heirloom tomato pasta sauceWe’ve got some really big news.

We are really excited about our new pasta sauce. ‘Cuz it’s gonna change the world.

No. Seriously. Not hyperbole.

Remember when we won that little show called The Amazing Race?  Let us refresh your memory:


Wasn’t that awesome?

It was.

Here’s why. It allowed us to pay off the mortgage on our farm so that we could both devote ourselves full-time to growing Beekman 1802 and our community.

So what does The Amazing Race have to do with pasta sauce? A lot, it turns out. And it has even more to do with raising money for other American farmers.

It’s a little round-about-story, but first you need to know a little Race trivia:

Even though you didn’t see the finish till December, the race actually ended in June. Which meant we already knew we would be able to pay off our mortgage with the prize money early last summer. (We’re good secret-keepers, right? Keep that in mind next time you have juicy gossip.)

However, we also had a field full of tomatoes growing on the farm in June. Some of these tomatoes were a variety called “Mortgage Lifter” heirloom tomatoes. They’re giant, delicious tomatoes.


Why are they called “Mortgage Lifter?”

Well,  in 1929 a man named Marshall Cletis Byles owned an auto repair garage in Logan, West Virginia. When his business began suffering during the Great Depression, Marshall (who went by the nickname “Radiator Charlie,”) decided to earn extra money by selling the best tasting tomato variety he could breed.

It took a few years, but Charlie finally bred his perfect tomato. He advertised that one single plant, with its 1-2lb fruits, could feed a family of six. And he wound up selling enough seedlings in four years to pay off his mortgage. In full.

Hence “Radiator Charlie’s Mortgage Lifter Tomato” was born.

Those of you who’ve followed our story know that before we won The Amazing Race, one of our primary goals was to pay off the Beekman Farm mortgage. So when we planted our garden in early 2012, we planted a ton of Mortgage Lifter tomatoes, in hopes of developing a pasta sauce that would help us do just that.

And then we won The Amazing Race. Let’s revisit again. ‘Cuz it was awesome:


(Did we really make that face on national television? There are “ugly cry” faces and “ugly win” faces, apparently. This was both at once.)

Anyway, last year was a really good year for tomatoes. Here’s one afternoon’s haul:


So, since we’d paid off our mortgage…what were we going to do with all these tomatoes?!??!

Then it hit us.

We’ll use these tomatoes pay off another small farm’s mortgage! Pay it forward.

So we went ahead and kept developing the pasta sauce. We used the best tomatoes from our farm and other farms, fresh garlic and spices, and other summer vegetables. And we went ahead and stuck with the name: “Mortgage Lifter Heirloom Tomato Pasta Sauce.

Looks amazeballs, right?


The only difference is that now we’ll use 25% of the profits from this sauce to help aid another farmer. We’re teaming up with an agricultural 501c3 so make that happen.

The other 75% of the profits will go right back into the business to hopefully develop a whole range of “Mortgage Lifter” food products that will not only help support American small farms with profits, but also by growing a sustainable food brand for small farms to supply.

But, like Radiator Charlie…we’re starting with the basics. The most perfect pasta sauce we could make.


We hope you love it. Please give it a try. The more you buy, the more you’re directly helping American farmers. If you purchase enough, it will also help catch the eye of a few larger grocery chains. (Any grocery moguls out there? Wanna chat? Email us! )

Stay tuned for a recipe contest and progress of sales….

Please click here to purchase Beekman 1802 Mortgage Lifter Heirloom Pasta Sauce Save significantly on price & shipping with orders of multiple jars.

by Josh and Brent

Reader Comments

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We tried the tomato pasta sauce today! My 84 yr old mother said, “It was VERY GOOD!”:)

Dr. Brent

Hi, Heather

We are establishing our own 501-c3 for this purpose which will be funded once a year after our fiscal year has ended and the accounting completed. Potential recipients will be identified through the Farm Start program that is part of Farm Credit

Katrina Corsello

My husband, kids and I just finished our spaghetti dinner and used your sauce for the first time. We all LOVED it and I am not a huge fan of red sauces. I usually cook with a vodka sauce, (not as acidic as red sauces). This was just delicious. I am going to contact my local Wegmans grocery store and beg them to start carrying it in our store.

Christine Coggeshall

Being Italian, I have never purchased jarred sauce before. I think my relatives would roll over in their graves. But when this sauce first appeared I purchased 4 jars. I was in a jam one evening, family coming for dinner-that means 10 people. I used your sauce and just added a large amount of fresh basil. Your sauce was awesome. My family raved over the dish I made never even questioning the sauce. When the first mortgage is paid off from the profits will let us know.

Dan Blair

On my second order of this amazing sauce. I had never purchased bottled sauce, as I grow my own tomatoes in the summer, but it was March and I loved your idea of paying it forward so I ordered four jars. OMG what a bonus of full flavor, you don’t have to add anything to this sauce! Just wonderful. Love what you guys are doing. James and I never miss an episode. Reading Bucolic Plague right now and can’t stop laughing. Josh, when you speak for Brent in the book, you have his way of speaking down perfectly. Makes me smile, as the love you have for each other shows through. Can’t blame your talent on Oprah!

Nancy Warner

Will you be making more T.V. programs? My local station continues to replay old episodes each week. I loved your show and would appreciate seeing more!


Love the story, unable to purchase any sauce right now, but hope to in the near future. Your story is wonderful, you guys are truly AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!

Meg K.

Just bought a mortgage lifter plant & emailed this story to my sister in law. Looking forward to trying the sauce someday soon 🙂

Frances Young

Fabulous sauce! I didn’t want to waste it on my son and his high school friends, but he raved over it so much that we made another batch to share. (I drizzled some dry sherry into my portion!) We’ll buy more– in a few years, I’ll be one of the small farm mortgages needing payoff!

marlyn kilpatrick

this is without a doubt the best pasta sauce I have ever tasted….you two have done it again! congratulations

Lee Ann Hasty

Had a little dinner party and had the fabulous pasta sauce. Everyone loved it!

Elaine Zager

Best sauce I ever had, You should be in Wegmans.

Just got back from Cambodia and had your team Beekman t-shirt on, Ran into two guys from Ohio who were so excited to see the shirt in Siem Reap, Cambodia of all places.

Miss the show,


Would love to submit my recipe for my eggplant pasta made with your great sauce. We had it for dinner. The tomatoe sauce was like having fresh tomatoes from the garden.

Diane Svatek

Healthy Living Market and Cafe just opened in Saratoga Springs…their second store (Burlington, VT) is the other. Your sauce would be perfect for their store…they promote local, fresh and organic food.


My sauce just arrived yesterday and I was so excited that I had to use it right away. I have another recipe I want to submit to you guys, but thought I’d share the quick dinner I pulled together with what I had in the fridge. Premade pizza crust, your pasta sauce, fajita chicken and monterey jack cheese. All four of my kids LOVED it (even my 5 year old who told me he wouldn’t eat it, but couldn’t stop after his first bite). This sauce is so delicious. Thank goodness I bought 5 jars to start!!!


I am so excited about your new pasta sauce, as a descendant of Midwest and Southern farming families. It warms my heart knowing that folks are supportive of our nations farming communities and care what happens to each and everyone one of them.

I know my Uncle and Aunt who both have worked their fingers to the bone and sacrificed so much in their lives to keep farming alive in mid-Missouri for now 6 generations. I am ecstatic and fully support your efforts.

Thank you guys for really stepping up and giving back to your community with a simple yet powerful message, giving thousands of farmers hope that they can continue one for many generations to come.