The Van Trump Report

92-Year-Old has Grown Tomatoes from the Same Seed Lineage Since 1965

Sybil Gorby, a 92-year-old resident of Tyler County, West Virginia, has been planting seeds from the same heirloom tomato lineage since 1965. Every spring, she cultivates the seeds in her garden, and by mid-August, she is rewarded with plump, shiny, and delicious tomatoes. Gorby believes there is something exceptional about these seeds and the tomatoes they yield year after year. Gorby still lives on the same farm where she and her late husband built a home 60 years ago. She has had a green thumb since she was a teenager, and her love for gardening began while helping to look after her neighbor’s garden. Seeing a seed bloom and then blossom into edible deliciousness gives her a feeling of pride.

Once she and her husband moved to the farm, Gorby was eager to have a garden of her own. At its peak, it was 40 by 40 yards and brimming with fresh fruits and vegetables as well as flowers and plants. She grew potatoes, green beans, corn, and squash, among other crops and flowers. Gorby always had enough food and vegetables to feed the whole community, and she never accepted money for her produce, preferring to give it away.

Gorby’s daughter, Sandy Marody, grew up eating the heirloom tomatoes and also believes there is something magical about them. The seeds just grow into wonderful tomato plants. According to The Washington Post, sometimes the seeds turn into giant heirloom tomatoes, including one from last year’s harvest. Marody shared a photo of her mother holding the large fruit on Facebook, which went viral, with people being impressed by the size of the tomato.

Betty’s tomato-growing journey began when her friend Gay Soles, also an avid gardener, offered her some tomato plants. Betty saved the seeds from the end of the season and planted them in her garden. The resulting tomatoes were so large and delicious that she decided to save the seeds to replant them the following season. Betty has been following the same cycle ever since.

Over the years, Betty’s garden has grown to be so robust that her late husband had to use a step ladder to harvest the tomatoes. These days, Betty’s garden has shrunk to a more manageable size, but she still checks on her tomato plants every day to water them and shoo away insects. Betty’s daughter, who also has a garden of her own, is glad that Betty passed on her love of gardening to her.

Betty believes that gardening is the secret to her long and happy life. She feels that it keeps her moving and helps her use all her muscles to pull and dig. Betty’s favorite way to eat her heirloom tomatoes is in a bacon, egg and tomato sandwich made with homemade bread. Good stuff!!!

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