Meet the Modern Farmer: Tim Mountz - Modern Farmer

Meet the Modern Farmer: Tim Mountz

"A good tomato isn't cheap, and a cheap tomato isn't good.” So reads the sign at Happy Cat's farmers market stalls.

Valery Rizzo
Photography

“A good tomato isn’t cheap, and a cheap tomato isn’t good.” So reads the sign at Happy Cat’s farmers market stalls, where Tim Mountz charges up to $5 for a single fruit. “Once people try our tomatoes,” he says, “they don’t talk about the price.”

The 45-year-old grows nearly 400 different heirloom varieties on 10 acres, some of them owned by the Winterthur Museum, where his wife, the aptly named Amy Bloom, serves as a staff horticulturist. “We started with a little garden under a gentleman’s agreement, and soon the director approached us about using more land,” explains Mountz, who didn’t merely marry into the plant business. “My grandparents all grew up on Pennsylvania-German farms, and they remembered hard times, so they saved their own seeds.”

In addition to tomatoes, he and Bloom raise hard-to-find radishes, onions, and greens, selling the pro-duce to Philadelphia restaurants as well as at the farmers markets. More recently, the couple began offering seeds and homemade sauces at happycatorganics.com. “When we started farming a decade ago, there were a lot of straw hats,” Mountz says. “It took a while for the Warby Parker crowd to catch on, but they support us big now.”

mtmf-mountz-tomatoes

Happy Cat Farm’s nearly 400 heirloom-tomato varieties include the rare Cuban yellow grape. Valery Rizzo

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