I'm trying to sell seedlings again. Hey... Mama needs a new pair of shoes, know what I mean?
Here's my current, thrown-together ad on craigslist:
Rare, endangered, and classic vegetable seedlings sustainably grown in Richmond. My seeds are from open-pollinated, non-GMO, sustainable producers. I use organic soil and "precision watering" to keep my operation in harmony with the Wildcat Canyon watershed. I never use sprays, & maintain wild habitat alongside my garden.
I'm a disabled, very low-income, novice beekeeper-activist working on food justice, farming, and environmental issues. I surround the seedling project with habitat for wild pollinators and other woodland creatures. Selling seedlings brings in much needed income and is a 'job' that works around my disability. It also allows me to raise awareness about the need to increase crop diversity on farms, protect beneficial insects, improve access to nutritious food in low-income areas, and preserve heirloom genetics for climate change adaptation. (The genetic traits needed to adapt to a warming world are already out there in heirlooms and their wild relatives. We do not need to genetically modify plants to adapt.)
I choose varieties based on history/need to preserve, nutrition/medicinal value, easy to grow for beginning gardeners, regionally -appropriate, and/or pollinator-friendly.... but flavor is everything! I want people to love their decision to grow heirlooms, so I pick the best tasting varieties I can find. Recipes, historical info, growing tips, seed-saving tips, a kick ass list of local resources, and photos available in my "catalog" ($3 to cover printing & help putting it together)
-------------- UPCOMING SEEDLINGS...
Calabrese Green Sprouting Broccoli: Italian heirloom that was brought to America in the 1880s, 5-8" heads and many side shoots
Five-color Silverbeet Chard: Brilliant pink, yellow, orange, red and white. Originated in Australia. Very mild, ornamental, and tasty.
Gold Marie Vining Bean: Rampant vining pole plants produce tons of large golden pods. The gorgeous pods are ideal when harvested at 6-8 inches, but are often tender at much larger dimensions! The massive pods are a bright, clear buttercup yellow, flat and sometimes almost resemble a loose spiral shape, looking voluptuous hanging from the robust vines. This worthy variety was nearly lost commercially and was preserved by backyard seed savers.
Purple Podded Pole Bean: delicious heirloom was discovered in the Ozark Mountains by Henry Fields in the 1930's and still grows in this region. The pods are bright-purple and tender. Plants grow to 6' and produce heavy yields.
Rattlesnake Pole Bean: easy to grow and produces lots of green pods that have purple streaks. Good flavor and very tender, the speckled seeds are popular in soup. This variety is great for hot areas.
Golden Beet: Dates back to the 1820's or before. The beets are a rich, golden-yellow and very sweet. A beautiful beet that won't bleed like red beets. The greens are also very tasty. A favorite of many.
Lutz Salad Leaf Beet: Quite possibly the best storage beet known. Top-shaped red roots with concentric lighter zones. Pink-stemmed leaves are renowned for use like chard, superb in salads. Roots remain tender and sweet even when grown to quite a large size, having reached 3-4 pounds! Also known as "Winter Keeper."
White Wonder Cucumber: Great yielder. Creamy-ivory, 7"-long fruits, delicious and great for pickles or slicing. W. Atlee Burpee introduced this heirloom in 1893 after they received it from a customer in New York.
Strawberry Popcorn: Popular, cute, little ears look just like big strawberries, just 2"-3" long. The 4' plants produce 2-4 ears each, great for fall decorations or making delicious popcorn. American heirloom.
Aswad Eggplant: Delicious Iraqi variety. Satiny, dark purple-black fruits get very large--to 3 pounds or more. Shaped like a squat teardrop, the flesh is sweet and tender, perfect for grilling or baking. The fruit are abundantly produced. Very heat tolerant and productive.
Red Russian Kale: Very tender and mild, a pre-1885 heirloom variety. Oak type leaves have a red tinge, and stems are a purplish-red. Great flavor.
De Morges Braun Lettuce: Very rare romaine type with upright, rounded leaves, applegreen in the center and pink-to-bronze outside. Tender and sweet, holds well in the garden, and is one of the last to become bitter. A good choice for early spring or fall gardens, as it tolerates cool temperatures very well. Makes a lovely salad! From Switzerland.
Forellenschluss Lettuce: Old Austrian heirloom, the name means "speckled like a trout"; a superb, gorgeous romaine lettuce that is highly splashed in deep red. Very beautiful and tasty.
Lollo Rossa Lettuce: Very curled leaves are light green with stunning bright red edges. Beautiful, mild and tasty. Great for edible landscaping.
Rouge d'Hiver Lettuce: Heirloom, red romaine-type from France. Listed in Vilmorin's Vegetable Garden Book from 1885. Red and green leaves; turns a deeper shade of red in cold weather.
