Meanwhile, at a local market I noticed a big rack of extremely healthy looking heirloom tomato plants marked at what seemed like an extremly low price. I could not resist. I purchased four of them and went straight to the Happy Valley Community Gardens and planted them in the last unplanted bed in my Garden Nbr. 02.
These tomato plants look very healthy and do sound promising. One is even called "German Johnson", another "Mortgage Lifter".Turns out the Mortgage Lifter tomato has an interesting history too. Developed in the 1940's by MC Byles, the owner of radiator repair shop and also known as Radiator Charlie. Wanting a better tomato, starting with a German Johnson tomato plant in the center of a ring of ten other types of tomatoes, with a baby's ear syringe he collected the pollen and squirted it onto the German Johnson. Each year he would save the seeds from the German Johnson and repeat the process, and after seven years he was satisfied that he had a stable tomato with all the qualities he was looking for. After that, he raised tomato plants each year and sold them for $1.00 each, paying off his mortgage with the proceeds.
It's an interesting story, and you can read more about it here - Mortgage Lifter Tomatoes.
I'll consider these our backup heirloom tomatoes.