Tuesday, January 5, 2016

2017 Seed Offerings


Seed rEvolution Now!

PROVIDING QUALITY ORGANIC SEED 


Welcome to our 2017 Seed Offerings list
{Scroll down to see the varieties available}

Now featuring 25 wonderful varieties grown on eight certified organic farms by experienced seed stewards in several western states.

New & Exclusive for 2017!~Front Range Yellow Globe Onion

About Seed rEvolution Now!

Seed rEvolution Now is just one of many small, bioregional seed companies that have been springing up as a reaction against the trend toward the monopolization of seed and, indeed, our entire food system. We work in and around the San Francisco Bay Region, collaborating with organic produce growers and gardeners. We raise some crops ourselves, both for seed and in comparison trials. We also carry seed grown by long-time organic seed specialists. 


Newlyweds in 1978
After first meeting while working in a Chadwickian garden in Santa Cruz, CA in 1974, Steve and Moria Peters set out on a lifetime journey centered on organic agriculture and seed saving. After helping to establish a community land trust in upstate New York, Steve earned an Ag degree from Cornell. Later, both worked at the Rodale Institute in PA. Moria was an estate gardener in Santa Fe,  while Steve worked for Seeds of Change. Next he served a stint with Native Seeds/SEARCH. Their combined experience in working with plants totals around ninety+ years. Upon finally returning to California,  they founded Seed rEvolution Now!

Today: what a long, strange trip it's been!

This is definitely a different kind of seed catalog. Our mission is our highest priority. We want to empower you to grow and save seeds that nourish you and your community. Hence we are offering a sampling of tried and true varieties that you can reproduce and begin your own seed journey. As seed stewards you can continue to maintain existing varieties, or you can create new ones by making novel strain crosses. Under the auspices of the Organic Seed Alliance (OSA), we offer classes and presentations on seed saving, cleaning, and marketing.  We focus on open pollinated (OP) plants, because they allow a farmer to develop their own seed production and breeding pursuits. Growing open pollinated seed gives a farmer the opportunity to save, select, and improve varieties that are optimally suited for their farm. 



Steve working with farmer Ryan Casey, Blue House Farm, Pescadero, CA

Many market farmers still prefer to grow hybrids, as they often have higher yields, more uniformity, and improved crop quality. Hybrids, however, will not produce true-to-type seed, making them unsuitable for on-farm seed saving. As a result, most commercial farmers have become completely reliant upon the seed companies to provide the genetics they need. This is a major reason for the seed industry's focus on hybrids and other proprietary seeds, such as GMOs. Over the past sixty plus years, vast public and private resources have been invested in commercial F1 hybrids (first generation crosses), while open pollinated crops were almost completed ignored (except for OP-only crops such as lettuce & beans).  If OP breeding were to be given even a modest amount of support, a host of significant agronomic and horticultural traits including yield, uniformity, and disease resistance could be achieved across a wide range of crops. 


Varietal trials compare OPs with hybrids on organic farms

Most crucially, OP seed must be held in the public domain to ensure free access to that seed for future breeding and development. The 1970 Plant Variety Protection Act (PVPA) was enforced so that breeders could be compensated for their work. It demanded a royalty payment from anyone selling the seed, but at least it did not prevent someone from using it as breeding material. Innovation within the industry continued. With the advent of GMOs within the last 20 years, PVPs have largely been replaced by the much more restrictive Utility Patents, which completely prevent the use of protected varieties for breeding or on-farm seed saving.  Only a handful of large corporations own these seeds, and innovation has been stifled because valuable genetic material has become unavailable to the breeding public. Newly bred varieties of OP seed may be vulnerable to these patents. A recent novel approach to keep seed in the public domain has been the Open Source Seed Initiative (OSSI), which essentially promotes the concept of ethical seed sharing by committing to the following pledge: "Anyone purchasing these OSSI-pledged seeds has the freedom to use them in any way you choose. In return, you pledge not to restrict others' use of these seeds or derivatives by patents or other means, and to include this pledge with any transfer of these seeds or their derivatives".




