tomato VaRIeTIES




Abraham Lincoln

This is a good, old heirloom tomato. The deep red, medium-size fruits have an old-fashioned, tomatoey flavor and are produced in abundance.

Amana Orange

Huge fluted heirloom beefsteak tomato named for the Amana Colonies in Iowa. Excellent sweet, almost  tropical fruit flavors.


Arkansas Traveler

A 100 year old heirloom that has been grown all over the south from Arkansas to North Carolina.  Considered to be one of the best tasting tomatoes with a perfect balance of sweet and tart.  It is  medium-size pink tomato that is smooth and beautiful rose color with excellent flavor.

Aunt Ruby’s Green

A great heirloom from Ruby Arnold of Greenville, Tennessee.  Beefsteak fruits, weigh one pound or more. Sweet juicy flesh, refreshing spicy flavor. Fruits are best picked by feel, not sight, when soft to the touch, they are ready.

Barnes Mountain Yellow

This Kentucky heirloom is from Barnes mountain in Estill county. Fruits are 1-3 pounds each with a sweet, low acid, old time flavor. Very prolific for such a large tomato. Beautiful deep golden color. NEW


These dark pink tomatoes are real beauties.  Most are fluted/ruffled and no two look quite the same.  These are very juicy tomatoes that produce very few seeds

Black Brandywine

An excellent combination of sweet and acid in the black version of the original Brandywine.

Black Krim

Named for the Crimean Peninsula in the Black Sea; slightly flattened 4-5 inch black globe; excellent complex full flavored tomato.  A favorite of many chefs.

Black Brandywine

Black fruits are well-formed, oval shaped, with "real tomato taste"! Indeterminate. Good addition to the Brandywine family.

Black Pineapple

The name of this tomato is French for black pineapple and that is because it arose out of a planting of Pineapple Tomato in a Belgian garden. The exterior is dark purple and green with pink-red splotches and a touch of yellow, while the inside is bright green streaked with pink.  Flavor is special too, sweet yet rich and delicious.

Black Zebra

This deep burgundy tomato has jagged green stripes on the outside and solid mahogany-colored

flesh inside. Sweet and juicy, its flavor also carries the rich complexity associated with black tomatoes.


Brandywine first appeared in the 1889 catalog of Johnson & Stokes of Philadelphia and by 1902 was also offered by four additional seed companies, but soon disappeared from all commercial catalogs. Our best selling tomato and one of the best tasting tomatoes available to gardeners today. The seed of this strain was obtained by tomato collector Ben Quisenberry of Big Tomato Gardens in 1980 from Dorris Sudduth Hill whose family grew them for 80 years. Large pink beefsteak fruits to 2 pounds. Incredibly rich, delightfully intense tomato flavor.

Brave General

Rich, sweet taste and raspberry-pink color make these 1 lb, flattened globes perfect for slicing. 

Cherokee Green

12-16 ounce, amber-green tomatoes develop a yellowish hue when ripe. Our favorite tasting green tomato. Outstanding fresh, it also makes superb sauce.

Cherokee Purple

Originally grown by the Cherokee Indians; unique dusty rose color, extremely sweet wth a smoky flavor. Unique dusty rose color.plants produce large crops of 12 oz. fruits.

Chocolate Cherokee

This 4-inch beefsteak variety has developed a great following among celebrity chefs because of its exceptionally rich tomato flavors and wonderful chocolate mahogany color.

Chocolate Striped

NEW! One of the most amazing tomatoes we have ever grown. For both color and taste, this variety excels. Fruit is deep reddish-brown inside; the outside is covered with beautiful orange and lime colored stripes.

Dr. Wyche’s Yellow

One pound meaty rich tasting yellow-orange tomato.  Almost seedless.  Always rich with a low acid flavor.

Garden Peach

Small 2 oz. delicate and meaty fruit. Really does have a peach color outside. Hint of red inside. Very mild-sweet taste. Light fuzz on fruit and leaves. A very pretty novelty tomato.

German Pink

Potato leaf plants produce large 1-2 pound meaty fruits with few seeds. Full sweet flavor. Excellent for canning, freezing and slicing.

Gold Medal

Listed on Ben Quisenberry’s 1976 seed list as, "Large, yellow, streaked red; firm and smooth. Very little acid. The sweetest tomato you ever tasted. The yellow with streaks and blotches of red makes them very attractive and a gourmet’s joy when sliced." A great tasting bi-colored tomato.

German Giant

Big potato leaf plant producing an abundant crop of very large, 2 lb. beautiful, deep-pink tomatoes.  Full of rich, complex, sweet flavors.

