plants for one dollar each (in the 1940s) and paid off the six thousand dollar mortgage on his house in six years. It is said that each spring, gardeners drove as far as 200 miles to buy Charlie’s seedling tomatoes. The large, slightly flattened, pink-red fruits that range from 1 pound to more than 3 pounds, are meaty, very flavorful and have few tomato seeds.

Varieties
Heirloom / Open Pollinated
Fruit Colors
Pink
Flesh Colors
Pink
Fruit Shapes
Oblate
Fruit Sizes
Large
Fruit Weights
1-3 lb
Culinary Uses
Paste / Sauce / Canner / Slicer
Maturities
Mid-season
Plant Types
Indeterminate
Leaves
Regular
Flavors
Well-balanced

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