Enter to Win our Local Feast GIVEAWAY!

‘Tis the season—to turn your homegrown produce into sumptuous holiday meals! What will you make this year? Our goal is to delight and inspire your holiday cookery with a Local Feast giveaway including:

  • a beautiful covered casserole dish, for baking and taking your goodies with you
  • Deborah Madison’s gorgeous coffeetable-sized cookbook Vegetable Literacy. Her book makes wonderful winter reading and is packed with stunning photos, in-depth information and delicious recipes for every conceivable vegetable!

It’s easy: just click “Log In” below if you have a Facebook account (if you don’t have Facebook, just click “Use Your Email” to create a Rafflecopter account). Then follow the instructions to enter for more chances to win!

Contest starts Thursday, November 19th at noon and ends Thursday, November 26th at 11pm EST. Good luck, have fun and happy feasting!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in About High Mowing Organic Seeds, Contests | 115 Comments

Great Gifts for Green Thumbs + FREE Shipping!

“If you want to be happy for a lifetime, plant a garden.”

~ Chinese proverb

Inspire a loved one to plant their first seeds, support a gardening addiction or deck out the green thumbs in your life with organic goodies. No matter who you’re shopping for this season, we’ve got gifts for growers of all ages and abilities. Here are some of our favorites….(And the best part? They all ship FREE to the contiguous U.S. and Canada!)

Organic Apparel

The green thumbs in your life will love our NEW hats and t-shirts! Our NEW Organic Logo Tees take comfort to the next level with 100% certified organic, ultra-soft lightweight cotton that’s made & printed in the USA with water-based inks in a unique environmentally-sound process that is sturdier, more comfortable, and more attractive than traditional plastic-based inks.

Our Men’s tees are standard fit and come in Ocean Blue; Women’s tees are moderately fitted with a slight scoopneck and come in Amethyst.




We’re also excited about our NEW Eco-Trucker Hat, made with 70% sturdy organic cotton and 30% recycled polyester. The new hats feature our logo embroidered on the front and an adjustable, breathable mesh back that will keep you cool and comfortable all summer long! Hats are available in black with black mesh or navy blue with cream mesh.


Organic Gardening Kits

Next up: the ultimate gift for urban gardeners, our Best-selling Sprouts Collection. The kit includes our three best-selling varieties of sprouting seeds as well as a sprouting lid that fits standard wide mouth jars. Sprouting is a wonderfully easy way to produce your own fresh greens, all year round (even where space and light are very limited!) and makes a great activity for kids and gardeners of all ages. Simply soak, rinse and harvest fresh sprouts in 3-5 days!


Take indoor gardening to the next level with our versatile Seed Starting Kit. It includes everything you need (except the seed!) to get started growing your own transplants, microgreens and shoots, with a 1020 flat, 50-cell tray, propagation dome to ensure strong germination, and a bag of our favorite potting soil from Vermont Compost.



Last year we created a wonderful NEW educational kit: the Create a Hybrid: Cha-Ching F1 Zucchini Kit. This kit is perfect for teachers, garden educators and families of all stripes, offering an extremely rare opportunity to cross the parent varieties of a commercial hybrid and compare your results with ours. If you’re planning to garden with your school, why not try making a hybrid while you’re at it? This is a wonderful way to introduce kids to traditional plant breeding, which humans have been using for thousands of years to achieve a diversity of characteristics including unique colors and shapes, high yields and disease resistance. We’ve provided everything you need to produce Cha-Ching F1 yourself, including seeds for the male and female parents of Cha-Ching, Cha-Ching F1 seeds for comparison, and detailed instructions. Just plant the parent varieties, cross their flowers, and harvest Cha-Ching seeds!


Organic Seed Collections

Round out your gift with a box from our broad array of curated Seed Collections, filled with an assortment of organic seed packets packaged in attractive, ready-to-gift kraft paper boxes. From beginner-level options like our 5-packet Kids’ Garden and 3-packet Easy Salad Greens Collections, to more advanced selections like our 10-packet Heirloom Vegetable Lovers’ Collection, there’s something for every skill level and budget.


Gift Certificates!

Give the gift of choice and make a gardener’s dream come true – it’s up to them what to plant when you give a Gift Certificate. Our Gift Certificates can be physically mailed or instantly emailed – perfect for any last-minute or long distance gifts.


