Meet My “Mater” Friend!

January 9, 2008 at 1:30 pm Leave a comment

I’m having a hard time trying to find a word to describe my “mater ” friend. He’s just someone you really need to meet in person and then you’ll understand what I mean.  And, from what I have been told, a telephone conversation about “maters” with him is about the same as a face to face meeting.  Believe me if you love tomatoes this is the guy for you!  He can chew your ear off talking about them…but, take my word for it you’ll come away knowing more than you ever thought your brain could hold. HaHa!

Let me introduce you to my friend, Roger Postley of Tomatoes, Etc.  This guy knows his “maters!”  He ain’t too bad on the pepper end either.  I met Roger at the Lexington Farmers’ Market a few years back and since he no longer sells there either I thought I would share his 2008 list on heirloom tomato and pepper seeds.  Grab a cup of coffe and get comfortable, cause this is a long list.  After you read through it you’ll begin to understand why I say he’s hard to describe!  Each and every seed comes with a description that rivals the best of commercial catalogs…he even includes his own ordering codes!  If you haven’t enjoyed yourself enough just reading through the list you can give him a call at (859) 278-4846 or email him at  Be forewarned…he really loves to talk heirlooms! I’m not joking but it’s well worth your time and energy if you are a true tomato or pepper lover.  He’s got more knowledge when it comes to “maters” than any person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing and his passion for them is unbelievable.

Here’s his 2008 list…

AN Ananas Noire-Medium to large smooth tri-color beefsteak fruits. Greenish when ripe, yet have internal streaks of “black” and red. Weigh about 1.5 pounds. Superb flavor that is both sweet and ‘smoky’ with a hint of citrus. Heavy yields. Indeterminate. Regular leaf. 85 days..

AH Australian Heart (Thieneman family)-Brought to Louisville, KY by a returning WW II Navy veteran. Produces a medium to large red heart-shaped, extremely tasty, juicy fruit. Indeterminate. Regular leaf. Mid-season.

AZ Azoychka-This lovely Russian heirloom is a bright lemon yellow 7-8 ounce, 3” slightly flattened tomato. It has a delightful full rich sweetness with just a touch of acidity. Very good production. 6’ indeterminate. Regular leaf. 70 days.

BA Bali-Heirloom from the island of Bali in Indonesia. It has small (2-3”) ruffled/ribbed and flattened 2-3″ fruit in bright raspberry pink. It has an unusual sweet fruity yet spicy flavor and sweet fragrance. Greatly worth trying! Perfect for cutting into halves on a salad. 4’ short indeterminate. Regular leaf. Early-season.

BY Barnes Mountain Yellow-productive yellow one pound juicy beefsteak fruits. Good flavor. Regular leaf. 6’ indeterminate. Mid to late season.

BC Black Cherry-A wonderful 1” round cherry with a burgundy-black color. These cherries are irresistibly delicious! A tall, vigorous plant that produces abundant crops of 1″ fruits with sweet and complex full flavors, characteristic of the Russian “blacks”. 9’ indeterminate. Regular leaf. 65 days.

BE Black Early-Typical growth and high production of most Russian ‘black’ tomatoes, but 1-2 weeks earlier than most others, with very good production of medium to large fruits. Has the typical great ‘black’ flavor! Regular leaf. 5’ indeterminate. Early to mid-season.

BM Black Mountain Pink-A KY heirloom Productive medium pink, one pound juicy beefsteak fruits. Good flavor. Regular leaf. 6’ indeterminate. Mid to late season.

BP Black Pear-Good producer. Very beautiful 2-5 oz. (2-3”), mahogany-red, green shouldered, pear shaped-fruits with outstanding spicy and sweet flavor. Likes it hot and sunny. Produces a prolific and steady crop until frost. This one is outstanding eaten fresh, or cut in a salad. Firm enough to hold its shape when cut, but soft enough to be delicious! Regular leaf. 7’ indeterminate. 82 days.

BH Bull’s Heart-Old Russian variety from that yields ½-1 pound, oxheart-shaped, pink fruits with few seeds and great full rich sweet taste. Sometimes grows 2 fruits together to look like a double heart. 5’ indeterminate. Regular leaf. 84 days.

BF Burkina-Faso-a slightly rounded somewhat juicy red paste tomato, from Burkina-Faso. Huge production and very good taste. Good for fresh eating or cooking/canning. Regular leaf. 5’ indeterminate. Mid season.

