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Historical background information for varieties handed down from bygone days.

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Old May 16, 2010   #1
bohica
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Default Interesting history about Mortgage Lifter varieties.

I saw this posted elsewhere and thought it was very interesting.
http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.ht...27&segmentID=6

Download the story here of radiator charlies Mortgage lifter.
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Old May 16, 2010   #2
carolyn137
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Originally Posted by bohica View Post
I saw this posted elsewhere and thought it was very interesting.
http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.ht...27&segmentID=6
Download the story here of radiator charlies Mortgage lifter.
I think lots of folks are familiar with that version of the story. And you saw that Dr. Jeff McCormack was doing the interviewing. Jeff originally owned Southern Exposure seed Exchange and what he wrote about this variety is still there with the seed offer although he sold the company.

There is another version as well, less well known and documented. And that's that the Estler family developed Mortgage Lifter in the 20's.

I just cut and pasted the following and I do consider the Estler one to be far superior to what's called the Radiator one. There are all sorts of so called strains of Mortgage Lifter but they really aren't strains. They just have the name attached of the person who grew it.

There are two exceptions. One is the Mullens strain which has pale leaves and the other is the Estler one b'c for many of us it is slightly different from the Radiator one with regard to shape and smoothness and for many of us it's fat better tasting.

Mortgage Lifter Estler's - 85 days, Indet, reg. leaf Pink- Huge,(1# and considerably over when well grown) fruit with excellent flavor. This one is said to be older than Radiator Charlie's. It reportedly goes back to 1922 and is a considerably bigger plant with larger fruit than Charlie's and seems much more prolific. Chuck's seed came from "Bob" Estler, son of the "Bill" Estler who originated the variety. Seed of this variety was sent to Australia in the thirties by the Estler's is probably the ancestor of the Australian variety Mortgage Lifter which has evolved considerably. Chuck found Estler's Mortgage Lifter to be the biggest and most prolific of the eleven Mortgage Lifter strains which Chuck had grown. There seems to be little, if any difference is taste. "Mortgage Lifter Red - 80 days, Indet. Reg. leaf Although it is not truly an heirloom because it is a recent improvement on Radiator Charlie's by Jeff McCormack PhDs. This was Chuck's preference for the best of the "Mortgage Lifters". Red Mortgage Lifter carries far better than average resistance to diseases. It's a wonderful producer of one lb. and larger superbly flavored red fruit with the true beefsteak texture


I guess my cut and paste of the Radiator Charlie one didn't transfer but it would be the standard story that most folks know.

Hope that helps.
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Old May 16, 2010   #3
TZ-OH6
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I ran into the term "Mortgage Lifter" for something totally unrelated to tomatoes, so it seems like it may have been a common saying "back in the Day" for something that turned out to be profitable on the farm.
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Old May 16, 2010   #4
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I ran into the term "Mortgage Lifter" for something totally unrelated to tomatoes, so it seems like it may have been a common saying "back in the Day" for something that turned out to be profitable on the farm.
Well here's some Mortgatge Lifter beans for you but I have to wonder about some of these stories and how much they played into the original Estler Mortgage Lifter.

I mean if a bean is known as Mortgage Lifter and also as an Aztec bean there's something wrong somewhere.

http://www.kokopelliskitchen.com/molibe.html

It reminds me of the corn variety that's known as Black Aztec and I was just sent a catalog where it said that this corn had been grown for 2000 years by the Aztecs when in reality it's a corn that was grown by the Iroquois Nation tribes here in the East.

Seed companies back in the late 1800's into the early 1900's changed names and histories of varieties frequently for PR purposes since the competition between seed companies at that time was fierce and they were always looking for an exclusive.
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Old May 16, 2010   #5
TZ-OH6
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I found the term while looking up this and that on racehorses, and there is also a mortgage lifter fowl (Not sure if its a chicken or what) and an Arkansas Traveler Fowl.

http://fowlhobbyist.multiply.com/journal/item/2
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Old May 19, 2010   #6
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Has anyone grown the Halladay's Mortgage Lifter from SSE Public catalog? They sold out this year, so I assume it is being grown extensively or they had very few seeds to sell. If anyone has grown Halladay's and Estler's could you give a comparison please. It's interesting that both are said to have passed through Chuck Wyatt's hands at one point or another.
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Old May 19, 2010   #7
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Has anyone grown the Halladay's Mortgage Lifter from SSE Public catalog? They sold out this year, so I assume it is being grown extensively or they had very few seeds to sell. If anyone has grown Halladay's and Estler's could you give a comparison please. It's interesting that both are said to have passed through Chuck Wyatt's hands at one point or another.
I've grown the Estler quite a few times but not the Halladay one.

