Love Apples for Mother’s Day

comments (0) May 8th, 2017

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WesternGardener Jodi Torpey, contributor
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Tomatoes certainly deserve their Love Apple nickname, and some even show it.Click To Enlarge

Tomatoes certainly deserve their Love Apple nickname, and some even show it.

Photo: Jodi Torpey

Mother's Day is that one day of year to thank Mom for all she does the other 364 days. Cards, flowers and pretty gifts are nice, but some moms have received extra-special recognition. 

Farmers, gardeners and plant breeders feel that way, too. How else to explain so many delicious tomatoes named for the most influential women in their lives?

If you've planted and grown the Italian plum tomato called 'Mama Leone', you're planting a little of one family's history. 'Mama Leone' was probably the matriarch of the family that left its homeland and arrived in America carrying heirloom tomato seeds across the ocean.

The seeds of 'Granny Cantrell' (offered by Tomato Growers Supply Company) are another family heirloom. These large beefsteak tomatoes were passed along by Lettie Cantrell in Kentucky. According to the catalog description, she "got the seeds from a soldier returning home from Germany during World War II." Granny Cantrell certainly adored this Love Apple because it was the one tomato she always grew.

Other tomatoes named for the women that loved them:

  • Aunt Ruby's German Green
  • Grandma Mary's
  • Aunt Ginny's Purple
  • Grandma's Pick
  • Aunt Gertie's Gold

These women knew the keys to growing great crops of tomatoes every year include cultivating good gardening practices, maintaining the right amount of moisture in the garden, keeping the tomato bed weed-free and fertilizing on schedule.

If you named a tomato after your mom for Mother's Day, what would it be?


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