Today USDA commemorates its much talked about 150th Anniversary and there is no better way for the People’s Garden Initiative to celebrate than to plant history.
Throughout 2012, in conjunction with the Department-wide celebration, People’s Gardens around the globe are growing Tomato ‘Abraham Lincoln’ as a living tribute to our founder – Abraham Lincoln. It’s an effort which reminds us that for generations, Americans have joined together to garden for a cause.
We’ve launched a new Tomato ‘Abraham Lincoln’ webpage that I hope you’ll visit often. It shares a mixture of USDA history, instructional videos from expert tomato growers, and recipe ideas for cooking with tomatoes – a favorite crop of gardeners. Please share with us your experiences growing Tomato ‘Abraham Lincoln’ by tweeting photos @PeoplesGarden #LincolnTomato
‘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. Seed packets were distributed to over 1,600 People’s Garden that had been registered in our database before April 2012. Did you know that USDA distributed seeds from 1850 to 1924? The seed packets distributed, up to 1.1 billion at the program’s height, were popular with farmers not only because seeds were free, but because government seeds were top quality. This effort connects back to that period in the Department’s history.