Crimson Forest Bunching Onion: Beautiful brilliant red stalks, flavorful and tasty. Very unique and colorful, a bulbing type.
Early Scarlet Globe Radish: The classic, round red radish with crisp white flesh that is mild and tasty. Has better warm weather tolerance than many.
Pink Beauty Radish: A beautiful round pink radish that has become hard to find. It is sweet and tasty. Popular at specialty markets, a must for all radish growers! Wonderful and unique.
Purple Plum Radish: Here is one lovely radish with bright purple skin. Truly one of the most colorful varieties for marketing. 1-1/2-inch globes have sweet, crisp, white flesh which does not get pithy.
Giant Noble Spinach: This is the giant of the spinach clan; plants spread to 25 inches! Tender leaves are great for canning, steaming or salads; for those who want quantity and quality; introduced in 1926.
Golden Sweet Snow Peas (Five 4"x4" pots available now!) More than a novelty, this variety produces flat pods that are a beautiful, bright lemon-yellow, great in stir-fries. Tall 6' vines with purple flowers. Collected from a market in India, rare and tasty.
Amana Orange Tomato: Big, 1-lb., glowing orange beefsteaks have an intense full flavor--that most tomatoes don't match! This very attractive heirloom tomato is named for the Amana Colonies, in Amana, Iowa. Try making some orange spaghetti sauce for the kids.
Berkeley Tie Dye Tomato: Large fruits have orange-red and yellow-green stripes. Super dense meaty flesh with almost no juice has strong assertive flavor that is tangy, but also sweet. Plants have good to outstanding production.
Pink Brandywine Tomato: The most popular heirloom vegetable! A favorite of many gardeners; large fruit with superb flavor. A great potato-leafed variety from 1885! Beautiful pink fruit up to 1-1/2 lbs. each!
Placero Tomato: Flavorful, small tomato from Cuba. This tomato also is said to have a very high beta-carotene content. Tasty, red fruit grow on very productive plants.
Roman Candle Tomato: Beautiful, neon yellow, banana-shaped fruits are bursting with intense sweetness and flavor. A wonderful new tomato that originated as a "sport" from Mr. John Swenson's Speckled Roman. A new favorite of market growers, it is quite colorful.
Tlacalula Pink Tomato: A unique tomato collected by a friend in Tlacalula, Mexico; the pear-shaped fruit have deep ribs and ruffles that give them a distinctive look. They have a mild, sweet, pink flesh and pink skin with gold-splotched shoulders. A rare tomato grown near Oaxaca, Mexico for several generations
Lettuce Leaf Basil: Japanese heirloom
Giant of Italy Parsley
Thyme: French heirloom
Broad Leaf Sage (not til late season)
Long Purple Cayenne Pepper: Very spicy pods are lovely bright purple in color, making them quite unique and colorful. The tall plants are just covered with dark fruit; great for hot sauce, chili and soup. Nice enough for the flower beds.
Fish Pepper: African-American heirloom popular in the Philadelphia/Baltimore region. A pre-1947 variety that was used in fish and shellfish cookery. The color of the fruit range from green, orange, brown, white and red, being spicy and hot. What really makes this pepper stand out is its wonderful foliage, as the 2-feet tall plants have stunning white and green mottled leaves, which makes this variety superb for ornamental and edible landscaping.
Chocolate Habanero Pepper: chocolate-brown, lantern shaped fruit are about 2" long, and so ornamental! But don't let the color fool you; these are not candy, but rather flaming-hot fruit that carry a massive 300,000 Scoville units of heat! Hot pepper enthusiasts love the heat and flavor that these chocolate fruit are packed with, but be careful and use in moderation.
Golden Marconi Pepper: A late Italian pepper with beautiful, big, yellow, 7-inch tapering fruit that are very sweet and great for frying or fresh. This wonderful heirloom is delicious and mild.
Pasilla Bajio Pepper: Mild-sweet-hot, fruit is dark green, turning brown as it ripens. This pepper is used in Mexican "mole" sauces, tasty.
Mini Sweet Red Stuffing Pepper: The brilliant red-colored version of heirloom stuffing peppers from Amish growers near Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Very productive plants, produce tiny bell-shaped peppers about 1"-2" across.
Mini Sweet Yellow Stuffing Pepper: Amazing little pepper comes from an Amish grower in Indiana. The seed was passed down to her from her grandmother, whom she fondly remembers growing these peppers in the 1950s in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The very productive plants produce the cutest little mini bell-shaped peppers, only 1-2 inches across! Ester uses these to make wonderful stuffed and pickled peppers!
Purple Gleam California Poppy
Sensation Mix Cosmos
Goldfinger Mexican Sunflower
Yellow Torch Mexican Sunflower
Chocolate Morning Glory
Rose Feather Morning Glory