Politics, Etc. by John Nesler

Category: Personal

2023 Tomatoes for Sale

Below are the varieties of tomatoes which I currently have available for sale. All of these varieties are indeterminate. However, a few are dwarf varieties which tend to max out at around 4 feet tall (making them ideal for container growing). Please read descriptions closely.

Believe It Or Not

Fruit weight: 0.5 to 2 pounds

Red, large-fruited tomato. Traces back to the 1984 Seed Savers Exchange Yearbook where it was sold by by Dorothy Beiswenger of Crookston, Minnesota, USA, who said she obtained its seeds from local nuns.


Fruit weight: 2-2.5 pounds

Strange variety. Fruits have red flesh and old-fashioned heirloom flavor that belies unusual characteristics. Prone to producing large megablooms, with regular leaf vines that are very aggressive, fast-growing and thick-stemmed. Some plants grow incredibly aggressive suckers, even from leaves. Bred from Michael’s Portuguese Monster and other varieties. This variety has produced tomatoes exceeding five pounds, but plant growth and health can be very inconsistent.


Fruit weight: 4-5 ounces

Produces burnt umber-colored medium-sized tomatoes with , deep, rich flavor.

Brandywine from Croatia

Fruit weight: 1 pound

Medium-sized tomatoes with sweet, tangy flavor. Genetics are not fully stable. vines of this line have potato leaves and are large, healthy and more productive than many Brandywine types, from 85 days. Outstanding production in 2017.

Bulgarian Triumph

Fruit weight: 1 pound

A Bulgarian heirloom. Very productive, produces sweet, juicy, 2-inch thick-walled fruits in clusters of 5-6.


Fruit weight: 12-14 ounces

French heirloom brought to the US in 1992. Produces large leafy vines with high yields of large, red, ribbed tomatoes. Flavor is intense, balanced, old-fashioned. Fruits typically 4 inches across.


Fruit weight: 10-12 ounces

German heirloom that has won multiple taste test competitions. Produces large, pink beefsteak tomatoes with rich, sweet flavor. Ideal for both eating fresh and canning. A great slicer for sandwiches. Heavy yielding variety.

Dwarf Jasmine Yellow

Fruit weight: 5-6 ounces

Dwarf variety, great for growing in containers. Indeterminate, but typically tops out at 3-4 feet tall. Produces deep yellow, shiny tomatoes. Superb, fruity taste. Despite small size, will produce until winter.

Garden Treasure

Fruit weight: 8-10 ounces

Hybrid variety (this is the only variety from which seed cannot be saved) developed by the university of California. Produces heavy yields of red, smooth tomatoes with balanced flavor. As good for eating as for cooking. I grew two of these in 2022, and they were the heaviest producing of my non-cherry tomato plants.

Gigant Kuby

Fruit weight: 8 ounces

Heirloom tomato from Russian that’s difficult to find in the US. Name translates to “Giant Cuban.” Produces beefsteak tomatoes with ribbed shoulders and red/green/dark brown coloration. Typically heavy yield. Known for being heat tolerant. Great slicing tomato. Tomatoes are juicy, with a sweet yet tart flavor.

Gold Medal

Fruit weight: 2-2.5 pounds

Variety was popularized by noted tomato collector Ben Quisenberry, who described it in his 1976 catalog as, “The sweetest tomato you ever tasted. The yellow with streaks of red makes them very attractive and a gourmet’s joy when sliced.”

Goose Creek

Fruit weight: 4-5 ounces

An heirloom with history going back to the early 1800s. Variety supposedly originates to a young Caribbean woman who was enslaved, and who smuggled the seeds aboard a ship that docked at Charleston, South Carolina near Goose Creek. Hence the name. Produces heavy yields of pink, round, tomatoes with exceptional. complex flavors.

Hazel Mae

Fruit weight: 6-7 ounces

Variety popularized in the late 1990s. Produces good yields of large beefsteak yellow tomatoes with red striping. Flavor is described as akin to tropical fruit, with intense flavors.


Fruit weight: 1-2 ounces

Productive paste tomato variety. Fruit are elongated, red, and meaty with thin skins. Tomatoes have richer flavor than that of typical paste tomatoes. Great for sauces.


