Improvement Status: Cultivar
Seeds per packet: ~35 ($3.50)
Bulk seeds per packet: ~150 ($10)
Germination tested 11/2020: 91%
Life cycle: Annual
EFN EXCLUSIVE. The Nistru is a delicious, slightly-pink paste tomato from Moldova named for the Moldavian/Romanian word for the Dniester River. It makes great sauce, paste, or juice, but is also quite good eaten fresh. The fruits are relatively small compared to other plum tomatoes, but the determinate plant makes up for this in flavor and by producing fruit in abundance. It was collected in Moldova in 1981 by the N.I. Vavilov Institute. We got our seed from the USDA, and it has become one of the more popular releases we've facilitated.
Moldova is a little-known country straddling the border between Ukraine and Romania. A wide strip of land along the border considers itself the state of Transnistria, but the international community considers this breakaway state part of Moldova. It has been a "frozen conflict zone" since a brief war following the independence of Moldova after the fall of the Soviet Union. Moldova itself is now the poorest country in Europe, and many of its rural citizens have fled to cities or to other parts of Europe in search of opportunity, which means its rich agricultural heritage is very much in danger of being lost. The country is special to EFN co-founder Nate Kleinman as he has family roots there.
GROWING TIPS: As with any tomato, best results are yielded from starting indoors early. Nistru is an easy tomato to grow. It will eventually be laden down with fruit, so be sure to trellis or at least stake plants. The relatively compact plants should be 2 to 2.5 feet apart.