German Pink

Potato-leaf plants produce large 1-2 pound meaty fruits with few seeds. Full sweet flavor.

Great White

Large one pound creamy white tomato.  Delicious fruity with a taste of fresh cut pineapple, melon and guava.

Green Giant

A tall, bushy, potato-leaf plant from Reinhard Kraft in Germany producing large crops of 1-2 lb., lime green, smooth, oblate fruit. Delicious sweet flavors. Arguably, one of the best tasting green tomatoes.

Green Pineapple

Regular leaf heirloom from Ohio producing lots of 8-10 oz., olive to lime-green, flatened-round, beefsteak  fruits. Excellent tropical fruit flavors with hints of pineapple.

Green Zebra

Beautiful chartreuse with deep lime-green stripes, very attractive. Flesh is bright green and very rich tasting, sweet with a sharp bite to it, (just too good to describe!). A favorite tomato of many high class chefs, specialty markets and home gardeners.  3 oz tomato

Hillbilly Potato Leaf

Absolutely gorgeous slicing tomato. Sweet juicy 4-6" flattened fruits about 1 pound each. Beautiful yellow fruits are streaked with red on the blossom end. Heavy producer.

Italian Heirloom

Beautiful huge, one pound fruit with excellent full tomato flavor and very sweet. Very thin skinned and papery.

Juanne Flamme

Extremely prolific French heirloom tomato that bears in clusters of 6, beautiful, 1 1/2-inch, round, golf-ball sized tomatoes that are persimmon-orange colored inside and out. A delicious full-bodied tomato flavor that literally bursts in your mouth.  Very decorative. Makes a great flavored sauce.   


The name means lots of honey. This indeterminate plant bears small to medium size tomatoes that are flattened, slightly pleated, red, and sweet.

Pink Ponderosa

1-2 lb. smooth, pink, beefsteak fruit with very good flavor.

Red Brandywine

Red Brandywine is an Old Amish heirloom dating back to 1885. Named after Brandywine Creek in Chester County, PA. Large, vigorous vines produce 8-12 ounce, deep-red fruits in clusters of 4 to 6. Excellent, robust, old-fashioned tomatoey flavors.

Red Zebra

Fruits are dark red inside, and brighter fire engine-red outside, with skins streaked by dramatic, golden stripes. Juicy and flavorful, with large crops of 3" fruits on strong, productive plants.

San Marzano

Named after the region of San Marzano near Naples, Italy, the San Marzano tomato is considered by many chefs to be the best sauce tomato in the world. This old heirloom variety has been around since the early 1900's though rumors claim that it dates back to the 1770's. The San Marzano is a cross of three different native Italian tomatoes, only one of which (the King Umberto) is still grown today.

St. Pierre

A very sweet popular variety. A standard at French markets.

Tasty Evergreen

Ben Quisenberry heirloom. Skin ripens from green to light yellow-brown. Flesh and gel remain green inside when ripe. Luscious and tender, strong sweet flavor. Medium-large fruits, very productive.

Virginia Sweets

This heirloom variety is simply one of the best tasting, best producing gold-red bicolors we have ever grown. On top of that, the tomatoes are stunningly beautiful and enormous, weighing at least 1 pound each. Golden yellow beefsteaks are colored with red stripes that turn into a ruby blush on top of the golden fruit. Flavor is sweet and rich, and harvests are abundant.

Woodle Orange

Large, round, smooth fruit are nearly perfect in shape, being a brilliant tangerine It has an incredible rich and sweet complex flavor that is among the best. NEW

Yellow Mortgage Lifter

A beautiful yellow version of the regular Mortgage Lifter. It has the same great size and taste except this variety is bright yellow in color. NEW

Alexander Livingston--The Father of the Tomato?

Alexander W. Livingston was one of the most important vegetable seedsmen in American history and is often regarded as having given a greater contribution to the development of the tomato as a cultivar than any other personage in history.

Alexander Livingston was born in Reynoldsburg, Ohio on October 14th, 1821; the son of John Livingston and Mary Graham Livingston, who had moved to Ohio from Cambridge, New York in 1815.

At the age of twenty-one, in 1842, Livingston began working for a local seed grower in Reynoldsburg; his first steps into a field which he would devote the rest of his life to. Two years later, in 1844, he married Matilda Dickey Graham. Over their next 46 years of marriage, the couple had 10 children, including seven sons, several of which would later follow in their father's footsteps. The year that Livingston was married, he leased a piece of land and began farming for himself. In 1852, after a lot of hard work, he was finally able to purchase his own land in Reynoldsburg, Ohio.