Fruit weight: 9-10 ounces

Large beefsteak variety. Tomatoes are ribbed with smooth, glossy skin, and are bright yellow with red marbling. Dense flesh is nearly seedless, with coloration similar to the skin. Texture is described as being similar to a peach. Flavor is very sweet, almost fruity. Crack resistant and very heat tolerant. High-yielding variety that grows long vines and can reach heights of five to ten feet.

Huge Black

Fruit weight: 1 pound

Produces large beefsteaks that are irregularly shaped and flattened, with dark red skin with green shoulders. Tends to grow clusters of 3 to 4 fruits. Flesh is wine-red, and not very juicy. Smoky flavor good for both sandwiches and an addition to sauces.

Imur Prior Beta

Fruit weight: 1-2 ounces

Produces medium sized, beefsteak tomatoes that are firm skinned with good flavor. Though developed in Norway for environments with short seasons and high altitudes, this variety has been known to still be producing 6 months after planting.

JD’s Special C Tex

Fruit Weight: 2-3 ounces

Produces flattened beefsteaks that are dark purple-black in color. Excellent rich flavor great for both sandwiches and sauces. Fruit are solid and meaty. Production can vary. Plants sometimes take a while to start bearing fruit, but once started do so consistently until winter.

King Pineapple

Fruit weight: 1-2 pounds

Produces medium to large tomatoes with red skin bearing yellow stripes. Flavor is fruity, sweet but not too sweet, with a hint of tartness. Family heirloom that originated in Indiana in the 1860s or ’70s.

Lucky Cross

Fruit weight: 11-12 ounces

Variety developed in the early 2000s. Produce tomatoes that are orange-red in color, with some ribbing at the shoulders. Flavor is juicy and fruity. Tends to grow tall, and will require caging or trellising.

Mallee Rose

Fruit weight: 6-7 ounces

Dwarf variety ideal for growing in containers. Heavy producer of medium-large pink tomatoes that are smooth, slightly ribbed, juicy and meaty. Flavor is sweet. Originated from a cross between Rosella Purple and Orange Heirloom.

Neves Azorean Red

Fruit weight: 1-1.5 pounds

Produces moderate to heavy yields of huge deep-red beefsteak tomatoes. Flavors are bold and complex flavors.Great for sandwiches and salads. Has good disease resistance, and produces till frost.


Fruit weight: 1-1.5 pounds

Produces yellow fruit that has red marbling through the flesh. Flavor is very sweet and fruity. Ideal for those who want tomato plants that are heavy yielders, produce beautiful fruit, and taste great.

Purple Not Strawberry

Fruit weight: 4-5 ounces

Produces dark-colored fruit with taste that is well-balanced and rich, with some smokey notes. Good for sandwiches, but especially well suited as an addition to sauces. Heavy producer.

Regina’s Yellow

Fruit weight: 1-1.5 pounds

Productive variety that grows large red and yellow beefsteak tomatoes. Flavor is bold, sweet and fruity. Does well in high heat.


Fruit weight: 6-7 ounces

Amish heirloom from Pennsylvania. Produces large, crack resistant tomatoes that are meaty, with dusty rose coloration. Flavor is excellent, and has been described as comparable to Brandywine. Plants grow vigorously, with dense foliage. Will need to be caged or trellised.

Sinister Minister

Fruit weight: 0.25-0.5 ounces

Cherry tomato variety that produces brown, plum-shaped fruit that, when ripe, are brownish red with green and maroon shoulders. Fruit have the full-tomato flavor of larger varieties in a small package.


Fruit weight: 1 pound

Rare variety that appears to be solely available from Delectation of Tomatoes. Was sourced from a grower in Quebec. Produces medium to large, yellow-orange tomatoes with flavor that is moderately sweet and juicy. Have been known to be highly productive in hot conditions.

Tennessee Suited

Fruit weight: 10-12 ounces

Dwarf variety that grows to about four feet or so, but is indeterminate. Originated from a cross between Berkeley Tie Dye and a dwarf variety, produces fruit that are effectively smaller versions of BTD which are utterly delicious (BTD was my favorite tomato I grew last year).

Tim’s Black Ruffles

Fruit weight: 3 ounces

A stable cross of Black Krim and Zapotec Pink Pleated (meaning you can save seed, unlike hybrid tomatoes). Produces smoky brown purple tomatoes that are heavily ribbed. Moderate to heavy producer. Sweet and meaty. Good sauce and salad tomato.

