Heirloom Tomatoes & Old Bottles from Vintage Privy

A Summer Reflection – Growing “Crappy” Tomatoes

Vintage Bottles and Faribault Privy Heirloom Tomatoes

Photo by Susie Hessburg

Why are these guys having so much fun with some vintage bottles and heirloom tomatoes? Because they excavated the bottles and the tomato seeds from an 1890s homestead privy in Faribault, MN.  Imagine how thrilled they were to discover that the seeds were viable and produced prolific plants with tasty tomatoes, in spite of “crappy” beginnings. Before you pooh-pooh this unlikely discovery, click here to read this fascinating, Growing “Crappy” Tomatoes story, authored by Tracy Donovan from our produce department.

This past Spring the Valley Natural Foods Garden Center was able to distribute a few young descendants of these Faribault Privy Tomatoes to customers who were interested in growing an ‘unknown’ heirloom tomato variety. The customers agreed that they would check back in with us at the end of the season to give us their reports.

Here, finally, is our forum for reporting in!  Please feel welcome to email with your photos, stories, and flavor profiles along with identifying which tomato varieties you grew.  Please also answer this question: Would you grow this tomato plant again?

If you’d like to get privy to a couple of growers who have already submitted their gardeners stories, click here to see them!


Photo by Tracy Donovan

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