Mortgage Lifter

#3 of 30

I met a young man at the Sequim Farmers market, he was telling some other shoppers about his heirloom varieties of tomatoes. I heard Cherokee purple and my ears perked up, I am from the south. Southern homegrown tomatoes cannot be beat! I love living in the Pacific Northwest in the summers, its incredible. Other than my family the main thing I miss is homegrown tomatoes. We struck up a quick conversation and I learned he was a southern boy, Georgia to be exact. He knew about Grainger county tomatoes.

I came home with two mortgage lifters and two cherokee purple, affectionately known as black tomatoes. There are reason the heirloom varieties became special, and a reason they are not grown much commercially, Their flavor is unbeatable,but they don’t have much a shelf life. The Cherokee purples were eaten that night the mortgage lifter got a reprieve because my dear husband took me out to eat the next night.

Mortgage lifter was developed by M.C. Byles of Logan, West Virginia. After crossing varieties for 6 years and selecting the best, he introduced this beauty that he named Mortgage Lifter in the 1940’s after he sold plants for $1 each and paid off the $6,000 mortgage on his house.

The painting I made of the mortgage lifter is oil on an 8 x10 panel. I hope you enjoy.

Sidenote: the cherry tomatoes on the vine our from our side garden.

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