Vegetables names and varieties have a long and colourful history. Often the character of a region or a breeder is in-bedded in the name and we need to do a little digging to find the story behind the name. Here are just a few examples

Mortgage Lifter Tomato
Dating to the 1930s, this tomato was developed by a repair shop owner Marshall Cletis Byles in West Virginia. Looking to grow a large and meaty tomatoes that could feed families, he eventually developed a stable strain he called “Radiator Charlie’s Tomato”. Selling seedlings for a hefty sum of $1 each (quite a price in that time), Byles was able to pay off his mortgage six years later and the variety was renamed “Radiator Charlie’s Mortgage Lifter Tomato” in his honor.

Lazy Housewife Pole Bean
This heirloom bean variety was the first snap bean that did not need to have its strings removed. It is low maintenance, easy to grow, and high yielding. When it was first released, all the housewives wanted it as it dramatically reduced the processing time. The seed growers gave it the moniker lazy house wife, and the name has stuck to this day.

OSU Blue Tomato
This one doesn’t have as rich a history as the other varieties, but its name says it all. Developed by Oregon State University, this tomato has a distinctive blue colour unlike most other tomato varieties.

When it comes to naming conventions, most gardeners are familiar with each plant’s common name. However, common names can sometimes be misunderstood or get lost in translation. For this reason, the botanical names of plants should ideally be used to ensure clarity when discussion various plants. We’ll cover botanical names in another tip

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