See the following links for a full treatment of the subject:

http://osseeds,org

http://www.vgronline.org/reporting-articles/2014/05/linux-lettuce

Artisanal seed carefully stewarded and hand-cleaned


 Remember, this is all open-pollinated, public domain material, which means that you, as a grower, may save seeds that you harvest for future use. The reliability of that seed will depend on your understanding of the sometimes complex rules of seed saving. We recommend the Organic Seed Alliance's website for reference: http://www.seedalliance.org


This year we are pleased to announce eight new offerings in our catalog, including two fresh market carrots, three storage onions, a desi-type garbanzo bean, a beit-alpha cucumber, and very unusual, all-purpose corn. All are very special varieties which we have helped to steward. We provide seed from experienced, certified organic growers whose expertise ensures highly productive, reliable crops.  All of our varieties are open-pollinated and in the public domain. The one exception that is under a licensing agreement (i.e. not in the public domain) is Green Finger Cucumber, as is explained in that entry. Most of our seed is available in limited bulk quantities at wholesale prices, recommended especially for organic market growers and small regional catalogs, and is a sufficient quantity for the grower to produce good seed. We also offer packets for gardeners and for trials.


To place orders, you may call or email Steve Peters directly: 
505-660-3933          stevegrows@gmail.com




2017 SEED LIST

The varieties listed here are examples of the best of traditional OP breeding.
Crops are listed alphabetically by common name.

Beans, Snap


Italian Pole Snap Bean 

Phaseolus vulgaris  

We offer this beloved heirloom white-seeded, Romano-type bean, almost unknown in the marketplace. It bears many exceptionally sweet and tender 7-8” flat, meaty pods. Vines grow to 8-10’ and require trellising. Excellent way to maximize yields in a limited space. 60-70 days to fresh snap stage.


Traditional thick, meaty, flat green pole bean. This white-seeded, tall climber is very productive over a long season. Excellent, rich flavor and a unique succulence. This bean has been a favorite of our family for over 20 years.


Grower: Bill Reynolds, Humboldt County, CA

pack (60 seeds) ~ $3.     1 lb ~ $8.      5 lbs ~ $32    (960 seeds per lb)    



To order, either email or call Steve Peters directly:
stevegrows@gmail.com or 505-660-3933




OS Blues Bush Snap Bean


Phaseolus vulgaris  


A determinate green snap bean, relatively early-maturing, with very long, straight pods that are exceptionally tender and sweet. This variety was developed at Oregon State by vegetable plant breeder Jim Myers, particularly for the fresh market grower. The 4" pods maintain good eating quality for a long period on the plant, allowing for a wide picking window. 55 days to fresh snap stage.

OS Blues is a heavy producer of tender pods with unsurpassed staying power

This refined, high-yielding bush bean has great tenderness and rich flavor. This is the bean that our 101-year-old mother found especially delicious. Even at a larger size, when any other bean would be woody and tough, this one is still delightfully crisp and yummy. Farmer Bill decided it was so far superior to the other Blue Lake variety he'd been growing that he plowed in the entire crop of the loser, rather than sell an inferior bean when he could offer this one! 
Dry-farmed by Bill on the Eel River.

"It's so sweet!" exclaimed Elsie, on tasting OS Blues snap bean.


Grower: Bill Reynolds, Humboldt County, CA

Pack ( 50 seeds) ~ $3.     1 lb. ~ $12.    5 lbs ~ $40.   ((1870 seeds per lb) 
Please call to inquire about larger quantities.


 


Scarlet Emperor Runner Bean


Phaseolus coccineus

Limited quantity for 2017~packs only!

Plant a beautiful living fence and attract hummingbirds!

These multi-purpose beans add beauty to the garden with flaming scarlet flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. A fast growing climber noted for its high-quality eating as a fresh snap when bean pods are young, as a green shell bean, or as a dry bean. The beautiful, mottled purple and black mature seeds have traditionally been used for ornamental and ceremonial purposes.  Continuously harvest for a long season of eating. 55 days to fresh snap stage.


Beautiful beans have been used for jewelry


An arched trellis is easily made, makes harvesting simple, and creates a lovely passage in the garden.






















This runner bean grows quickly to 12' or more, making a beautiful, quick screen....we like arched trellising (as shown) to facilitate picking.    The beans may be eaten at three stages. As a snap green bean of exceptional flavor when young, these have long been a favorite in Britain. When the pods swell, the beans may be removed and eaten as shell beans, rather like edamames or limas. They are excellent in minestrone. They may also be used as a delicious, substantial dry bean when fully mature. 
Dry-farmed on the Eel River.


Germ test on Scarlet Runners ~ 99% germ!


Grower: Bill Reynolds, Humboldt County, CA

Pack (28 seeds) ~ $3.    



Beans, Fava 

Sweet Lorane Fava Bean


Vicia faba


An OP breeding breakthrough! Growers have long hoped for an edible harvest from their cover crop. Now we have one. This 'bell bean' type fava is a robust, highly productive winter & spring cover crop, growing 5-6' tall. Sweet Lorane has been selected for its edible seeds. OP recurrent selective breeding has removed the bitterness from these beans!  