BU Burracker’s-A wonderful 1-2 pound red/gold bicolor beefsteak tomato that is extremely sweet and juicy. I had poor early season production, but it flourished later on. 6’ indeterminate. Regular leaf. 80 days.

BS Butler Skinner- A Clark Co., KY family heirloom. The seeds, plants, and fruits were used as ‘political gifts’ during his local campaigning! 12 ounce, round pink fruits. A full and balanced, rather sweet flavor. 7’ indet. Regular leaf

CC Chadwick Cherry-Heirloom named after the late British master gardener, Alan Chadwick, originator of the biointensive method of gardening. Flavorful, not just sweet, 1-inch, red fruits borne in vigorous clusters. 8’ indeterminate. Super-productive all season. Regular leaf. 70 days.

CG Cherokee Green-This may be a mutation of Cherokee Purple. Huge vigorous plant with 12-18 oz, light green, beefsteak type fruit with slight pinkish blush on blossom end and the skin takes on a yellowish hue when ripe. Inside is light green with bright green gel. Excellent flavor and juicy texture. Great production. 7’ indeterminate. Regular leaf. 75 days.

CY Crnkovic Yugoslavian-A prolific, disease resistant heirloom that produces large 1+ pound red-pink beefsteak fruits that are meaty, juicy, and have a robust, complex tomato flavor. 7’ indeterminate. Regular leaf. 80 days.

CB Csikös Bötermö-This produces beautiful round fruit, which are red with gold veins. Csikös means” horse herders near the Balaton Lake in Hungary” and Bötermö means “early”. . 5’ short indeterminate. Regular leaf. 75 days

DB Debarao-Heavy production of 3-4 ounce oval deep red, fruit with green shoulders. They have the wonderful sweet complex flavor of ‘black’ tomatoes. Perfect for snacking, salads, and sauces. Very heavy producer. Regular leaf. 5’ indeterminate. 72 days.

PF Depp’s Pink Firefly-A Glasgow, KY family heirloom. It produces numerous large pink w/light ‘spots’ flattened beefsteak fruits with a fantastic flavor. 6’ indeterminate. Potato leaf. Mid to late season.

DR Druzba-This densely foliaged Bulgarian heirloom bears plenty of 12 ounce bright red fruit throughout the season. Very heavy set of perfect bright red 1⁄2 to 1lb. fruit with a high acid content – giving it that robust “real tomato” flavor. Produces a large percentage of uniform ripening, high quality blemish-free fruit. 6’ indeterminate. Regular leaf. 75 days.

EIo El Ifino (orange)-Discovered by me! (The name comes from the old joke: “What do you get when you cross an elephant with a rhinoceros?”) This was a mutation of a Lillian’s Yellow Heirloom tomato. The seeds produced plants that yielded large orange or red, lobed, juicy, very flavorful beefsteak fruits. Regular leaf. 6+’ indeterminate. Mid to late season.

EIr El Ifino (red)-Discovered by me! (The name comes from the old joke: “What do you get when you cross an elephant with a rhinoceros?”) This was a mutation of a Lillian’s Yellow Heirloom tomato. The seeds produced plants that yielded large orange or red, lobed, juicy, extremely flavorful beefsteak fruits. Regular leaf. 6+’ indeterminate. Mid to late season.

FW Ferris Wheel-a pink/red medium-sized fruit. Very good flavor, appearance and productivity. One pound juicy beefsteak fruits. Good flavor. Regular leaf. 6’ indeterminate. Mid to late season.

FL Frank’s Large Red-A Eastern KY heirloom that produces huge 1½-2 pound red flattened slightly lobed fruits that are very juicy and have a fantastic flavor. Regular leaf. 7’ indeterminate. Late season.

GB Giant Belgium-The 1 ½-3 pound dark pink fruit on this fine tomato plant has a delicious sweet, mild, low acid taste with solid flesh. The variety, which was developed in Ohio, produces a large solid flattened beefsteak with a smooth blossom end. 6’ indeterminate. Regular leaf. 80 days.

GS Golden Sunrise-This Australian heirloom produces huge quantities of 1½-2” gorgeous spherical bright red/ orange striped fruits. The leaves look as if they are covered with a light frost! 5’ indeterminate. ‘Fuzzy’ potato leaf. 75 days.

GL Grace Lahman-This variety produces large amounts of medium-sized rose-pink globes with fruits good ‘old time’ flavor. Very mild and sweet. This is a prolific producer with huge fall crops. Indeterminate. Regular leaf. 80 days.