Posted in About High Mowing Organic Seeds, Variety Highlights, Winter Growing | Leave a comment

NEW for 2016: OPs for Organic Growers

Much the way innovations in horse-drawn technology ended with the invention of the tractor, innovations in open-pollinated (OP) breeding nearly ceased with the arrival of hybrids. Finally, however, the trend is starting to wane, and a select group of independent and public breeders are once more putting time and energy into developing high quality OPs. We are proud to be actively working with these breeders and are excited to share the results of their years of work with you, comprising a broad selection of new and improved OPs developed to thrive in organic conditions.

CA Blackeye 46 Cowpea

Cool-tolerant · Upright habit

Our earliest dry bean and one of the most popular black-eyed peas grown in the South. The classic Southern pea, with a cream-colored seed coat decorated with a single black “eye”. High yields of long green pods that can be eaten fresh, frozen, dried or canned. Vigorous plants have a more upright habit than CA Blackeye 5. Bred by UC Davis and the CA Agricultural Experiment Station.  (Vigna unguiculata)

Days to maturity: 65 days fresh, 80 dry
Disease Resistance: Fusarium Wilt


Chiba Green Soybean

Early · Compact habit

Super early edamame with delicious, very large green seeds. Consistently 5-7 days earlier than Midori Giant, yet still blew away the competition for flavor. Compact, upright plants make harvesting easy and produce predominantly 3-seeded pods with attractive deep green color. Widely adapted throughout North America. Great for small gardens!  (Glycine max)

Days to maturity: 75-80 days


Golden Acre Cabbage

Early fresh market · Compact habit · 3-4 lb heads

Super early, adorable green heads on compact plants; perfect for smaller households! This cute OP impressed us in our 2015 trials with its small stature and high percentage of marketable heads. Round and solid, with delicate but crunchy texture and sweet, spicy flavor with buttery undertones when cooked. Few outer wrapper leaves; short harvest window. Habit suitable for dense plantings. Slightly larger than Early Bird; earlier and more uniform than Copenhagen. (Brassica oleracea)

Days to maturity: 62 days


Dolciva Carrot

Long storing · 8″ roots.

The hands-down winner in our taste tests even after months of storage! Great sweet flavor, juicy crunch and incredibly long storage life made this variety a standout in our 2014-15 trials. Slightly tapered roots with good uniformity, bright orange color and strong, healthy tops. Widely-adapted and versatile for bunching or storage, but stands out most as a fall-harvested root for winter storage. (Daucus carota)

Days to maturity: 105 days


Nash’s Green Kale

Productive · Ideal for overwintering · 24-36″ tall

Vigorous and productive green curly type perfect for fall and winter crops. Stout, strong plants packed with curly leaves; the highest-yielding variety in our 2015 kale trials! In our trials it was sweeter and more tender than Ripbor, with more variability in height. Produces late into the season with minimal leaf yellowing; ideal for overwintering from June plantings & pairing with Olympic Red. Good resistance to powdery mildew in the damp winters of the Northwest. Bred by farmer-breeder Nash Huber of Nash’s Organic Produce in Washington State, with support from Organic Seed Alliance. (Brassica oleracea)

Days to maturity: 55 days


Red Ursa Kale

Open Source Seed · Bolt-resistant · 24-30″ tall

Deeply lobed, frilly tender leaves with broad pink and purple stems. A rainbow of showy signature frills and bright, contrasting stems. Colors intensify in cold weather and vary from emerald green with light pink stems to dark blue-green leaves with magenta stems. Not a curly type; tender texture and lobing similar to Red Russian. Adds loft to raw salads with similar cold-hardiness to Siberian. From Frank Morton of Wild Garden Seeds and released under the Open Source Seed Initiative. (Brassica napus)

Days to maturity: 65 days


Siber-Frill Kale

Open Source Seed · Specialty variety · Cold-hardy · 24″ tall

Intensely cut and curled, lacy blue green leaves with tender texture. A standout in our extensive 2015 kale trials, with stunning leaves so frilly they barely require chopping. Sweet flavor; delicious cooked, as a beautiful garnish or for adding loft to raw salads. Eye-catching frills increase with age; use row cover to reduce flea beetle feeding. Selected by Jonathan Spero at Lupine Knoll Farm in Oregon and released under the Open Source Seed Initiative. (Brassica napus)

