Here is the history of Mrs. Benson’s family heirloom from Mayo Underwood, the original owner of Underwood Gardens who sent us this amazing beefsteak seed. We first received this seed a number of years ago. We are pleased to offer it again and would like to thank her for sharing this story with us.
Yes, Mrs. Benson's tomato is from us. Jerry, a friend of mine who lived near her and gave us the seed, said "you need to try this"- and he was right.
She was an Italian woman who came to the Chicago area, having married Mr. Benson. She brought her family's seeds with her as brides and immigrants generally do, and grew them for years. She had shared seeds with Jerry so,in her early 90s, when she had misplaced her seeds, Jerry provided them for her. She died after that year's harvest.
We grew out the tomatoes and after we were sure they were good and stable, we introduced them to Chef Rick Bayless. He had (and I'd guess still has) an organic garden next to his Chicago home. He also has a full-time organic gardener for it.
He declared Mrs. Benson's tomato his favorite tomato, used it in his 2 5-star Chicago restaurants and was filmed in a TV program with me saying the above.
These full bush type plants are heavy producers of very large perfectly shaped fruit with tender skins and beautiful ruddy pink colour. This is a potato leaf type.Be sure to stake well. We find the taste to be perfectly balanced, refreshing, and truly one of the best fresh eating slicing tomatoes. Reaches full production in 80 days.
Packet: 10 seeds