I traced back the Halladay and it to the 1994 SSE Yearbook by Craig LeHoullier, but I think it was offered earlier, I just didn't take the time to look for my 1987 Yearbook, who got it from an SSE member in PA in 1987 from PA HA J and since Craig said original source I assume that the person's last name was Halladay. Craig gave it a fine review.

At one time Chuck was listing a lot of different strains. But folks can view strains, I think, in two ways. Just having a name associated with it , as in Halladay, Glick's, etc., usually reflects the name of the person who listed it or got it from someone with that name while to me a strain is something that has some subtle but reproducible differences from the original, so the only two strains of ML that I think are true strains are Mullens, which is pale leaf, and Estler.

I know a few folks who at one time grew out all the ML strains and found essentally no difference, except for the Mullens one and I think the Estler one as well, but can't be sure.

I can't help but wonder if the seeds for Halladay at SSE went quickly b'c Amy Goldman in her book featured many strains, some not even available to the public, and as I recall Halladay was one of them. Perhaps that raised the interest level in ML strains that others didn't even know existed. iI know I was contacted by two folks who asked where they could get this or that strain, but there was no commercial seed source for them b'c they are in the SSE stock collection only. They probably were listed in much earlier Yearbooks.
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Old October 17, 2012   #8
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http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/l...5310511.html?1

Above is a recent link from GW about the passing of the last Estler son. Few have posted in the thread b'c I think few know that the Estler one was developed before the Charlie Byles ( Radiator Charlie ) one.

But this original thread goes back almost three years ago now, and there are many new TV members now who might be interested.
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Old October 18, 2012   #9
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That's sad news.

Estler's strain of Mortgage Lifter is one fine tomato and does very well here in New England. It doesn't get the same fanfare as many lesser varieties, for some reason. For those that haven't grown it, you should give it a try. It's a dependable producer with an excellent yield, too.
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Old January 14, 2013   #10
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Where do you get the seeds for Estler's Mortgage Lifter?
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Old January 14, 2013   #11
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Where do you get the seeds for Estler's Mortgage Lifter?
http://t.tatianastomatobase.com:88/w...er,_Estler%27s

However Heritage Harvest is in Canada and doesn't ship to the US.

I suggest you go to the WANTED subforum of the seed exchange and ask if anyone has some seeds to share.

I have some older seeds, can't remember how old, that I got directly from Chuck Wyatt, whose name you'll recognize from the history at the above link.

So I'm hoping that someone who has fresher seeds than I do answers you in the Wanted Forum, besides, with my seed offer right now I don't know when I'd have time to look for them, nor do I know how much experience you've had waking up old seeds.

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Old January 15, 2013   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carolyn137 View Post
I have some older seeds, can't remember how old, that I got directly from Chuck Wyatt, whose name you'll recognize from the history above. Carolyn
In 2010 I grew it from Carolyn's 2003 or 2004 seeds, and it grew beautifully and almost ripened before the plant was killed by the first frost. Due to my lack of experience I didn't save seeds, but could have easily and probably even eaten the fruit. So no seeds from me, and that's just too bad.
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Old September 17, 2014   #13
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Anyone find a source to buy Estler's Mortgage Lifter since this thread ended?

I am in Mexico and I can't participate in exchanging seeds. I need to buy them, have them sent to friends in the U.S. who are coming here or have a vendor mail them to be delivered by donkey to Mexico. I say donkey because mail takes forever here.
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Old September 17, 2014   #14
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Also interested in some seeds.
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Old September 17, 2014   #15
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Tania lists no sources for ML Estler.

I offered 2013 seeds fromNeil G in my recent Jan 2014 seed offer,now closed;

http://tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=30732

I'm here by the computer and my seeds are put away right now, but this week I must put up the Fall feedback thread and am hoping that those who requested it report back,which was a requirement of participation.

What I'm saying is that I don't know how many seeds I have left and have no time to check right now.If enough, I will reoffer it to those who participate in myJan 2015 offer and if I run low I can ask Neil if he has enough to send me more/

OR, you can wait to see who grew it out and reports back in my feedback thread and then, do NOT EVER PM those folks asking for seed, rather, put your WANT list up in that subforum and see what kind of response you get.

Hope that helps,

Carolyn
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