A. Z. Cutler
85 days, indeterminate
— The regular leaf plants of 'A. Z. Cutler' grow five to six feet in height, need support, and produce large, up to thirty-two ounce fruit. The tomatoes are pink, oblate shaped, and deliver a wonderful, mild but slightly sweet, flavor. An excellent choice for fresh eating and our particular favorite, tomato sandwiches.
The history of 'A. Z. Cutler' is an interesting one. It was sent to us by our friend, Craig LeHoullier
, who received it in early 2018 from Nora Wojciechowski
, an attendee at a talk that Craig gave in Michigan. She described how some twenty-plus years prior, the year she started at the Mary Thompson Senior Community Gardens in Southfield, Michigan, she met a "a very active gentleman that loved to garden
." His name was A. Z. Cutler.
In the early 1990s, Mr. Cutler had discovered a volunteer tomato plant growing in his compost pile. Like any adventurous gardener, he allowed the plant to reach maturity and discovered not only that the plant was not a variety that he had grown, but that the fruit were notable for a small cavity, little gel, and excellent flavor. By the time he met and shared the tomato with Nora, who also thought it was very good, he had been growing it out for nearly a decade.
In the winter of 2019, when Craig sent us a seed sample to grow, we began the process of documenting its history and provenance only to learn the sad news that Nora
had unexpectedly passed away in the Fall of 2018. Thankfully, she had provided great background information and we had leads to follow. Craig contacted Nora's friend, Julie Bird, and Mike Dunton started searching for Mr. Cutler.
After making several inquiries in the Oakland County, Michigan area, it was not long until Mike received an email from Dan Cutler, A. Z.'s son. Dan told us that he had printed out the email that we had sent for his father and that, "The idea that the tomatoes he nurtured so carefully might be shared with others for years to come is especially poignant right now.
" It also turned out that several family members grow it out regularly and that one of his grandsons even distributes plants to urban gardens throughout Detroit. Each packet contains at least 20 seeds.