The History of the Famous Grainger County Tomato.

Nothing stirs the memory of long ago summers than the sight of a plump red tomato. Sliced thick and placed between two slices of white bread slathered with mayo, a tomato sandwich holds status as the ultimate summer enjoyment. And the Grainger County tomato is especially recognized for its distinctive sweet taste. How the red fruit became the number one crop in Grainger County, TNĀ is a story to be told.

In the 1940's a farmer named Harbin sought to grow his tomato crop without losing so many to rot on the ground. He began staking the plant and incorporate the Florida weave of stringing the plants for strength. Farmers seeking a crop that could bring the most money per acre soon began to grow the tomato. Tobacco farmers looking for a better cash crop transitioned to the tomato. Today there are over 650 hot houses in the county and 500 acres of field crops of mostly tomatoes which bring in $10 million in sales annually.

So when the fruit begins to fly at the Tomatoes Wars at the Grainger County Tomato Festival be glad it wasn't the potato that became the county's number one crop

Stop by one of the many farms in Grainger County to taste fresh from the farm.

the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Julie Graham


When are materz going be ready? The hot house tomatoes are already in the stores. Field tomatoes will be ready in June-

J, 5/19/2018

Where and when In Bristol-Johnson City- Kingsport will tomatoes be! Hot house tomatoes are available in grocery stores in your area now. Field tomatoes will be in stores by mid June.

Billie conley, 5/15/2019

Just bought some Grainger tomatoes at the Asheville, N. C. farmers market. They were a little bit pricey but they are oh so good!!

Joan Harbin, 7/1/2019

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