Posted on 24 February 2009 by tomatocasual.com

One Man Who Turned His Heirloom Tomato Hobby Into a Business

texasBy Vanessa Richins

Keith Amelung, a landscaper by profession, started a heirloom tomato business after a hobby turned out to be profitable.

As the Boerne Star reports, “I wanted to go on a trip to Hawaii,” he said, “and I needed $1,000.

So I thought I’d do something organic, eclectic, at the Cibolo Nature Center (Mostly Native Plant) sale.

I planted 1,000 heirloom tomato seeds and sold the plants for a dollar each. I got to Hawaii. I made it,”

Over the years his company has grown. This year, he is cultivating 9000 seedlings in 120 varieties. These little beauties are shipped throughout the state of Texas. Unfortunately, due to shipping costs and frost dates, they cannot be sent to other states.

His website shows what devotion he has to his heirloom tomato business. As his website says, “I love growing tomatoes and I am sure you will see my devotion in every plant produced. Each seed is set out by hand, one at a time. I mix my own soil, fertilize with natural fertilizers, and water every plant myself, throughout the entire growing season. I practice chemical-free gardening and likewise encourage everyone to get involved.”

He also shows a whimsical side, stating that he won’t accept any orders that only request red tomatoes. I do tend to agree – since heirloom tomatoes come in many shades of black, yellow, green, white, and orange, as well as red, why not try a new kind?

I wish him luck in this business. Perhaps this is a solution to the problem I have with 2000 heirloom tomato seeds lying around?

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One Response to “One Man Who Turned His Heirloom Tomato Hobby Into a Business”

  1. tomatocasual.com jerry lee Says:

    I enjoy heirlooms also but have narrowed my choices to less than a dozen due the size of my “postage stamp” garden. If you have 2000 seeds of various varieties, and you don’t know their history, you have a pleasant task of planting a few dozen or more and wait to be surprised by what develops.
    My family has already dictated that my crop must be heavily shaded to the CHEROKEE PURPLE.

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