It took me a long time to find the right seed source for this one. 8-16 oz. pink fruits are slightly flattened, meaty with surprisingly few seeds and extra good flavor. Disease and drought resistant.

 

What impressed me the most with this variety was just how prolific they are! The photo is just an example of how many ripe fruits are on the vine at any given time. Highly recommended.

 

HISTORY: (Copied directly from the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange website): [Developed by M.C. Byles in the 1930s and released to SESE in 1985.] A legendary tomato always in demand in the Mid-Atlantic states. The following history is based on portions of our 1985 taped interview with M.C. Byles who developed this tomato in the early 1930s while in Logan, WV. Mr. Byles is affectionately known as “Radiator Charlie.” He earned that nickname from the radiator-repair business he opened at the foot of a steep hill on which trucks would often overheat. Radiator Charlie had no formal education or plant-breeding experience, yet he created this legendary tomato by cross-breeding four of the largest-fruited tomatoes he could find: German Johnson, Beefsteak, an Italian variety, and an English variety. One of the four varieties was planted in the middle of a circle. Then, using a baby’s ear syringe, he cross-pollinated the center plant with pollen from the circle of tomatoes. Next year he selected the best seedlings: he planted the best seedling in the center and the rest in a circle around it. The pollination and selection process was repeated six more years until he had a stable variety. After Charlie developed and named this large tasty tomato he sold plants for $1 each (in the 1940s) and paid off the $6000 mortgage on his house in 6 years. Each spring, gardeners drove as far as 200 miles to buy Charlie’s seedling tomatoes.

MORTGAGE LIFTER, RADIATOR CHARLIE'S

$4.50Price
  • VARIETY CHARACTERISTICS

    GROWTH HABIT: Indeterminate
    MATURITY: Mid-season
    LEAF TYPE: Regular
    FRUIT CLASS: Beefsteak
    FRUIT SHAPE: Oblate; slightly flattened
    FRUIT SIZE: Large
    FRUIT COLOR: Pink
    ORIGIN: Heirloom

LIVE PLANT - PICK UP ONLY

GREENHOUSES

 209 E. Wardlow Rd.
Highland, MI 48356

Karen Golden, Owner / Grower

Cell: 248-343-1976

Email: Karen@MichiganHeirlooms.com 

SEASONAL HOURS

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Tuesday: CLOSED for SEASON

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