Gardening with Connections

Tomato Paul Robeson Heirloom Seeds

Tomato Paul Robeson Heirloom Seeds

It pays to have connections. Especially when we’re talking tomatoes. Seeds that is. Heirloom Seeds.

Imagine my delight yesterday to find my mailbox stuffed with a slightly padded manila envelope just screaming to be opened. (I never tire of ‘real’ mail and do my part to keep the post office in business. How about you?)

One of my good friends and occasional garden advisers works at Almaden Valley Nursery.  A representative from the Seed Bank in Petaluma came by the nursery and left two complete sets of Heirloom Seeds.  My lovely friends sent one of the sets my way. (Thank you!!!)

I am so excited! The fact that they arrived on a bitter-cold winter day makes it all the more sweet. Here’s what I’ll be looking forward to:

Tomato Black Mauri (Black Moor): Described as a sweet, deep chocolate-brown, grape tomato that is sweet, flavorful with a crisp and crunchy texture

Tomato Cherokee Purple: The best for salsa. An old Cherokee heirloom, pre-1890 variety.

Dr. Wyche’s Yellow:  One-pound fruit.  Oh me oh my!

Black Giant: Big, purple-black fruit grown on “highly productive” vines.

Tomato Paul Robeson: Fascinating!  Here’s what the packet says:

“This famous tomato has almost a cult following among seed collectors and tomato connoisseurs. They simply cannot get enough of this variety’s amazing flavor that is so distinctive, sweet and smokey. Named in honor of the famous opera singer star of ‘King Solomon’s Mines’, 1937. Paul Robeson was an Equal Rights Advocate for Blacks in Russia as well as around the world. This Russian heirloom was lovingly named in his honor. We are proud to offer such a wonderful variety.”

Heirloom Tomato SeedsResources:

  • Seed Bank West coast home of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, housed in a 1920’s historic building in downtown, Petaluma, California.
  • Almaden Valley Nursery Locally owned garden nursery in San Jose, California.
  • Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds  Offers 1400 heirloom seeds (non GMO).
  • Paul Robeson:  All-American athlete, singer, actor and civil rights advocate for people around the world.

16 thoughts on “Gardening with Connections

  1. Yeah Alys! We will have to share growing experiences with these seeds – maybe even host a tasting to see which one we all like best! Always happy to share the “wealth” when I can!


    • Thank you, Laura. It was such a treat to see those seed packets. You made my day.

      So funny you should mention a tasting. I was thinking exactly the same thing! Like minds and all that! Please be sure Douglas sees this post. Xxoo


  2. That was very thoughtful of your friend and what a nice spring inspiring surprise. Will you start them indoors Alys? I saw a fruit at the Baker Creek link that was a ‘Casabanana’…now that’s just fun to say. Doesn’t sound too hardy though as even a lady in South Carolina lost hers to frost. Almaden Nursery looks like a nice place to work, I checked their careers page…giggle.

    Are you an fan of Opera Alys? Mr Robeson’s sure had an amazing life. I’ll have to see if he’s on itunes. I noticed that seed bank is near Napa and Sonoma….that’s fun, putting that on the list..thanks for including the link!!


    • You’ll have to visit then for sure. I saw that building and thought of you . I love the Napa Sonoma area.

      Almaden Nursery is a fun place. It’s off a busy expressway and you would hardly know it was there. It backs up to a creek near Almaden Lake. Very nice place.

      I’m appreciate opera but I’m not a fan if that makes sense. How about you? I love musical theater though.


      • I’ve never been to live opera, isn’t that a shame? I’ve tried to get tickets a few times in Edmonton. The Edmonton Opera does usually 3 or 4 Operas a year, but they play in a smaller venue and I think a lot of the seats are season ticket holders. So the show’s I’ve tried to see are probably the popular ones. I really wanted to see La Boheme by Puccini. You might favour it, ‘starving artists finding love in Paris’….I have a few favourites on my iPod… ‘Soave sia il vento’ – Mozart…..heavenly…the note they carry at 1:58 on this clip makes your heart sing


        • Beautiful! Thanks for attaching the clip.

          Opera here is very hard to get into as well. Same thing. Diehard season subscribers. It’s pricey and tough to land a ticket.

          I have a friend from college that does local opera. I’ve still not had the chance to see her perform.


  3. 🙂 Welcome. We are so worldly…Heirloom tomatoes and Opera all in one place LOL. Too bad about the availability of tickets for performances. One local Cinema here had offered performance of certain Opera’s at one time…like on weekday afternoons…I should check into that again. Well I must get on with things here, have a fabulous day Alys! Great visiting with my morning coffee, it’s like being neighbours. xoK


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