Bill Jeffers, who lives in Evansville, Indiana, has a passion for tomatoes and has bred them for many years. Not satisfied with those boring red, round, tasteless grocery store varieties, Bill set out to develop real gems


Bill employed his talents as an artist and his keen eye for natural beauty to create extraordinarily beautiful creations that combine top quality, heat tolerance, and high flavor in his unique tomato crosses. We at Marianna's Heirloom Seeds are excited and honored to offer these rare creations this year. We know you will enjoy growing and eating the artisan tomatoes from Papa Vic's Seed Stash!


Shop for seeds by Bill Jeffers



Bill Jeffers' story of development of Dixiewine


By Bill Jeffers


Once upon a time, there grew a Brandywine plant up against a brick wall on the south side of our new house because I didn't have a very big tomato patch at the time.


And one day I peeled back the anther cones on one of the flowers, applied some pollen from a nearby Neves Azorean Red plant, and attached a little tag indicating the hopeful cross pollination, which in fact took hold and grew a fine tomato full of seeds!

Whoopsie, I got those two photos backwards, didn't I? Oh well ...

In fact, this particular Brandywine plant grew a whole bunch of tomatoes because we had a fine growing season in the summer of 2006. Here's a mess I picked one day in August.

I do not have a photo of the Neves Azorean Red plant that donated the pollen, but I do have photos of a tomato from that plant ...

I got the seeds for the Neves Azorean Red (NAR) from a nice fellow named Tom Micholas who lives in New Joisey with his beautiful wife and their two pretty little daughters. More about Tom later ...

So, in 2007, I grew out the F1 seed from that fateful 2006 cross pollination of BW x NAR, and here is what I got. A pretty little green plant ...

... that soon began producing these nice little green tomatoes ...

... that turned into the big ol' red tomatoes ...

Now the leaves of that F1 Brandywine x Neves Azorean Red plant looked like this ...

... which I cannot for the life of me describe as either potato leaf or regular leaf, so I'll leave that to the leaf freaks!

So, I saved a mess of seeds from a few F1 tomatoes in 2007. And I sent about 36 of those F2 seeds to Tom Micholas, because he loves that danged ol' NAR variety so much. And I told Tom to grow all 36 of those seeds so he could pick out the POTATO LEAF starts, because he loves those ol' potato leaf types so doggone well, I thought he might want a potato leaf NAR, doncha see.

Well, Ol' Tom, being a hardheaded Greek Cypriot that he is, he only started a few seeds and only got REGULAR LEAF starts. And he sent a few of the leftover F2 seeds to this fellow out in California, by the name of Ray Newstead, famed developer of a very efficient self-watering grow-tainer.

Now, Ray Newstead grew this line of tomato from the seeds Tom sent him, and they called this line NARX because in spite of the fact that I specifically told Tom (the hardheaded Greek Cypriot) that we were calling this cross the BRANNAR LINE, he just loved NAR so doggone much that he reversed the order of the letters and featured NAR as the prefix in his designation. Ray followed suit.

That's how come Marianne received the results of Ray Newstead's couple of years of growing out the BWxNAR cross which lead to just a mite of confusion when Marianna first offered the seeds at her wonderful online sales site. Not that it makes one hoot what she, Ray or Tom chose to call it. What does count is how good the tomato is, and how well Marianna likes it, and even more so, how well it's received by Marianna's customers, friends and family!

Anyway, Marianna needed a real name for her tomato. Yes it is HER TOMATO, folks, because she has grown it to stability down there in Dickson, Tennessee. I suggested Dixiewine as a possible name, and apparently Marianna likes that name just fine. I hope it serves her well.

Thank you Marianna for growing this particular line of BRANNAR tomato to stability and liking it well enough to share it with the world.

Best Regards,

Bill Jeffers