GZ Green Zebra-The 2 to 4 ounce elongated fruits are bright green with light green/gold stripes and emerald green flesh with a delicious ‘spicy/tangy’ real tomato flavor. The vines are very vigorous and extremely productive. A choice tomato for colorful salads. 5’ short indeterminate. Regular leaf. 75 days.

IS Illini Star-It produces heavy crops of 6-8 oz. deep-red tomatoes. They have an excellent flavor and strong disease and split resistance. Developed by Merlyn & Mary Ann Neidens

BT Japanese Black Trifele-Giant ’black’ fruit, shape is more spacecraft-like than plum, strongly recommended, great taste. Actually, it is from Russia. Huge production! Unusual, but outstanding taste! 7’ indeterminate. Regular leaf. Mid to late season.

KB Kellogg’s Breakfast-This WV heirloom is a gorgeous orange beefsteak tomato with truly outstanding sweet tangy taste and few seeds! This productive variety bears fruits of 1 pound or more and have few seeds. Juice and inside flesh have the same bright orange color as orange juice. 7’ indeterminate. Regular leaf. 75 days.

KT Krasnodar Titan-This Ukrainian heirloom was ‘smuggled’ here! The large red fruit have rich, full-bodied, old-fashioned flavor and a firm texture, which is perfect for salsas! This is a highly productive full season tomato. 5’ indeterminate. Regular leaf. Mid season.

LG Lennie & Gracie-Yellow with pink interior striping. Extremely large production. Very good taste. 7’ indeterminate. Regular leaf. 75 days.

LM Limmony-A bright yellow beefsteak which is decidedly citrus-tart! It produces 10-16 ounce, 4-5″, light-yellow fruits with lots of luscious, big sweet tangy flavors. It has a bold taste! 7’ indeterminate. Regular leaf. 75 days.

LR Lumpy Red-This is a Corbin, KY family heirloom. It is highly productive and yields heavily fluted medium to large red fruits which are very tasty. 6’ indeterminate. Regular leaf. 80 days.

MJ Majtato-This Hungarian heirloom produces a firm dense red 3”-4” spherical cooking tomato with a good flavor. It has dark green rugose regular leaves on a very stocky plant. 3’ dwarf indeterminate. Very early with huge full season production. Good in containers.

MP Marianna’s Peace-This is the world’s most over-hyped tomato. Despite that, is well worth raising! It is one of the finest tasting tomatoes with moderate yields of 1-2 pound beautiful, pink-red very meaty beefsteaks with luscious, full tomato flavor that features a good balance of acidity and sweetness. Potato leaf. Vigorous vines are very productive, 7’ indeterminate. 85 days.

MG Max’s Large Green-This is a family heirloom from Hardin Co., KY. It has a delicious tangy full flavor with firm juicy bright green flesh in a 16-20 ounce flattened beefsteak shape. The skin has a predominant amber tinge when ripe. It makes a lovely sandwich slicer. 7’ indeterminate. Regular leaf. Medium-late season. A (different) BLT – just waiting to happen!

MN Monk-A family heirloom from Nicholasville, KY. It produces slightly irregular, very large, and extremely tasty beefsteak fruits on large strong vines. It is highly productive. Indeterminate. Regular leaf. Mid to late season.

SB Moon’s Superbush-This heirloom produces 3” medium-size solid red round fruits with good full flavor. Super productive. Early season. 3’-4’ dwarf indeterminate. Grows very well in containers.

MLy Mortgage Lifter (yellow)-An impressive cousin of the pink Mortgage Lifter with heavy yields of 1 pound, 4″, yellow beefsteak fruit with red/pink streaks in center and similar great rich taste. Slightly flattened, with mild, fruity flavor. Regular leaf. 7’ indeterminate. 80 days.

MR Mr. Slaybaugh’s Oxheart- middle Ohio family heirloom, 1+ pound. Bright red. Delicious and juicy. Tall indet. Regular leaf. Very productive.

MB Mrs. Benson’s Pink- 70 days Indet., potato-leaf, old family variety from Mrs. Benson, (Oswego IL.), large yields, bright pink, not many seeds, averages 1 lb., satisfying old-time flavor, good acid/sugar balance. Well worth trying!

NW Nebraska Wedding- Orange-Medium size round fruits, Short indeterminate. 76 days. Regular leaf

OK Old Kentucky- a Southeastern KY heirloom. Large yellow beefsteak with great flavor. Even better than KY Beefsteak! 7’ indeterminate. Regular leaf. 75-90 days.