Days to maturity: 60-70 days

Purple Sango Radish


Red Acre Cabbage

Purple Sango Radish Microgreens are highly sought-after thanks to their deep purple leaves and stems with spicy flavor. (Raphanus sativus) 10 days

Red Acre Cabbage Microgreens are appreciated for their beautiful emerald green leaves and bright purple stems with mild flavor. (Brassica oleracea) 8-10 days


New York Early Onion

Long to intermediate day · Stores well · 3-4″ bulbs

An early and dependable yellow onion selected to store until spring! Medium-sized round bulbs with attractive warm brown skin and white flesh mild enough to eat raw all winter. Milder and more tender than most yellow onions, but equally reliable in storage. Developed for direct seeding in the rich muck soils of Orange County, NY; further selected by Johnny’s Selected Seeds. (Allium cepa)

Days to maturity: 98 days


Lively Italian Orange Pepper

HMOS EXCLUSIVE · Italian-type · 6-8″ fruits

High quality OP with uniform, juicy orange fruits. Thick-walled, bright orange fruits make a beautiful OP market display combined with Stocky Red Roaster and Lively Italian Yellow. Impressed us with its ability to set fruit, size up and ripen; large plants loaded with fruit competed well with hybrids in our northern Vermont trials. Bred by Tom Lively of Eugene, OR and further selected by High Mowing.  (Capsicum annuum)

Days to maturity: 75 days green, 100 orange


Lively Italian Yellow Pepper

HMOS EXCLUSIVE · Italian-type · Vigorous, upright habit · 8-10″ fruits

Stunning sweet, thick-walled yellow fruits. Large, tapered golden yellow fruits with sweet, juicy flesh on vigorous plants. Prolific and reliable, performing well in the open field across a variety of climates and ripening well even in our northern VT fields. Bred by Tom Lively of Lively Organic Farm in Eugene, OR and further selected by High Mowing. (Capsicum annuum)

Days to maturity: 75 days green, 100 yellow


AmaRosa Fingerling Potato

Fingerling · Gourmet variety · Moderate storage

Gorgeous burgundy skin reveals intensely dark red flesh rich in antioxidants. A high-yielding fingerling with smooth wine-colored skin and sweet, creamy red flesh that resists fading during cooking. Superb, versatile culinary quality—delicious fried, baked, boiled, steamed or as mouthwatering pink chips. Handle gently to prevent skinning during harvest. Scab resistant. (Solanum tuberosum)

Days to maturity: Mid Season
Disease Resistance: Scab


D’Avignon Radish

Fresh market specialty · 3-4″ roots.

The traditional French Breakfast radish with rose-pink roots and mild flavor. Long cylindrical pink roots with bright white tips are eye-catching at early farmers markets. Vigorous and fast-growing, performing best in rich soil. Excellent for spring and fall crops of delicious mild roots. Originally from the South of France where they are traditionally eaten fresh with butter. (Raphanus sativus)

Days to maturity: 21 days


Schwarzer Runder Radish

Fall/winter crop · Stores well

Unusual jet-black skin makes a gorgeous contrast with the bright white flesh. Also known as Black Winter radish, with rich spicy flavor excellent for salads and crudites. Coarse outer skin allows for exceptionally long storage in the ground or the root cellar. Often eaten in Germany as a “beer radish”, served thinly sliced with salt and paired with a light beer. (Raphanus sativus)

Days to maturity: 45-50 days


Abundant Bloomsdale Spinach

Open Source Seed · Spring/fall crop · Ideal for full-sized leaves

Delicious glossy, dark green leaves with the most savoyed texture we’ve seen! Thick, sweet-tasting leaves with rounded shape and juicy, succulent texture. Slow growing with very large, upright leaves in the mild Pacific Northwest and slightly more compact habit in our Northeast trials. Started at the Abundant Life Seed Foundation in 2002; breeding finished by a team of organic farmers with support from Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) and released under the Open Source Seed Initiative. A portion of sales from this variety supports OSA’s breeding program. (Spinacia oleracea)

Days to maturity: 45 days


Bush Delicata Winter Squash

PM-tolerant · Bush habit · 1.5-2 lb

Compact, tidy plants with sweet, oblong fruits. Delicious smooth, nutty flesh with hints of butter and brown sugar. Skin starts creamy white with green stripes and flecks, curing to striped light yellow. Compact plants spread only 4-6 feet. AAS winner bred by Molly Jahn and George Moriarty at Cornell University. (Cucurbita pepo)