 Note original purple favas in photo, compared to the new selection of edible green Sweet Loranes.



















This variety was originally developed from a purple bell bean by plant breeder Steve Solomon. He specifically selected for winter hardiness and sturdiness. He also discovered that there was a better flavor in the occasional seeds with a lighter green hilum (the small scar that is the seed equivalent of a belly button).


At that point, Alan Adesse, an experienced organic seed farmer from Oregon, took over the breeding project. Within just a few years of hard selection, he developed this excellent, hardy, high-yielding edible fava bean. We recommend this versatile variety...still a great cover crop as well as a tasty, high-protein food!  Plants benefit from trellising but it can be grown unsupported as well. 



Grower: Alan Adesse, Willamette Valley, OR

Pack (50 seeds) ~ $3.  1 lb. ~ $12.    5 lbs ~ $40.    (790 seeds per lb.)  
Please call to inquire about larger quantities.


Beans, Garbanzo 

Hannah Garbanzo Bean

~new for 2017! 

Cicer arietinum

These are a smaller, darker type than the large, blond chick peas with which most American are familiar. It is a "desi" type, more flavorful and much preferred in India, the Middle East, and North Africa compared to the blander, pale "kabouli" type grown around the eastern Mediterranean. In our experience, desi types are more easily grown than kaboulis, as well.

Desi-types are smaller and darker, with more flavor than kaboulis

Dense foliage at onset of flowering at our Gilroy field trial.
Garbanzos are similar to peas, in that both are frost-hardy plants that are best planted in cool conditions. However, unlike peas, the garbanzos, once established, thrive in hot, dry weather. Being a legume, they contribute valuable soil nitrogen  and make for a good rotational crop with other vegetables. Garbs can be eaten in the green shell stage about 80-90 days after planting. Full dry seed maturity is reached after 120-140 days. Most pods yield only 1-2 seeds, however, they are easy to thresh and quite productive.

Monk Bergin demonstrating seed cleaning

This variety, originally from Morocco, came to Seed rEvolution Now from eastern Oregon organic seed grower Munk Bergin. 


Abundant, easily threshed pods


Grown by Steve Peters in Gilroy, CA

Pack (50 seeds) ~ $3.    1 /2 lb. ~ $10.     (1200 seeds per lb.)  
Please call to inquire about larger quantities.



Beets


  Forono Beet

Beta vulgaris

Unusual slender, 6" long beet that is ideal for canning and pickling. It has a particularly deep red interior and extraordinarily sweet flavor. This is a real gourmet item. 50-55 days. 


Cylindrical shape makes these ideal for slicing

This 2" wide by 5" long heirloom is very similar to Cylindra, which derived from this source. It has a rich, earthy sweetness, the smooth skin is easy to peel, and roots  hold a long time in the ground without becoming "corky". The strong, healthy tops make great beet greens. 



Seed forever!








When seed for this favorite market variety became impossible to find, the farmers of Fifth Crow Farm on the Central California coast were trained by Seed rEvolution Now's own Steve Peters to save the best of their remaining crop to re-plant for seed, with epic results. Now the farm's seed source is secure, and we have ample seed to share!

Grower: Steve Peters & Fifth Crow Farm, Pescadero, CA

Pack (180 seeds) ~ $3.                            
1 oz. ~ $8.    1/4 lb. ~ $24.    1 lb. ~ $75. 
(2570 seeds per oz.)





Shiraz Tall-Top Beet

Beta vulgaris


This fast growing, dual-purpose beet has outstanding vigor, a round smooth shape, dark red color, and delicious tall beet green tops. Bred specifically for organic production, it is Rhizoctonia-resistant. Shiraz can be sown in the spring for summer harvest, 55-60 days, or in the fall for winter harvest, 70-80 days.


Beautiful, nutritious beet greens make this a dual-purpose crop



This beet was developed specifically to meet the needs of organic growers, and its success demonstrates the great potential of targeted open-pollinated breeding. A serious disease problem for organic growers is rhizoctonia, which causes pitting and roughening of the skin on beets. Shiraz was bred to resist this fungus.


Rhizoctonia  infection on a leading commercial beet
(not Shiraz, which has bred-in resistance to this common disease!)
Organic Seed Alliance plant breeder Dr. John Navazio worked with farmers Randy Carey (OR) and Bill Reynolds (CA) over a number of years to perfect this variety, which proved superior to almost all other OPs and hybrids in variety trials. This dual-purpose beet combines a strong, large top for tasty greens with a sweet, smooth-skinned, round, deep wine-red root.