OG Oleyar’s German Red Oxheart- Large red fruit with great flavor. 7’ indeterminate. Regular leaf. 75-90 days.

OL Omar’s Lebanese-A huge dark pink beefsteak tomato with fruits typically weighing 1 to 1-1/2 pounds. It has a full sweet complex flavor that is delicious on sandwiches. It is very productive. Regular leaf. 6’ indeterminate. 80 days.

OC Outhouse Cherry-From Lakeland, FL, this ½” tiny bright red cherry tomato is terrific for snacking – particularly by kids! Super prolific and delicious. Guess where it grew best? 10’ to 12’ indeterminate huge vine. Regular leaf. Early season.

PL Palestinian-This mid-Eastern variety produces loads of light red/pink 8-32 ounce firm tasty fruits and few seeds. The size is extremely variable! Regular leaf. 5’ indeterminate. Early to mid-season.

PR Paul Robeson-This Russian heirloom was named in honor of the American operatic star and equal rights advocate. It is an absolutely delicious 6-10 ounce round ‘black’ tomato with an intensely sweet smoky taste with a hint of tanginess and has dark red skin with dark green dusky shoulders. Regular leaf. 6’ indeterminate. 70 days.

PS Persimmon-This is a beautiful dusky persimmon-colored variety that produces 1-2 pound, 5” fruits. Vines are vigorous, well branched and bear heavily. Its rich distinctive sweetness and few seeds make it one of the best tasting orange heirloom tomatoes. Regular leaf. 7’ indeterminate. 75 days.

PA Pineapple-This beautiful Mid-West bicolor heirloom grows large beefsteak fruit, some weighing up to 2 pounds! The yellow skin with red streaks are a delight, while the mild sweet, tropical, fruity flavor makes it a favorite. Very productive. Regular leaf. 7’ indeterminate. 75-90 days

GF Pink Grapefruit-A very high producer of lovely light yellow 4-6 oz. globes, tinged with a pink blush that continues into the core. They are sweet, juicy, mild and really do have a hint of citrus. Regular leaf. 4’ dwarf indeterminate. 80 days.

PG Polish Giant-This heirloom produces numerous red large 4-6” semi heart-shaped pointed-end fruits. The flavor is full and balanced in the solid meaty fruits. Very prolific. Regular leaf. 5’ indet.. 85 days.

PP PURPLE PASSION  huge, meaty, crimson-red fruits-almost a ‘black’, relatively early for a large tomato, flavor is excellent – rich, mild, and fruity, moderately firm, an old Utah heirloom. indet., 78 days.

RM Ramapo (OP)-This is a discontinued “hybrid commercial heirloom” that is now open-pollinated. It bears large numbers of medium-sized round red fruits that are excellent fresh or canned. Regular leaf. 5’ indeterminate. Mid-season.

RA Raphael-This outstanding heirloom red plum was found on an abandoned SW Florida farm. Unlike ROMA tomatoes (which it resembles), this actually has great flavor, both fresh and cooked! It is highly productive over an extended season. Regular leaf. 3’ dwarf indeterminate. Early season.

RT Reisentraube-This German heirloom bears huge clusters of 1″ red fruit with a distinctive pointed end. The robust flavor is similar to large red beefsteak varieties. One of its outstanding features is the large number of flowers produced per cluster (up to 350)! An excellent salad tomato that is great for snacks! Regular leaf. 8’ indeterminate. 70-80 days.

RC Roman Candle-This produces beautiful neon yellow banana-shaped fruits that are bursting with intense sweetness and flavor. A wonderful new tomato that originated as a ‘sport’ from Mr. John Swenson’s Striped (Speckled) Roman. Fruits are about 2″ wide by 4″ long and are quite meaty. Regular leaf. 5’ indeterminate. 85 days

SP St. PierreA French heirloom variety that is the epitome of fine taste! It produces a large quantity of medium-sized red round fruits with outstanding flavor. Regular leaf. 7’ indeterminate. 74 days.

SD Scoresby Dwarf-My plants do not fit the description of the New Zealand heirloom! There is nothing ‘dwarf’ about them! They produce very large numbers of round 3-4” firm red tomatoes that have a very good flavor that are great for salsa or cut in salads. Regular leaf. 6’ indeterminate. Mid-season.

SF Silvery Fir-This is a extremely early dwarf Russian heirloom that bears many deep orange to red, 3″-4″ flattened fruits that have a good flavor. It has unusual lacy fern-like foliage with a silvery-grey color and grows very well in container or flowerbed. Regular leaf. 2’ determinate. 58 days.

