Alexander W. Livingston
Pioneer Seedsman and Father of the Modern Day Tomato
The Livingston Tomato Collection
In 2022 we grew a trial of a rare collection of early heirloom tomato varieties bred by Alexander Livingston of Ohio in the late 1800s. They were all offered in the Livingston Seed Catalogs like the one pictured here. Many varieties that are popular today can be traced back to these early varieties.
In the early 1800s tomatoes were thought to be poisonous. By the mid 1800s Europeans began to eat them and as it became known that they were not poisonous Livingston saw an opportunity and began to breed them, introducing a series of tomato varieties. The first was Livingston's 'Paragon' (1870). There is a list below of the varieties along with all of our other tomato and pepper 2022 trials. We have added a few of these varieties to our 2023 line-up including 'Livingston's Gold Ball' (1892). They are available on pre-order and will be at the garden shop in May.