Days to maturity: 80 days


Pink Boar Tomato

Indeterminate · 2-4 oz

Gorgeous wine-colored fruits with metallic green striping on vigorous vines. Strong plants loaded with rich, sweet juicy fruits perfect for slicing in salads or as an hors d’oeuvre with basil and mozzarella. Deep pink skin is stunning with contrasting olive stripes and luscious deep red flesh. An irresistible treat for chefs and farmers markets! From the Wild Boar series; bred by famer/breeder Brad Gates. Offers great performance in the challenging climates of northern CA. (Lycopersicon esculentum)

Days to maturity: 75 days


Elidia Basil

Slow to bolt · Compact habit · Ideal for containers

Compact, high-yielding plants with strong disease resistance. Large, shiny dark green leaves on thick, sturdy stems with short internodes; shorter than Keira. Well-suited to containers and field production, with intermediate resistance to Fusarium. High yielding and very slow to bolt. 18M seeds/oz. (Ocimum basilicum)

Days to maturity: 65 days
Disease Resistance: Fusarium Wilt


Greek Basil

Uniform compact habit · Container variety

Early and adorable topiary-like plants with dark green miniature leaves. Captured our hearts with the cutest, most uniformly rounded habit of any mini basil in our 2015 trials. Small, sweet leaves excellent for garnishes and salad dressings. Ideal for containers, transplant sales and a popular wedding table-topper! Our replacement for Fino Verde. Moderate resistance to downy mildew. 20M seeds/oz. (Ocimum basilicum)

Days to maturity: 55 days


Wega Parsley

Container or field production · Upright habit

A refined curly parsley with excellent uniformity and upright habit. Finely cut and curled, dark green leaves with mild flavor on sturdy, upright stems. One of the most attractive curly varieties we’ve seen, with lots of branching and an excellent upright habit for ease of harvest. Produces a uniform stand great for selective or mechanical harvest. Versatile and well-suited to containers as well as field production for fresh market or processing. A great alternative to Triple Curled! (Petroselinum crispum)

Days to maturity: 75 days


Hella Sonnenblume Sunflower

Superb cut flower · 2-3′ tall · Annual

A stunning dwarf sunflower for bouquets! Lovely 4″ diameter gold-petaled blooms are incredibly uniform on sturdy 12″ stems. Cute, undeniably dwarf plants reach only 3.5′ in height, but from the main stalk each produces an abundance of long, ruler-straight stems perfect for cutting. Easy to harvest with long vase life—an instant stand-out in our 2015 trials! From our friends at Swiss biodynamic seed company Sativa Seeds. 2,000 seeds/oz. (Helianthus annuus)

Days to maturity: 75-80 days


Pierrot Poppy

Prefers poor soil · 2-3′ tall · Re-seeding annual

Striking, intensely red blooms with jet black markings float above airy foliage. Silky scarlet petals form 3″ diameter flowers with four large black markings in the center. Adds a vibrant splash of color to beds and borders! Flowers have long, wiry stems over light green, ferny foliage. An abundant seed producer; may naturalize in mild climates. Scatter seeds and rake in lightly, then thin to 6″ apart. 142,000 seeds/oz. (Papaver rhoeas)

Days to maturity: 65 days


Planète Rouge du Jura Poppy

Prefers poor soil · 3-4′ tall · Re-seeding annual

Tall, gorgeous poppy in shades of lavender, magenta and mauve. Large, luxuriant 4-6″ blooms are mostly lavender-pink with a few bright magenta heads mixed in. Each flower center is ringed by four deep eggplant markings. Blooms contrast attractively with the waxy gray-green, scalloped foliage. A rare Swiss variety originally developed for seed and poppyseed oil production. 28,000 seeds/oz. (Papaver somniferum)

Days to maturity: 75 days


Pink Lavatera

Bedding plant · 3-4′ tall · Annual

Tall, sturdy spires of pink blooms set off by glossy dark green foliage. Prolific large, smooth pink flowers on tall, upright stems. A garden classic with cupped flowers ideal for borders, cottage gardens and cutting for bouquets. Similar habit to hollyhocks with attractive glossy foliage; more tolerant of Japanese Beetles than other mallows. Seed should be barely covered with soil and takes 15-20 days to germinate. Carefully transplant 12-18″ apart into full sun and poor soil with good drainage. 4,000 seeds/oz. (Lavatera trimestris)

Days to maturity: 60 days


Looking for more? Check out all of our NEW Varieties for 2016!


