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Historical background information for varieties handed down from bygone days.

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Old March 18, 2009   #1
Barbee
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Default Kentucky's Aunt Lou?

A fellow that used to run a feed store in my area gave me some tomato seeds. He calls them "Aunt Lou" and said he got them from an older lady in Kentucky years ago, when he was a young guy. He's about 78 or so now, so a good long time ago. I got a plant off his nephew last year to try it and it was pretty good. It's a medium sized pink tomato, and was one of my last tomatoes to set fruit. Since I did not start it from seed, and got it as part of a cut up 6 pack, I can't really tell you if it's a late variety or not, due to not knowing how it was raised
So I was just wondering if anyone has heard of this?
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Old March 19, 2009   #2
VGary
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Default Aunt Lou

Barbee, I have never heard this name before concerning a Kentucky Tomato variety. I hope you have success in growing it and letting us know how it does for you.
You have mail.
Gary
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Old March 19, 2009   #3
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Gary,
I was hoping you'd respond
I got the plant last year in part of a cut up 6 pack sort of late into the season. The plant was already a little stressed and very rootbound. I got it in the ground about 4 weeks later than my other tomatoes. So I really don't feel like it got a good shot to do it's thing. That's why I requested seed to try this year.
You have a pm.
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Old August 18, 2010   #4
Stepheninky
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Hope you don't mind me posting the history of this tomato here it is pretty fascinating

Gary Millwood from Louisville, Kentucky is a grower and collector of heirloom tomatoes. Here is another fascinating story of the origin of one of his varieties.

———————————————————————-

My most recent heirloom tomato discovery.
Gary Millwood 2010

Aunt Lou’s Underground Railroad ~ Historical heirloom carried through the Underground Railroad to Ripley, Ohio, from Kentucky – tangy red fruits about 4 – 8 ounces, IND, 70+ DTM

Tomato seeds of this variety, first called Aunt Lou’s , were carried by a black man as he traveled the Underground Railroad from Kentucky. We have provenance tracing this variety directly to this man; the tomato itself is characteristic of those grown in this era.
The black man (unfortunately we don’t know his name) came from Kentucky to Ripley, Ohio, where many slaves crossed the river to freedom.

Ripley is home to Rankin House, now a museum, a well known stop in the Underground Railroad.
This black man grew these tomatoes there, sharing seeds with a woman named Lou, who later shared seeds with her great nephew, Francis Parker.

Francis Parker was consulted, on the need to add “Underground Railroad” to the “Aunt Lou’s” to signify its history; he was pleased that others would be able to continue growing his Aunt Lou’s Underground Railroad tomato.

Francis Parker died December 2009 after an extended illness.

Sixty years later Francis, who lived in Sardinia, Ohio, shared seeds with Wilfred Ellis, owner of Ellis’ Feed Mill.

Wilfred is still alive, though quite elderly.

Wilfred shared them with Susan Barber, who gave them to me (Gary Millwood).

I always share my seed with my friend, Maria Stenger, in Sonora, Kentucky.

I am getting older, my health is not the best; she can carry on the work I have done with these wonderful tomatoes.
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Old August 18, 2010   #5
carolyn137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stepheninky View Post
Hope you don't mind me posting the history of this tomato here it is pretty fascinating

Gary Millwood from Louisville, Kentucky is a grower and collector of heirloom tomatoes. Here is another fascinating story of the origin of one of his varieties.

———————————————————————-

My most recent heirloom tomato discovery.
Gary Millwood 2010

Aunt Lou’s Underground Railroad ~ Historical heirloom carried through the Underground Railroad to Ripley, Ohio, from Kentucky – tangy red fruits about 4 – 8 ounces, IND, 70+ DTM

Tomato seeds of this variety, first called Aunt Lou’s , were carried by a black man as he traveled the Underground Railroad from Kentucky. We have provenance tracing this variety directly to this man; the tomato itself is characteristic of those grown in this era.
The black man (unfortunately we don’t know his name) came from Kentucky to Ripley, Ohio, where many slaves crossed the river to freedom.

Ripley is home to Rankin House, now a museum, a well known stop in the Underground Railroad.
This black man grew these tomatoes there, sharing seeds with a woman named Lou, who later shared seeds with her great nephew, Francis Parker.

Francis Parker was consulted, on the need to add “Underground Railroad” to the “Aunt Lou’s” to signify its history; he was pleased that others would be able to continue growing his Aunt Lou’s Underground Railroad tomato.

Francis Parker died December 2009 after an extended illness.

Sixty years later Francis, who lived in Sardinia, Ohio, shared seeds with Wilfred Ellis, owner of Ellis’ Feed Mill.

Wilfred is still alive, though quite elderly.

Wilfred shared them with Susan Barber, who gave them to me (Gary Millwood).

I always share my seed with my friend, Maria Stenger, in Sonora, Kentucky.

I am getting older, my health is not the best; she can carry on the work I have done with these wonderful tomatoes.
Note that the two posts above yours were from 2009 and in the meantime Gary did get the seeds for Aunt Lou and has posted the history at several message sites, especially at two other sites. He has been wonderful about spreading the info about varieties he comes across.

