One of the most wonderful things about our city is the farmer's market. It is located on a portion of the rail yards property originally developed by the New York Central Railroad Company in the late 1800's. The only remaining building was originally a transfer dock and warehouse for the railroad.
In the 1990s, the city decided to convert it into an indoor-outdoor farmer's market. The old building now houses a gourmet grocery shop, a wine and cheese shop, a chocolate shop and an Italian restaurant. The outdoor market is populated by farms from all over the state, bringing in plants, produce, herbs and flowers in season. There is always a stall selling delicious homemade icecream. I can't think of a better place to buy weekend groceries, including gorgeous tomatoes.
The Mortgage Lifter tomato was developed during the Great Depression in Logan, West Virginia by a radiator repairman, M.C. "Radiator Charlie" Byles. He made a successful cross of four of the largest tomatoes he could find – German Johnson, Beefsteak, an Italian variety, and an English variety. Radiator Charlie sold the first seedlings of his new tomato in the 1940's for one dollar each. With these sales, Charlie managed to pay off his $6,000 mortgage in only six years, and so the tomato was named Mortgage Lifter. This large, meaty, mild-flavored tomato has few seeds and is the perfect sandwich tomato.