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?
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….