Celebrating USDA's 150th with Tomato 'Abraham Lincoln'
"I can't think of a more tangible way to engage our past than by growing an heirloom tomato variety named in honor of the Department's visionary founder - Abraham Lincoln." - Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack.
In 2012, People's Gardens around the world will grow Tomato 'Abraham Lincoln' to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of our founding. Abraham Lincoln signed into law an act of Congress establishing the United States Department of Agriculture in 1862. Two and one-half years after establishing the Department Lincoln called USDA "The People's Department." The People's Garden Initiative is named in honor of President Lincoln's description of USDA. Read more about the connection between Abraham Lincoln and Agriculture.
About this Heirloom Plant
'Abraham Lincoln' is an heirloom variety of tomato introduced in 1923 by the W. H. Buckbee seed company of Rockford, Illinois named in honor of Illinois' Greatest Son. It is one of the great tomato classics excellent for making tomato juice, ketchup and slicing. The image on the cover of the seed packet is from USDA's National Agricultural Library: Rare and Special Collections.
How-to Videos: From Seed to Harvest
The tomato has scores of uses and is so universally liked that it ranks high among the most popular of garden crops. Watch these how-to videos filmed at Worden Farm, a community-oriented and certified organic farm in Southwest Florida, to learn about growing Tomato 'Abraham Lincoln' from seed to harvest. The videos include helpful information on raising seedlings, outdoor planting and protection, several ways of staking, insects and diseases, and a hint or two on storage.
Growing Tomato 'Abraham Lincoln': Meet our Expert Eva Worden PhD
Growing Tomato 'Abraham Lincoln': Raising Seedlings Indoors
Growing Tomato 'Abraham Lincoln': Outdoor Planting
Growing Tomato 'Abraham Lincoln' - Several Ways of Staking
Growing Tomato 'Abraham Lincoln' - Share Your Harvest
Cooking with Fresh Tomatoes
Try these creative, nutritious and delicious dishes at home with fresh tomatoes from the garden or search the Recipe Finder for more ideas on how to prepare your tomatoes.
- Gazpacho (TIF, 32KB)
- Tomato Basil Soup (PDF, 111KB)
- Spaghetti and Quick Meat Sauce (PDF, 165KB)
- Cucumber Yogurt Dip (PDF, 139KB)
- Local Tomato Bruschetta (PDF, 32KB)
- Sweet and Sour Pork (PDF, 173KB)
- Minted Cucumber and Tomato Salad (TIF, 32KB)
"OF COURSE I CAN! Watch The Basics of Home Canning to learn the basics of canning fruits and vegetables from your garden, as well as USDA recommendations for canning pickles and sweet spreads. Artist: Dick Williams for The Advertising Council and the National Garden Program, USDA, c.1944. Source: Special Collections, National Agricultural Library
Share Your Harvest
Have more tomatoes than you know what to do with? Join our 'Share Your Harvest' effort by donating extra produce to neighborhood food pantries, kitchens and shelters. Food pantries that accept garden surplus are listed at AmpleHarvest.org.