Farmer Bill & Dr. John
Grower: Nash Huber, Olympic Peninsula, Washington

Pack (200 seeds) ~ $3.  



   

Broccoli

Steve's Select Tender Early Green Broccoli

Brassica oleracea



This selection of Early Green is a proven performer in a wide range of climates, from Arizona’s desert to California’s coast to Maine’s forests. The central head averages about 4” across, and is followed by a succession of side shoots, produced up until frost. The stems are especially tender and delicious and require no peeling. Excellent for home or market. Highly recommended! Re-selected by Steve Peters at Fifth Crow Farm on the central California coast. 60-70 days from transplants.



After several trials and two years of hard selection, in 2015 we released this improved version of an old favorite. While the nicely domed central head is smaller (3" dia.) than modern hybrids, it nonetheless offers multiple advantages. After cutting the central head, the plant continues to produce abundant tasty side shoots for several weeks. The stems are very tender, which increases the amount of edible, delicious broccoli that may be harvested.



Steve is proud of his selection!
           
The side shoot production goes on for a long time, making this an ideal crop for a backyard gardener or market grower seeking prolonged harvest and greater overall yield than single-head, 'crown-cut' hybrids provide. 
Taste trials demonstrate the superiority of this OP variety, and Steve is proud enough of his efforts to put his name on it!

Grower: Steve Peters & Fifth Crow Farm, Pescadero, CA

Pack (125 seeds) ~ $3.     
1/8 oz. ~$7.    1 oz. ~$13.    1/4 lb. $40.   1 lb. ~$120.  (7100 seeds per oz.)



Cabbage


Columbia Cabbage

Brassica oleracea

Columbia is a particularly attractive cabbage, with firm round heads, many of which present an appealing rose blush.  Columbia heads are perfectly spherical, and weigh in at 1 1/2 to nearly 3 lbs. It was a favorite in our tasting trial,  crisp and juicy, with a mild sweetness and no peppery aftertaste. Columbia is one of the best of the green OP varieties. It is very solid and hard; a sure winner in a trial of over a dozen varieties grown (see an earlier post), it was as good or better than the green hybrids trialed. This fine cabbage is the result of long-time organic produce and seed grower Nash Huber's efforts at his farm on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. It is a modern OP in the public domain. 




Best for summer-fall fresh market use. Pest resistant vigorous plants produce dependable high quality yields. Very dense, crisp, juicy heads of 5-5 1/2"diameter. Sweet, mild flavor. 80-85 days from transplants.






                  Grower: Nash Huber, Olympic Peninsula, Washington


Pack (125 seeds) ~ $3.      1/8 oz. ~ $12.  1 oz. ~ $56.    
(7000 seeds per oz.)





Carrot

Kurota Chantenay Carrot 

~new for 2017!

Daucus carota  var. sativus


Kurota Chantenay is an attractive orange, smooth-sided 5-8" carrot that tapers to a blunt tip. While the shoulders are quite broad  they are narrow enough to enable bunching for the fresh market. Highly adaptable, it grows well even in heavy soils, and is an excellent keeper. Its bright orange color develops earlier in the season than other Chantenay and Kurota strains, imparting a sweet flavor even during summer. 80-90 days to maturity. 




In our trial Kurota Chantenay was an exceptionally heavy yield, even under adverse conditions

Seed collaborator Aaron Dinwoodie of Sunol, CA

Grower: Aaron Dinwoodie, Sunol, California


Pack (250 seeds) ~ $3.    1/8 oz. ~ $8.   1/2 oz. ~ $16.    
(20,000 seeds per oz.)


Nantes Coreless Carrot 

~new for 2017!

Daucus carota  var. sativus


Here is a sweet, high yielding, reliable and long-storing carrot which we stand by. With blunt, well-filled tips and smooth skins, it will be a market pleaser. A large-sized Nantes type that forms sturdy 6-8″ long, cylindrical, fine-grained roots that are bright orange throughout. Nantes Coreless sweetens up earlier than other varieties of this type. It possesses strong, vigorous tops, smooth skin, good tip fill and a complex, carroty flavor. 
Matures in 75-85 days.                                            
New for 2017~Nantes Coreless Carrot, a hard-to-find heirloom, believed to have originated in Mexico.

Carrots fresh from the soil
After months in storage


                               Grower: Steve Peters, Gilroy, California


Pack (250 seeds) ~ $3.    1/8 oz. ~ $8.   1/2 oz. ~ $16.    
(20,000 seeds per oz.)



Corn, Sweet

Martian Jewels Sweet Corn
~new for 2017! 

