Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

City News

Aubrey Rutherford keeps busy with tomatoes, woodcraft hobbies

This story is about giants, seeds and a man from Millersville. But it’s no fairy tale.

The “giants” in this story are not ogre-like inhabitants of the clouds approachable by a beanstalk sprung from magic seeds. They are red, round, juicy tomatoes, some of them tipping the scale at three pounds.

The “seeds” are not magical beans, but tomato seeds saved over winter to grow a new crop of giant tomatoes the following summer.

Aubrey Rutherford grows these mammoth-sized heirloom tomatoes at his home in Millersville.

About six years ago, a friend gave him three plants from some tomato stock that had been in the family for generations. These plants grew gigantic red tomatoes that were not only wonders to behold, they were “good eating!”

These tomatoes have a skin so thin that they damage easily. When he brought one to the offices of The Cash-Book Journal recently, he carried it delicately in a wooden bowl with a folded paper towel for cushioning.

Inside these tomatoes are not a lot of seeds, but there is a lot of good, juicy flavor. Rutherford said yellow tomatoes generally have less acid than red ones, and that gives them the best flavor. But Rutherford says he likes the flavor of his giant red tomatoes even more than yellow ones.

As big as they grow, one might wonder how many can grow on one plant. Rutherford said he can find up to 20 monster-sized tomatoes on each plant.

Although he is in his 80s, Rutherford lives an active life. He doesn’t just sit around watching tomatoes grow.

In the wintertime when his garden is dormant, he makes wooden bowls like the one in the photo. (The one in the photo has not been finished.) He slices up logs and then hollows out one side with a lathe to make a bowl. When he gets done carving, sanding, staining and finishing a bowl, it has become a piece of art. They can be purchased at The Painted Wren in Cape Girardeau.

Gregory Dullum has worked for The Cash-Book Journal for more than 25 years. Prior to becoming the editor in May 2017, he was production manager, circulation manager and reporter. Before moving to Cape Girardeau in 1988, he was editor of the Saint Louis Park Sailor, a weekly community newspaper in suburban Minneapolis, MN. A native of Minnesota, he returned there after graduating with distinction in 1978 from Ambassador College in Pasadena, CA, with a degree in mass communications. His wife, Marie, whom he met in college, is a native of Zalma, a small town in southeast Missouri. They have two grown daughters and five grandchildren. Gregory may be reached at

You May Also Like

City News

A 26-year-old Mississippi man was disarmed, arrested and charged with murder following an early morning shooting spree on Wednesday, Dec. 22, at the Town...

City News

A 58-year-old Jackson man drowned after going into Jackson City Park’s Rotary Lake during the July 4th firework show Sunday night. The man’s body...

City News

Americans frustrated by the policies of the current administration in Washington have let their feelings be known in large sporting venues across the country...


Former Jackson High School athletes will soon be honored in a new hall of fame program approved by the Jackson R-2 School Board during...