Uluru Ochre

Fruit weight: 4-5 ounces

Dwarf variety that originated as a cross between Orange Heirloom and Rosella Purple. First sold in 2015. Good yielder of amber/orange/green tomatoes.

Violet Jasper

Fruit weight: 1-1.5 ounces

Variety that originated in China, and introduced to the United States in 2009. Yields clusters of small purplish-red tomatoes with green streaks and dark purple-red flesh. Fruit starts out as green with darker green stripes before ripening. Beautiful, eye-catching variety.”

Virginia Sweets

Fruit weight: 5-6 ounces

Produces gold-red beefsteak tomatoes with red stripes that gain a ruby blush on top when ripe. Flavor is sweet and rich. Heavy yielder.

The Strange Afterlife of Eureka’s Bayshore Mall

Yesterday I posted an article that was written a decade ago about the Bayshore Mall, the mall in Eureka–where I lived for a brief time when I was a kid, and visited frequently as I was growing up. The article, “Death Stalks Bayshore Mall,” portrayed how what had once been the crossroads of Eureka’s social and commercial scene had become the most visible symptom of Eureka’s dying economy, and cast in a pretty harsh light the struggling people who were hit hardest.

I shared the blog post with some friends I’d known from Eureka. One who still lives there, Anna, decided to take her kids on a field trip to the mall and sent me some photos. What she found was, as you’ll see, a mall that isn’t ailing, so much as in hospice at this point. For those of us who once knew the mall intimately, but haven’t been back to Eureka in a while, the changes are… stark.

Below, I’ll share what she described as “Anna’s editorial you didn’t ask for,” as well as her photos. For perspective, the photos below were taken at around noon on Saturday, September 10th. (You can click on the photos to see them full size.)

Eureka is what you make of it, as is every city. I never thought I’d be raising my kids in Eureka, yet here I am. The mall isn’t really on our radar anymore, it’s not a place to hang out and just shop. In fact, there isn’t a place for that at all here. My kids’ childhood memories will be drastically different than mine. We have our group of friends and just rotate houses to hang at every weekend, instead of going to the mall.

We went to the Concord mall a few weeks ago and it was packed, and there were so many shops it was amazing for back to school clothes. It’s just a different lifestyle.

Bayshore Mall Map - September 2022

A map of the mall as it is as of September 2022. The food court, which serves as the main entrance of the mall, is located between Ulta and Boot Barn.


What was once the food court is now… a court. There are now only 4 dining options to choose from: unbranded Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, and fruit options. For perspective, Burger King used to be at the far left. I can remember when this space seemed to be stuffed with  tables. But when there are only 4 places to buy food, I guess there’s not much eating to be done.


One of the 4 remaining food options. Sbarro used to be located here.



What you see when you walk from the food court into the center of the mall, where the two wings split off. It feels a bit like John Candy should be standing here, saying, “Sorry, folks, park’s closed. The moose out front should have told you.”

Below is the righthand side of the mall, now anchored by Walmart. One side of the wing has stores, but the other side is largely unoccupied.

Yes, there is now a DMV office in the mall. It’s generally not regarded as a good sign when a mall has a DMV office.


And, finally, the lefthand side of the mall, which houses a military recruitment office, a Planet Fitness, and… not much else. Anna mentioned that this part of the mall is dark, quiet, and echoey.

Looking at the photos, what comes to mind is Monty Python’s dead parrot sketch: “E’s off the twig! ‘E’s kicked the bucket, ‘e’s shuffled off ‘is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-MALL!!”

Death Stalks Bayshore Mall

For a couple of years after my parents’ divorce in 1990, I lived in Eureka, California, with my mom and sister. We subsequently went to live with my dad in 1993, but I visited Eureka many more times to see my mom, through about 2001. A lot of complicated stuff happened, and my mom ended up living back east, and for reasons I don’t care to get into, I haven’t talked to her in about 13 years.

But my memories of Eureka persist. One of the commercial centers of that then-logging town was the Bayshore Mall. Built in 1988, it was an outlier–the only mall in a hundred miles in any direction. It was a fresh, thriving, new place during the timespan that I lived there. I remember seeing a re-release of 101 Dalmations there, and watching Aladdin while an absolutely hellacious storm thundered down outside.

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