And note that he also refers to Maria in KY and I just referred you in the seed source Forum to her Blue Ribbon Seeds where she features many KY heirlooms and many from Gary as well as ones she's IDed online as well as ones she's found herself.

I'm growing Aunt Lou this year, seeds from Gary in return for some seeds I sent him.
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Old August 21, 2010   #6
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Interesting history. Sounds like a nice tomato. Thanks for
posting.
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Old July 6, 2014   #7
boats1947
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Being from Louisville myself, my only input is about a pink tomato my mother grew for her entire adult life with much success and acclaim. We called it "Winsall" but in fact it is an Heirloom called "Wins All" from the early 1920's. Its a large pink imperfectly shaped tomato that is very meaty. Hope this is relevant to the issue!
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Old July 6, 2014   #8
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Being from Louisville myself, my only input is about a pink tomato my mother grew for her entire adult life with much success and acclaim. We called it "Winsall" but in fact it is an Heirloom called "Wins All" from the early 1920's. Its a large pink imperfectly shaped tomato that is very meaty. Hope this is relevant to the issue!
Actually it isn't an heirloomvariety forit was a selection from Ponderosa made by the Henderson Seed CO , but let me link to Tania's page for it and if I think more needs to be said, I'll do that after thelink.

http://t.tatianastomatobase.com:88/wiki/Winsall

Tania mentioned the naming contest, but in the meantime manyof us knew it just as Winsall but then found out that it won the naming contest and was therefore really named Wins All, b'c it did.

So, being selected from Ponderosa it isn't an heirloom, but I know many who have grown it, as I have myself, and I think very highly of it.

Hope that helps,

Carolyn
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Old July 8, 2014   #9
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I know many people have called it Wins All but if you look at the catalog pages on Tania’s page you’ll see it is indeed ‘Winsall’.One word.
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Old July 8, 2014   #10
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I'd love to hear any feedback about Aunt Lou's Underground Railroad from anyone who has grown it, especially someone in the northern states. Seed for it were included in my package from Tormato's swap and I haven't quite decided if and when to make room for it in my garden.
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Old July 8, 2014   #11
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Quote:
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I know many people have called it Wins All but if you look at the catalog pages on Tania’s page you’ll see it is indeed ‘Winsall’.One word.
Jerry, if you look at Tania's link again, you'll see it as Wins All at the bottom of that page.

Tania was in error in saying that it was originally named Winsall, b'c it was the Henderson Seed Co that named it Wins All after it won the naming contest.

Tania posts it as Winsall b'c that's the way most folks know it.

I can't remember right now who discovered it was originally named Wins All, it could have been Craig L who has a large collection of old seed catalogs.

I think it's best that we stick with the original name of Wins All, and when I remember it I'll let Tania know she might want to change what she wrote/

Regardless, as I said above, I've grown it several times,I think I used to SSE list it.

https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=Wins+All+tomato

Above is a Google search and I think you can see that all seed vendors list it as Wins All, except for Tania. The SESE link says quite clearly that Henderson Seed Co named it Wins All.

Hope that helps,

Carolyn
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Old July 8, 2014   #12
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Father'sDaughter:

By northern I think you may want someone from the northeast but here in the upper midwest, also considered a northern state, Aunt Lou's Underground Railroad has become an "every year" tomato.

As some may remember, I like to grow tomatoes with a theme. In 2011 the theme was family member's names in tomatoes. Like Paul's Pink Pride, Andy's Orange and Big Ben, Aunt Lou's Underground Railroad worked for sister-in-law Lou. The seeds did come from Maria of Blue Ribbon Seeds who received them from Gary Millwod (see above).

The first year from one plant ALUR produced 87 tomatoes totaling 35 pounds. From July 24 to Sept 1 the fruit was very large, the biggest single tomato weighed 25 ounces. Later in the season the size was much smaller. 2012 season the production was way down and the sizes were smaller. This was a hot dry year. 2013 was a better year for production and size but not like the initial year. Average size was about 10 ounces and production was in the 30 pound range. Plenty for a home garden. The plants were very large and bushy. The flavor indications were all in the 8 to 9 out of 10. Not too sweet, not too tart and juicy. A very pretty tomato. This year it is in Aunt Lou's garden (a couple blocks from mine and I will keep watch on it).
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Old July 8, 2014   #13
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I've grown it the last 2 years, but not this year. It has done well for me, but I did not get the large sized PaulF got initially. Mine were in the 8-10 ounce range. I agree with PaulF's taste assessment also. I did not have any particular disease issue and the plant produced until frost. I, too, got my seeds from Blue Ribbon Seeds. I figured if someone thought enough of this tomato to remember to bring seeds on the harrowing journey up the Underground Railway, it was a worthwhile candidate for my garden. I have not been disappointed.
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Old July 8, 2014   #14
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Thanks Paul and Nancy. I think I set it off to the side for this year because I could not find much about it. Plus, the story above and Tania's site list it as a red slicer, but the Blue Ribbon Tomato ad on Ebay calls it a "dark pink canner or cooking tomato."

I prefer balanced to tangy flavor in my tomatoes. My son and his wife, who get any of my extras, prefer a not-to-tart tomato. Sounds like one that could make everyone happy and produce more than enough to go around!
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Old July 8, 2014   #15
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Aunt Lou's should be a pink tomato.
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