Our 2023 EFN seed catalogue is now online! 100+ new varieties. Over 40 different growers and foragers from across the country. A million thanks to all who make this possible, especially our amazing seed-house crew!
This special tomato was collected in Ukraine (then part of the USSR) prior to the early 1960s by the Vavilov Institute, the famous Soviet research organization. In 1962, at the height of the Cold War (indeed, the very same year as the Cuban Missile Crisis), the Vavilov Institute donated these seeds and many others to the USDA. It's therefore a remarkable example of cooperation between plant scientists even as political leaders' animosities were leading the world to the brink of nuclear war.
This is a smallish red tomato from Donetsk, Ukraine, the industrial heartland of eastern Ukraine's Donbas region (and a major flashpoint in the ongoing Russian war against Ukraine). This is a diverse landrace, and therefore an excellent choice for those interested in long-term adaptation to your particular bioregion. Plants may be determinate or indeterminate.
This is what the USDA recorded about the tomato in the 1960s: "Plants low, probably determinate; stem firm, spreading. Late variety [though their later evaluations of it found it to have early or medium maturity]; fruits medium-sized, flattish, smooth."
These seeds were grown for EFN by our friend Lina Bird of the Ujamaa Cooperative Farming Alliance in Davidsonville, Maryland. (Unfortunately, she didn't get a good photo of the fruit, but she says they look like average-small red tomatoes! Those are indeed pictures of the young plants at least. And the black and white photo is an historical image of this tomato from the USDA's archives, alongside the original USDA accession report.)