The Q&A Archives: Looking for Heirloom Tomato Seeds

Question: My grandfather was a produce farmer in the 1920-1945 years in the St. Louis area. My father is looking for the tomatoes that they raised and called "Stokesdale". We are not sure if it is a tomato type, or if Stokesdale was a nursery from which they purchased seed. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Answer: I did a plant database search and nothing came up for Stokesdale. You might want to check with these two sources: Tomato Grower's Supply, PO box 2237, Fort Myers, FL 33902, 941-768-1119. Totally Tomatoes, PO BOx 1626, Augusta, GA 30903, 803-663-0016. Last time I checked, they didn't have web sites, but they may now.

Also, you might post a request on heirloom seed sources and seed exchanges. The National Garden Association website has a seed exchange. Go to Another possibility is the Seed Savers Exchange in Iowa, 3076 North Winn Road Decorah, IA 52101. I'm not sure if they have a website yet, but they have been around for many years with the goal of saving heirloom seeds. And finally, here's a webpage that lists lots of seed exchanges online:

Finally, local reference librarians should be able to help you search for businesses from that era. Good luck!

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