Posted in About High Mowing Organic Seeds, Variety Highlights | Leave a comment

New Catalog Sneak Preview, How to Get Yours & New Items Live!

Spoiler alert! Our 2016 catalog will be arriving in mailboxes soon, but we just couldn’t wait to share some of the great new features for this year. Read on if you’d like a sneak peek of what’s inside…

The Paper

Once again our catalog is printed on 100% recycled paper and is coated with a very thin layer of clay (NOT corn!) for a glossy finish that brings our varieties to life. What’s new & exciting this year is that the cover is printed on a heavier, uncoated (but still 100% recycled) paper that is more durable than last year’s cover, ensuring that our catalogs are sturdy enough to make it through the mail and wherever you take them.



The Layout

Our 2016 catalog uses the same layout as last year, but with one awesome improvement: if we’ve gotten early notice that a variety has had a crop failure, will be unavailable, or is in limited supply, we’ve included a note in italics at the end of the variety description. This way you can make informed decisions when browsing our catalog, and avoid getting those pesky Backorder notices. Of course farming is risky business and there are still many factors outside of our control – so some varieties may become unavailable later in the season. But we’ve done our best to give you a heads up!


The Articles

This year we are proud to highlight some of the amazing farmers, seed growers and community non-profits we work with through a new series called Growing Partners. We asked each featured partner to share their story and background, and talk a little about their location, crops, the challenges they face and their goals for the future. Our hope was to spotlight the terrific things they are doing in communities across North America, and to inspire and educate by showcasing their work. We’re so grateful to these partners for sharing their stories in words and photos with our wider organic community. You’ll also learn more about us in this year’s catalog – 2016 is our 20th anniversary, and we’re celebrating!


The FREE Shipping Policy

Once again, all standard orders to the contiguous U.S. and Canada receive complimentary shipping, with no minimum order. Realized you forgot something important on your order? Never fear! Whether it’s a small packet with 10 seeds or a quarter pound, we’ll put it in the mail for you with no shipping charges. Just like last year, there are a few exceptions – we still need to charge for heavy items that weigh 25 lbs or more and when shipping to non-contiguous US states and territories. Questions? Learn more about our Shipping Policy.



The New Sizes

Commercial growers will be happy to hear that we have even more new large sizes this year, at even more competitive prices. You can now order larger quantities of our Certified Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified seeds with better bulk discounts. We believe that organic seeds have the power to change the world for the better – and our goal is to make them accessible to everyone. Making organic seeds affordable for farmers growing on a large scale is an essential step in rebuilding the healthy food system of the future.

And there’s more (like our NEW varieties for 2016), but we want to leave some things a surprise, so keep an eye out for our catalogs arriving in mailboxes over the next few weeks…and if you haven’t ordered from us recently, be sure to request your FREE catalog here!




Posted in About High Mowing Organic Seeds, Philosophy | 17 Comments

5 Environments for Storing Vegetables Until Spring

It was not long ago that the preservation of homegrown foods for year round use was a practical necessity. As a result, root cellars and large, unheated pantries were common features of the home. While most farms will have established storage systems, smaller farms and gardeners may have to get a little creative. However, many crops can still be stored through the winter with minimal equipment. The trick is to do as our ancestors did and make use of all the existing microclimates around the house. With a simple digital thermometer you can easily determine the high and low temperatures (and even humidity) of a given environment, and make any modifications needed before putting your harvest in storage.  When investigating your microclimates, try a variety of locations, since there can be big differences in temperature across a single room like a basement.

Adjusting the Environment

To create a warmer environment, locate the source of any drafts and use insulation, spray foam or weatherstripping to enclose the space and/or reduce air circulation from the outside. Most people won’t want to make their home any colder in winter, so it’s best to start with an environment that’s a bit cooler than you’d like, then insulate. For larger growers it may make sense to build a cooler or walk-in using a CoolBot. Just keep in mind that temperatures will be lower in mid-winter than they are now, and plan accordingly when making modifications.