Zea mays



Here is a highly unusual corn that is both delicious and versatile. An original series of crosses made by Alan Kapuler (aka Mushroom) of Peace Seeds, Martian Jewels combines a Hopi flour corn with an eclectic blend of normal sugary (su) and sugary enhanced (se) varieties. Such a broad genetic base gives this corn an especially distinctive look, a rich, full flavor, and a wide range of uses. 6' tall plants.
80-90 days (fresh); 110-120 days (dry) 

Alan and Linda Kapuler of Corvallis, Oregon

Over the past 10 years minor refinements & selections have continued on this rare, high-anthocyanin variety. The kernels are white with purple cobs and husks, contrasting with dark green, purple streaked leaves. What a beautiful addition to the garden! 

Growing Martian Jewels with an under sowing of clover


Within 80 days from seeding, dark purple husks may be opened to reveal pearl-white translucent  kernels. This is one of our favorite fresh sweet corns. It has a pleasant, but not overpowering sweetness, and the extra treat of a deep violet cob. What a surprise the first time someone bites into this delicious corn-on-the-cob! When the ears get more mature, it is wonderful in chowder, tamales, corn pudding or cornbread. It can also be used for flour after it fully matures. Truly a worthy variety!



Grower: Redwood Seeds, Northeastern California
Limited supply! Packs only for 2017
Pack (100 seeds) ~ $5.      (1950 seeds per lb) 



Corn, Dent

Yellow Hickory King Dent Corn 

Zea mays












We are so happy to be able to offer this valuable old workhorse variety, thanks to a collaboration with Redwood Seeds. This heirloom produces two large ears on tall (8-12') plants. Their tightly husked ears resist ear worm damage. In addition to all of the food potential in its large, flat kernels, the high volume of green material makes Hickory King a good silage crop. It has good resistance to both northern and southern leaf blight. Plants benefit from an application of bone meal and protection from high winds. 85-135 days to maturity, depending on latitude and time of planting.


Steve checks out the seed crop with Cam and Kalen at Redwood Seeds farm in northern California.





This is an heirloom dent corn with its roots deep in Appalachia and its future in gardens everywhere! The huge, easy-to-peel (after nixtamalization) seeds have made this a favorite variety for homemade hominy and grits. It can also be used to make corn nuts,  masa harina for tamales or tortillas, or meal for cornbread. If picked early, the ears may even be boiled or roasted for a tasty, satisfying sweet corn (though less sweet than modern varieties), or corn chowder. Here is a link with detailed instructions for nixtamaization and making tortillas:  http://decolonizeyourdiet.org/2013/07/making-gmo-free-corn-tortillas-from-scratch-a-detailed-lesson-in-nixtamal-for-beginners.html


Held in the hand of our 101 year old family matriarch, Elsie.

Grower: Redwood Seeds, Northeastern California

Pack (75 seeds) ~ $3.   1/4 ;b. (265 seeds) ~ $8.  1 lb. (1070 seeds) ~ $24.



Cucumber

Green Finger Cucumber

~new for 2017!

Cucumis sativus


This is a fine OP Persian cucumber that is ideal for market growers or home gardeners. It has very thin, dark green skin, and the crisp flesh is sweet, juicy, burpless, and never bitter. It's a truly gourmet variety that is highly prolific, producing up to 15 fruits per plant. Average size is 6-8", although the fruit holds its quality and can be picked anywhere from 4 to 10" long. (of course, if you pick baby cukes, you can expect to harvest even more. 



A beit-alpha type, open pollinated cucumber recently developed by Cornell University. It is one of the only OP cucumbers available that is resistant to a host of significant foliar diseases including powdery mildew, papaya ringspot virus, watermelon mosaic virus, and zucchini yellow mosaic virus.
60 days. 


NOTE: This variety is the only one on the SrN seed list that is NOT held in the public domain. We received stock seed from Cornell (the owner of the seed) and entered into a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) with them. When we produce seed of this variety and then make it available in the market, we have agreed to pay the owner a royalty for each sale made. Therefore, you may save some seed of this variety for your own use, but must have an MTA if you choose to sell it. If you use Green Finger as a breeding parent to develop another variety, you would pay a royalty that is proportional to the percentage of genetics that Green Finger contributes to it. 


Grower: Steve Peters, Gilroy, California

Pack (25 seeds) ~ $3.    1/8 oz. ~ $8.   1 oz. ~ $20.    
(975 seeds per oz.)


Lemon Cucumber

Cucumis sativus

Reliable, well-loved heirloom from the 1890’s. Oval to round, apple-sized, yellow fruits are succulent and sweet with thin, tender skins. Best eaten fresh right out of the garden, although it is also a good keeper. 70-75 days.