SO Sophie’s Choice-This Canadian family heirloom is a compact plant that bears loads of sweet refreshing 6-8 ounce orange-red tomatoes. Unlike other extra-early varieties, the fruits are flavorful and large, averaging 6 to 8 ounces. It does not handle heat or drought well and needs water and support! Regular leaf. 1 ½-2’ determinate. 50 days. Good in containers.

SR Striped (Speckled) Roman-These long, pointed red fruit have wavy orange stripes that are absolutely gorgeous! It’s a perfect midsize fruit with meaty flesh, excellent sweet flavor and few seeds. Heavy fruit production until frost. Regular leaf. 7’ indeterminate. 75 days.

TO Tomesol-This heirloom produces medium to large, slightly flattened round, white to ’khaki’ , thin-skinned and delicious mild and sweet fruits that are perfect cut up in salads. Very good production! Regular leaf. 5’ indeterminate. 75 days.

UM Uncle Mark Bagby- KY heirloom. Very large pink fruits. Huge production. Excellent flavor. Regular leaf. 7’ indeterminate. 85 days.

VW Vinson Watts-Large 1-2 pound, flattened, pink fruit with excellent flavor. It is an old heirloom that was grown in the Morehead, Kentucky area, but originated in Lee County, Virginia. Late season. Regular leaf. Indeterminate. Juicy and full of flavor. Great on sandwiches!

WB Watermelon Beefsteak- Very, very, good, From Gleckler’s Seedsman, over 100 years ago, a true classic heirloom, very large indet. red/pink beefsteak with great flavor, slightly scalloped shape. New for me this season – I will know more once I raised and tasted it!

WC Weeping Charlie- This is a ‘very fat’ red with green shoulders roma-type tomato. Quite juicy with good flavor. Regular leaf. 7’ indeterminate. 75 days.

WE Wes-This USA heirloom is best known for its wonderful aroma! It produces large numbers of medium-sized heart-shaped red fruits that have a delightful mildly sweet flavor. Regular leaf. 6’ indeterminate. Mid to late season. (Fruits were small, in 2007…)

YP Yellow Perfection-This heirloom , originally from an old British seed company, produces 1 ½-2” inch, round, brilliant-yellow, thin-skinned and delicious fruits that are perfect cut up in salads. Fantastic production! Potato leaf. 5’ indeterminate. 75 days.



AF Aji floro (Orchid)- sweet Scotch Bonnet, flower shaped sweet ‘citrusy’ green small pepper – in my opinion, it is better green then at orange-red full ripe! Outstanding flavor and prolific! About 5’ tall!

JN Jimmy NardelloHeirloom sweet Italian frying pepper logged in at Ellis Island in 1897! Outstanding flavor fresh, fried, or used in Italian foods! Enormous yields of long, flattened, curly, green to dark crimson fruits with pointed ends and some twisting (1″ x 6-8”). Looks like a “cayenne-on-steroids”!

JB Jingle Bell (OP, not hybrid)-Produces a miniature green bell pepper (about 1 1/2”) that is perfect split /stuffed with cheese or meat salads for appetizers or used whole in kabobs. They ripen to bright red. Extremely productive. The OP version is new. Good in containers.

TR Topepo Rosso-This Italian heirloom Italian sweet red pimento pepper produces tasty, blood red, round pimento peppers the size of small apples. The flesh is very thick, crisp, and sweet and is great fresh or cooked. Three-foot compact plants produce huge yields. Although they set fruit early, they are very slow to ripen – but it is worth the wait!

TP Trinidad Perfume- sweet yellow habanero!, found as a ‘sport’ in a field of H O T habaneros!, Use for seasoning or munching – has no fire! A super-prolific bright yellow pepper about 4’ tall.


AR Alabama Red-This very large (both plant and pod) cultivar produced huge amounts of delicious red-and–green very tasty okra. The plants are ‘almost’ scratch-free! The large pods remain tender while large! Expect 6’+ plants

If you haven’t read enough, give him a holler at (859) 278-4846  You won’t be sorry, I promise.  I know we certainly enjoy the plants we buy from him!  And, no…we don’t bother with the seeds, we let him do the hard part cause we’re usually busy trying to get our herbs out! 

I hope you enjoyed today’s special edition as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you.  We’re headed back out to the shop so we can get it ready to open..hopefully…next week! 🙂



Entry filed under: Food, heirloom, seeds, thinking out loud, tomatoes. Tags: , , , .

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