Humidity can be adjusted in most locations, and can be increased by keeping produce in bags, using a humidifier or by keeping a dish of water filled in dry environments. Humidity can often be decreased by using a de-humidifier or by increasing air circulation to the home or outside, depending on the ambient conditions.

Ethylene is another important factor to consider. It is known as the “ripening horomone”, causing fruits and vegetables to ripen and turn sooner – and some fruits, especially apples, give off large amounts. For this reason it is best to store apples separately from all other crops to prevent spoilage.

Cold & Moist

An environment that is cold and moist (about 32°F and 90% humidity) is ideal for storing a wide variety of crops including beets, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, greens, leeks, parsnips, radishes and rutabagas—in general crops that are not harmed by near-freezing temperatures, or may even benefit by turning carbohydrates into sugars. Some good options for creating these conditions include using an old refrigerator turned to a low setting, placing these crops in insulated but unheated garages, sheds, bulkheads or mudrooms, or by building a root cellar. Roots like carrots, beets and parsnips will store well packed in a crate full of moist sand or in perforated plastic bags in cold storage.


Cool & Moist

Cool and moist environments (around 40-50°F and 90% humidity) are ideal for crops that suffer from chilling injury (or too much sugar production) at temperatures below 40°F. These include melons, potatoes, eggplant, cucumbers and snap beans. Of these crops only potatoes will store until spring, but you can at least extend the season for the others by storing them appropriately. Some good options for creating these conditions include basements, a crisper drawer or perforated plastic bag in the fridge, insulated porches, bulkheads or entryways, or an unheated room or summer kitchen.



Cool & Dry

A cool, dry environment that is 40-50°F and 50-75% humidity works well for crops like onions and garlic. Try an unheated room, dry basement, insulated entryway or just inside the basement door, where they’ll get good air circulation. Mesh bags, baskets or crates all make good containers that allow air to circulate freely. Some people store onions and garlic at room temperature, but they’re likely to rot or dessicate under these conditions.


Warm & Dry

A slightly warmer but still cool environment that is 50-55°F and 50-75% humidity is ideal for crops like winter squash and sweet potatoes. Once these crops have cured they will go bad quickly at room temperature, but in the cooler environment of a basement, pantry or mudroom, they can easily last until spring. Try to arrange them in a single layer, if possible, to ensure good air circulation and avoid bruising – shallow, stackable crates work well for this.

Room Temperature

The ordinary temperature inside your kitchen (usually 65-75°F) is fine for some things—dried hot peppers, dry beans and dried herbs will all last just fine in this environment. For short-term storage, room temperature is fine for onions, garlic and potatoes (in a dark cupboard) too. However these will start to turn if kept at room temperature for more than a few weeks. A closet, pantry or other space that is even slightly cooler will help your storage crops last longer, so experiment and see what else is available.

To learn more, check out some of the great storage resources online such as:

The Green Mountain College Report on Cold Storage Options for Diversified Farms

Barbara Pleasant’s Mother Earth News Article, How to Harvest, Cure and Store 20 Storage Crops

and UVM Extension’s Crop Storage Resources

And if you missed it, check out our recent article The Cure All: A Guide to Curing Vegetables for Winter Storage

Posted in Beginner Gardeners' Guide, Growing Tips, Winter Growing | Leave a comment

Lacto-Ferment the Harvest Kit GIVEAWAY!

When the weather turns cooler and the farm and garden chores begin to ease up here in northern VT, our thoughts turn to stashing the harvest for winter meals. We want you to eat local year-round, too, wherever you live – so this month one lucky winner will receive a lacto-fermenting kit to preserve healthy, delicious krauts, kimchis and pickles. Fermented foods are rich in vitamins and probiotics, add a satisfying kick to winter meals and make great use of any less-than-perfect produce. Our lucky winner will receive:

  • a traditional 2 gallon stoneware fermenting crock with weights and cover (a $50 value), contributed by our friends at Hunger Mountain Coop in Montpelier, VT
  • a copy of the fermenting cookbook classic, Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz and
  • a $25 gift certificate for seeds, garlic or supplies of your choice!

It’s easy: just click “Log In” below if you have a Facebook account (if you don’t have Facebook, just click “Use Your Email” to create a Rafflecopter account). Then follow the instructions to enter for more chances to win!