This heirloom cucumber is now gaining in popularity as foodies discover the natural digestibility and enjoyable sweet/tart flavor of this long-time gardener's favorite. Lemon cukes are easy, reliable and highly productive. Best grown on a trellis, although it is not a requirement for big harvests of sprightly, juicy, crisp cucumbers.         
Dry-farmed on the Eel River.

Grower: Bill Reynolds, Humboldt County, CA


Pack (65 seeds) ~ $3.
 1 oz. ~ $9     1/4 lb. ~ $27       (940 seeds per oz.) 


Melon


Eel River Melon

Cucumis melo


This orange-fleshed melon was bred in Northern California after WWII, and mixes the best of Japanese and European melon genetics.  Its pointed shape and thin, spotted skin is unusual, and this melon is a gem. It's noted for its delicious peach flavors and creamy texture. Re-selected by Eel River Produce (CA).
90-95 days.


A regional favorite, this special melon was developed originally by the infamous Bear Jones of Shively, in Humbolt County, California. As the story goes, Bear's cousin brought some melon seeds back from his stint in Japan after World War II. The so-called "Jap Melon" was delicious, but had an unfortunate tendency to go soft at the stem end of the fruit. Bear crossed it with a popular OP muskmelon, which improved it by adding surface netting. At some point it attracted the attention of another seed saver in the area, who did his own improvements and sold it as the now locally famous "Crane Melon" which is similar, but not identical to our Eel River Melon. Bear entrusted the seed to his neighbor Bill Reynolds, who added more genetic diversity, firming it further, and perfecting this sweet, creamy, aromatic, delectable, peach-like melon. This is dry-farmed on his river bar farm. It is reliable and productive in the field. Highly recommended!

Grower: Bill Reynolds, Humboldt County, CA


Pack (25 seeds) ~ $3.
1 oz. ~ $15.     1/4 lb. ~ $40.       (800 seeds/oz.)    



Huerfano Bliss Melon


~new for 2017!

Cucumis melo


Huerfano Bliss is a fantastically delicious orange honeydew, nearly unknown outside of its ancestral home in southeastern Colorado. Produces oval 5-6" fruits weighing about 5 pounds. Best for local markets. 90 days

Grown by Hobbs Family Farm in Avondale, CO


Pack (25 seeds) ~ $3.       1 oz. ~ $15.     (850 seeds per oz.)  


Christmas Watermelon 
Citrullus lanatus

A rare icebox-sized watermelon with terrific flavor, texture, and storability. Also known as "Ice Cream" watermelon. Averages about 8-12 lbs. 80-90 days.


This delicious, crisp, juicy melon is famous for its keeping ability, storing easily into the winter; hence the name. Bill Reynolds of Eel River Produce has been dry-farming this for produce markets and for seed for quite a few years now, and it is a proven winner. Ranging from the size of a volleyball to a basketball or a bit larger, with an unusual pale green skin that contrasts nicely with the deep peachy-rose sweet, fragrant flesh. This is a great watermelon.


Dry-farmed on the Eel River, in Humbolt County, by Bill Reynolds

Pack (25 seeds) $3.    1 oz. ~ $15  (400 seeds per oz,)




Onion

These offerings represent the best OP performers of the OSA variety trial Steve  conducted last year.





Bennie's Red Onion

~new for 2017!

Allium cepa

There aren't a lot of great red storage onions available and even the hybrids aren't particularly impressive. Here's one that really stood out in our trials. Bennie's Red is a beautiful, solid red onion with lovely pink interior color, above average keeping quality, excellent neck closure, and minimal disease susceptibility.


Originally developed in the Arkansas Valley of southeastern Colorado. Consistent producer of 2-3" very round, glossy bulbs, with very few doubles. 



Best for intermediate to long day conditions (35º - 45º N). 
100-110 days

Sorting out off-types with Carly Castagnola  and Sue Davis of The Bohemian Women's Farm Collective


Grown by:  The Bohemian Women's Farm Collective, Occidental, CA

Pack (150 seeds) ~ $3,   1/8 oz. (875 seeds) ~ $8    (7000 seeds per oz.)



Front Range Yellow Globe Onion

~new for 2017!

Allium cepa

A Seed rEvolution Now exclusive! This worthy onion is not to be found elsewhere. Please join us in saving seed for this excellent keeper if you possibly can.

Absolutely impossible to find. Let's keep this wonderful OP onion going.

