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Published August 14, 2011, 10:25 PM

Local Gardener Patents "Tomato Cradle"

Barnesville, MN (WDAY TV) - A Barnesville couple put everything they have into an invention called the " Tomato Cradle."

A Barnesville couple put everything they have into an invention called the "Tomato Cradle." Now with a patent under their belt, they are up and ready for business.

With an invention that first started with an idea from Tim Lien's now 96 year old dad…is now turning into a growing business.

When Tim decided to grow his own garden his dad’s old invention came to mind.

Tim Lien – Patented the Tomato Cradle: “A few of the neighbors around here seen them and they thought well that was neat they said boy you should start selling these things and so one thing led to another and here we are.”

With the tomato cradle now being sold in 7 nurseries thought North Dakota and Minnesota Tim along with his wife Cassie are keeping busy.

Cassie Lien – Patented the Tomato Cradle: “Two of them actually came to us which was really shocking, we never thought anything like that would happen you know for us for somebody to come to us and want to sell our tomato cradles in their store.”

The tomato cradle can be used by anybody from the most experienced gardener to a beginner all you do, plant your plant, open the cradle, set it down, and walk away. There are two sizes of cradles; one at two feet and the other at four feet. The cradles can be used with any type of plant big or small. Tim and his wife use the cradle for everything from their four foot tall tomato plant to their new pumpkin plant. Being in business only two years they have sold over a thousand cradles so far.

Tim Lien – Patented the Tomato Cradle: “The weight of the tomato just pulls everything down a lot of people and I was one of them and they still sell them of course are those traditional cages and you know people use the stakes and the people that have been buying cradles from us for the last two years you know basically told us they'll probably never go back to those cages again.”

With this old age invention Tim's tomato plants continue to grow and he hopes his business will do the same.

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