Official Bio

Craig LeHoullier lives and gardens in Raleigh, North Carolina. A Rhode Island native, he caught the gardening passion from his grandfather, Walter, and dad, Wilfred. Craig achieved his PhD in chemistry at Dartmouth College, which resulted in a 25 year career in pharmaceuticals that ended in 2008.

Craig's gardening obsession, which started the year he and Susan were married (and their first garden, in 1981), is passing through several stages. His love of heirloom tomatoes began with his joining the Seed Savers Exchange, an organization for which he continues to serve as adviser for tomatoes, in 1986. He is responsible for naming and popularizing many well known tomatoes, such as Cherokee Purple. Craig is an adviser for the newly launched World Tomato Society.

In 2005 he added amateur tomato breeding to his garden resume, and continues to co-lead the Dwarf Tomato Breeding project, responsible for creating 90 (and counting) new compact growing varieties for space-challenged gardeners. His writing career kicked off with a 2012 request from Storey Publishing to write a book on tomatoes, resulting in Epic Tomatoes (2015). His second book, Growing Vegetables in Straw bales, soon followed (2016).

Craig is a popular lecturer across the country at major gardening events, as well as a frequent guest on podcasts and radio shows. His upcoming projects include a third book, which will focus upon the story of the Dwarf Tomato Breeding Project, and a webinar series & online courses in which he will share his gardening knowledge.

For Craig's professional bio, visit LinkedIn.


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Selected Media

Advisory Boards

Tomato Advisor to the Seed Savers Exchange

Advisor, World Tomato Society

Speaking Topics 

Visit the Speaking Page for a full list of speaking and workshop focus areas.

Selected list of significant tomato varieties Craig named, popularized or created

  • Cherokee Purple
  • Cherokee Chocolate
  • Cherokee Green
  • Little Lucky 
  • Lucky Cross
  • Anna Russian
  • Lillian's Yellow Heirloom
  • Aker's West Virginia
  • Caitlin's Lucky Stripe
  • Coyote
  • Large Lucky Red
  • Cancelmo Italian Heirloom
  • Dwarf Sweet Sue
  • Rosella Purple
  • Dwarf Mr. Snow
  • Dwarf Wild Fred
  • Sarandipity
  • Dwarf Caitydid