Here is an ideal OP onion for organic markets as well as home gardeners. A bit smaller than the hybrids normally grown commercially, this nevertheless stacks up very well against them in our trials. It is a reliable, heavy producer of 2-2 1/2" diameter round yellow onions with beautiful glowing golden skin. Absolutely no doubles in our trials! The tight wrappers, great neck closure and dense, solid flesh means they are exceptionally long keepers. 


Beautiful golden skin glows in the afternoon sun, hinting at the quality of the white layers it protects.
Onions shown after six months of storage in a cool shed.
Best for intermediate-day conditions (35º - 42º N). 

Harvesting onions at Pinnacle Farm in Hollister, CA
100-110 days
Developed and maintained by long-time seedsman and produce grower Rich Pecoraro on Abbondanza Farm near Boulder, Colorado.
Grown by Steve Peters  Gilroy, CA

Pack(150 seeds) ~ $3,   1/8 oz. (875 seeds) ~ $8    (7000 seeds per oz.)


Rossa di Milano Onion


~new for 2017!

Allium cepa


One of the best red storage onions available, this beautiful Italian heirloom is an outstanding performer north of 36º (in California, that's just south of  Salinas) up to the Canadian border. It keeps the longest of all the red onions we've seen. Beautiful glossy, tight copper-rose wrapper skins and distinctive flat-topped form make this a standout in the marketplace.  Interiors are nearly white. Sought after by chefs in the know. In our raw taste trials, it had a slightly sweet, pleasant pungency, even after six months in storage.


Best for intermediate to long-day conditions (36º - 48º N). 
110-120 days 

Grower: Redwood Seeds in northeastern California

Pack(150 seeds) ~ $3,   1/8 oz. ~ $9    (7000 seeds per oz.)



Pepper/Sweet

Red Ruffled Pimiento Pepper

Capsicum annuum



Here is a sweet pepper whose time has come! We won't beat around the bush. We've tasted a lot of peppers, and this is hands-down the most aromatic, crunchy, delicious one around. It is quite thick-walled and meaty as well. Lovely stuffed, especially as the skin is tender so that it doesn't need to be peeled, as so many roasters do. Chefs will be inspired!




This heirloom variety was originally developed in Spain for making paprika. That's about the only thing we haven't done with it...yet! Serve it raw with a dip, or in salads. It's so good that children will enjoy it as a vitamin-packed crispy treat. Each plant will produce eight to twelve fully ripe 3-4" diameter fruits (or more with an extended season). Dry farmed on the Eel River.
80-90 days.

Grower: Bill Reynolds, Humboldt County, CA

Pack(75 seeds) ~ $3,   1/8 oz. ~ 9.   1 oz. ~ $54.   1/4 lb. ~ $180. (4360 seeds per oz.)



Spinach

Winter Bloomsdale Spinach

Spinacia oleracea

This old favorite full-savoyed type has dark-green, thick, succulent, flavorful leaves. Compared with the heirloom standard Long Standing Bloomsdale, it is slower growing and slower bolting to seed as long as conditions remain relatively cool (<75° F). It is well suited for growing over-winter, as it stands up to severe conditions. It may also be grown in early spring for early summer harvest, and in the fall for early winter harvest. A favorite of both gardeners and chefs. 45-50 days.



If you are a long-time gardener, you will remember Winter Bloomsdale, but have you tried to find seed for this old standard lately? It has become very difficult to locate, as the market has been taken over by smooth leaf varieties so popular as baby salad greens. But they can't compare to the thick, succulent, substantial, flavorful leaves of this traditional savoy type. A close examination of the leaves may remind one of the arched trusses in a Gothic cathedral. The curvilinear ribs serve the same purpose; to support more weight! Now that Slow Food has gained acceptance, it is time to revisit this almost forgotten old favorite. It's just better eating! 

Spinach seed grown at Nash's Organic Produce Farm near Sequim, WA

Grower: Nash Huber, Olympic Peninsula, WA

Pack (230 seeds)   I oz. ~ $6.    1/4 lb. ~ $18.    1 lb. ~ $45.  (2180 seeds per oz.)



Squash/Summer


Dark Star Zucchini Squash

Cucurbita pepo

A dark green, straight, glossy, faceted, delicious zuke with an open plant habit, exceptional vigor and the ability to recover from environmental stresses. A dynamic collaboration between breeder John Navazio and farmer Bill Reynolds led to this outstanding variety that displays a multitude of valuable traits. Its unusually high levels of the carotenoid lutein gives the inner flesh a slightly golden cast and a nutritional boost. Bred under dryland conditions, a stronger root system helps Dark Star thrive under droughty conditions. As an unexpected bonus, it also exhibits some resistance to a number of diseases including powdery mildew, and even has some frost tolerance. Expect high yields of good quality zucchinis over a long period. Best grown in the West and Southwest, where solar radiation levels are high. 50-55 days.