In 1856, Alexander Livingston entered his first venture into the commercial seed business with the purchase of 400 consignment boxes (i.e. retail seed racks) from the Buckeye Garden Seed Company. Over the next decade, Livingston did well enough as a seedsman that he was able to expand his operation. In 1864 and 1865, he was able to build a new house and to also consolidate his seed and breeding operations into a single location at Reynoldsburg.

It was about this same time that Alexander Livingston began to have his first real success as a tomato breeder. Prior to Livingston's work, tomatoes had been mostly a vegetable with heavy ribbing, hard cores and often had hollow seed cavities. Livingston's goal was to produce a strain of tomato that was smooth skinned, uniform in size, fleshy and that excelled in flavor - all the things that are loved and often taken for granted about tomatoes today. For many years, Livingston had attempted to meet these goals through the hybridization of existing varieties, but met with little success until he began selecting seed from the individual plants which came the nearest to his aspirations. When put into motion, this process required only about five years to yield the wanted result.

In 1870, Alexander Livingston released what is regarded to be the first ever perfectly uniform smooth skinned tomato introduced to the United States. This indeterminate tomato variety with heavy foliage was a producer of deep scarlet-red fruit that matured at about 75 days after transplant. Prior to this, nobody in the United States had seen a tomato quite like it before. Livingston called this new variety “Paragon”, which was the first of some thirty-one tomato varieties that Livingston and his descendents introduced to the public between 1870 and 1941.

Other Livingston introductions included:

Acme (1875), Perfection (1880), Golden Queen (1882), Favorite (1883), Beauty (1886), Potato Leaf (1887), Stone (1889), Royal Red (1892), Gold Ball (1892), Buckeye State (1893), Aristocrat (1893), Large Rose Peach (1893), Honor Bright (1897), Dwarf Yellow Prince (1898), Magnus (1900), Aristobright (1901), Royal Colors (1901), Dandy Dwarf (1901), Multicolor (1901), Princess (1901), Grandus (1901), Dwarf Stone (1902), Dwarf Purple (1903), Globe (1905), Hummer (1907), Coreless (1908), Manyfold (1917), Rosy Morn (1923), Giant Oxheart (1926), Hansing’s Improved Wilt-Resistant Marvel (1927), New Yellow Oxheart (1929), Ohio Red (1929), Ideal (1930), Main Crop Pink (1941).

In 1875 and 1876, an economic crash destroyed many businesses in the United States, including the Buckeye Garden Seed Company owned by Livingston. The Buckeye Company went bankrupt and was soon dissolved, but Alexander's third son, Robert Livingston (born 1849) formed a new entity. The new company was named the "A.W. Livingston's Son Co." Where as the old Buckeye Garden Seed Company had made its way by selling only through retail stores in seed boxes, Robert Livingston expanded into a much larger business by printing seed catalogues and advertising in newspapers and magazines.

By 1880, the A.W. Livingston's Sons Co. had grown so large that the company moved from Reynoldsburg to Columbus, Ohio. Alexander Livingston moved to Des Moines, Iowa where he bought the farm of Robert Robertson, whom had been the original owner of the Buckeye Garden Seed Company. Alexander's plan was to relocate the business to Des Moines, but the company had done so well under Robert Livingston's direction in Columbus that the plan to move the main office was abandoned.

A decade later, in 1890, Livingston's wife passed away and Alexander moved back to Ohio, leaving his Iowa division in the charge of his son, Josiah Livingston. In Ohio, he began work on the writing of his memoirs. Published in 1893, his book, "Livingston and the Tomato" was a work which was part biographical, as well as part practical. Besides documenting his work and methods, the book also contained over 60 different tomato recipes. The book is still in print over 110 later.

In 1898, the A.W. Livingston's Sons Company was again changed under Robert's direction and was incorporated as the Livingston Seed Company Inc.

On November 11th, 1898, Alexander W. Livingston passed on into the Garden of Memory at the age of 77 years. During his lifetime, he devoted over a half century to breeding and improving the tomato as a food crop. He is interred at Green Lawn Cemetery in Columbus, Ohio.

Of the thirty one tomato varieties introduced by Alexander W. Livingston and his descendents between the years of 1870 and 1941, at least thirteen of those varieties are believed to be extinct today, while many others exist in name only, having undergone cross breeding and poor selection which has changed them from their original intention.

With this in mind, it makes it all the more important for gardeners, and especially those in the United States, to take up the Livingston flag by helping to insure that the remaining varieties of Livingston tomatoes are preserved for future generations and do not cease to exist on this earth.