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Aunt Lou's Underground Railroad Tomato

Aunt Lou's Underground Railroad Tomato



Sold as a single plant in a 3.5x5 inch pot

Full Sun

Indeterminate - Will need staking or a heavy duty cage. 

Garden Planting - Plant 18 to 24 inches apart in rows 36 inches apart.

Container Planting - One tomato per 20"x20" pot or 5 gallon bucket.

Medium size Pink Beefsteak Tomato


2021 will be the first year we will be offering this rare tomato plant at Melody Acres! We are honored and excited to experience this tomato that is rich in both flavor and history!

Here is Ark of Taste’s history on this amazing seed:


At some point in the mid-19th century, a slave crossed the Ohio River (from Kentucky to Ripley, Ohio) into freedom, carrying tomato seeds with him. This man shared some of his tomato seeds with a woman called “Aunt Lou.” She passed the seeds on to her great-nephew, who, decades later, shared them with a Mr. Ellis. The seeds made their way to two master gardeners and, in 2010, the variety was listed in the Seed Savers Exchange.

The fact that a slave trying to escape to freedom and limited to carrying just a few articles and possessions would choose to carry his tomato seeds speaks poignant volumes about the very tangible importance that seeds and food have for people.


Aunt Lou’s Underground Railroad tomato is difficult to find for sale. This heirloom tomato must be protected and more widely grown and enjoyed, not just for its high culinary quality, but because it speaks to the critical importance of African-American communities in the history of American agriculture.

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