If there is one stand out among all the great varieties offered here, it would have to be this exceptional zucchini. It is the result of another breeding project between Dr. John Navazio (formerly of the Organic Seed Alliance) and dedicated organic seed grower Bill Reynolds. This glossy, deep green, faceted zucchini was designed with the organic market grower in mind. It was made possible by the unusual dry-farm conditions on Bill's river bar produce farm. As he selected over the years, the most
well-adapted plants developed a deeper root system. The resulting plants are about 1/3 larger than the select hybrid varieties commonly grown by produce farmers, and 1/3 more productive. The plants have an open habit, for easy picking, and the leaf stalks are sturdy and nearly spineless, for less scarring of fruit.

Dark Star proved its merit on a large organic produce farm in Mexico. Here you can easily see that the plants are both larger and a deeper green than a leading hybrid variety, which is on the left. Farmer Bill poses proudly beside his plants.


 Because it is an OP, it continues to produce both male and female flowers throughout the season, resulting in a much longer period of productivity, with none of the malformed fruit which are often produced late in the season by hybrids. Dark Star is recommended for summer dry, sunny regions, where it is outstanding. It does not do well in low light, wet areas, where it tends to have more vegetative growth (although we have received some rave reviews from Eastern growers as well). If you want the best zucchini for the Western states, we sincerely believe this is it! Dry-farmed on the Eel River.


To watch a short video by the Hudson Valley Seed Library about Dark Star, follow this link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A97hoJrUhvg

Grower: Bill Reynolds, Humboldt County, CA

Pack (30 seeds) ~ $3.    1 oz. ~ $8.     1/4 b. ~ $24.     1 lb. ~ $80.  (170 seeds per oz.)


Squash/Winter


Stella Blue Squash

Cucurbita maxima

A medium-sized (2-4 lb), round, flattened Kabocha/Hokkaido type winter squash with an attractive slate blue skin. The rich orange flesh has a pleasant dry, flaky texture and an exceptionally sweet and nutty flavor. A favorite among our tasters! Stella Blue is particularly high yielding for this type of winter squash. 95-105 days.

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Our all-time favorite winter squash! This Hokkaido or Kabocha-type Maxima, a type highly prized in Japan, often used in tempura. Stella Blue has richly flavored, dense, dry sweet flesh, with a texture reminiscent of roasted chestnut. It is the perfect size for a family dinner, and, with pale slate blue skin and deep orange interior, makes a dramatic presentation. Long vines produce 4-5 mature squash, averaging about 7" in diameter and 4" high. Dry-farmed on the Eel River.

Bill has been selecting for fruits with minimal "buttons" on the blossom end, which means longer storagability.

Grower: Bill Reynolds, Humboldt County, CA

Pack (22 seeds) ~ $3.    1 oz. ~ $7.     1/4 lb. ~ $21.     1 lb. ~ $70.   (104 seeds per oz.)
 


                

To order, either email or call Steve Peters directly:

stevegrows@gmail.com or 505-660-3933

A shipping and handling fee appropriate to each order will be applied.

We are always eager to hear how these varieties perform in other bioregions, and we're very interested to find other promising open-pollinated varieties in the public domain. Please, let us hear from you! 

In keeping with our mission to return seed autonomy to the farmer, we sell only the highest quality, organically grown, open-pollinated varieties that are in the public domain. Farmers are able save seed from these crops for their own use, selecting over time to improve varieties for their particular needs and conditions. This is one way humans may restore their place as stewards of biodiversity. The careful, hands-on evaluations and continuous, rigorous selection to which each offering is subjected assure that we are providing truly superior varieties. Viability testing is conducted for every variety each year. Seed prices are wholesale, fair and competitive. Our list is limited, but growing as we find more excellent crops that suit our exacting standards, and those of organic market farmers, seed companies, co-ops, and gardeners.

For more information on some specific varieties, please refer to our other blog entries.
Happy growing, harvesting, eating, marketing...and seed saving!
Steve & Moria Peters
Seed rEvolution Now is primarily an educational and consultation endeavor. We do not aspire to provide a complete inventory of all kinds of veggie seeds. Some vegetables, such as tomatoes and lettuce, are relatively simple types from which to save seed, and open pollinated varieties are well represented in the seed market. What is listed here are market-quality varieties of crops which are harder to find. We, Steve and Moria Peters, are familiar with growing and eating all of these varieties. You have our personal assurance of their exceptional quality for organic farmers and gardeners! 

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