Contest starts Friday, October 16th and ends Friday, October 23rd at 11pm EST. Good luck, have fun and happy fermenting!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in About High Mowing Organic Seeds, Beginner Gardeners' Guide, Contests, Recipes | 272 Comments

Coming Soon, to a Conference Near You: Our 2015-16 Schedule

Come say hello! Once again we’ll be sending our friendly Sales folks to conferences and tradeshows all over the country this fall and winter. We attend a wide variety of shows each year, from Organic Association conferences to Wholesale tradeshows, and they’re terrific opportunities for learning and networking. While you’re there, come visit our booth, talk shop, grab a coupon and check out our new merch! This is where we’ll be (and when):

Tradeshow/Conference Name Show Location Show Start Date Show End Date
Carolina Farm Stewardship Greenville, SC 11/6/2015 11/8/2015
Tilth Producers of Washington Spokane, WA 11/13/2015 11/15/2015
Acorn Charlottetown, PEI 11/23/2015 11/25/2015
Young Farmers Conference Pocantico Hills, NY 12/2/2015 12/4/2015
Acres Pittsburg, PA 12/9/2015 12/11/2015
New England Veg and Berry Manchester, NH 12/15/2015 12/17/2015
Eco-Farm Pacific Grove, CA 1/20/2016 1/23/2016
NOFA NY Saratoga, NY 1/22/2016 1/24/2016
Vt Veg and Berry Montpelier, VT 1/25/2016 1/25/2016
Southern SAWG Mobile, AL 1/27/2016 1/30/2016
Michigan Small Farms Conf. Acme, MI 1/29/2016 1/30/2016
Organic Seed Alliance Corvallis, OR 2/4/2016 2/6/2016
NOFA VT Burlington, VT 2/13/2016 2/14/2016
OEFFA Granville, OH 2/13/2016 2/14/2016
New Mexico Organic Farming Conference Albuquerque, NM 2/20/2016 2/21/2016
OSU Small Farms Conference Corvallis, OR 2/20/2016 2/20/2016
MOSES La Crosse, WI 2/25/2016 2/27/2016
Georgia Organics Atlanta, GA 2/26/2016 2/27/2015
EXPO West 2016 Anaheim, CA 3/9/2016 3/13/2016
Organic Growers School Asheville, NC 3/11/2016 3/13/2016
Mother Earth News Fair – Asheville Asheville, NC 4/9/2016 4/10/2016
Hardwick Parade Hardwick, VT 5/30/2016 5/30/2016
Mother Earth News Fair – Albany Albany, OR 6/4/2016 6/5/2016
Posted in About High Mowing Organic Seeds, Commercial Growing, Events | Leave a comment

Save 10% with Community Supported Seeds!

There is no us without you.

It’s the same idea as a CSA – you help us with our upfront costs, and we help you save money.

Because however you slice it, the truth is that we couldn’t do what we do without your support.

So just like a CSA, each year we offer you the opportunity to pre-pay for seeds and get a 10% discount.

It couldn’t be easier:

1. Purchase a seed share in any amount before December 21st, 2015 and get 10% extra value – for example, a $100 share costs only $90. [Don't see the amount you want? Just give us a call!]

2. Reserve any varieties you’d like to order by calling us toll free at 1 (866) 735-4454

3. Redeem your share after January 15th, 2016 (at which point we’ll ship any seeds you’ve reserved).

CSS shares are a win-win for everyone – you save on seeds you were going to purchase anyways, while supporting your independently-owned organic seed company. No games, no gimmicks – just a great way to help us help you, while supporting progress in organic agriculture.

Thank you for your support!

Posted in About High Mowing Organic Seeds, Commercial Growing, Philosophy | 1 Comment

The Cure All: A Guide to Curing Vegetables for Winter Storage

As gardening grows in popularity, people are figuring out all sorts of clever ways to get their homegrown vegetables to keep through the winter. Now that root cellars have become a rarity, many companies offer a range of storage tools and other items that can help. But creating the perfect storage environment for a particular crop is only half the battle—they have to be cured properly too, if they’re going to store for any length of time. Here are our curing tips for the crops that need it.


Onions from the High Mowing Trials field curing in the greenhouse

Onions for storage have a unique signal to show that they’re ready to harvest: their tops will start to dry out and flop over. Some varieties, like Cabernet F1, will continue growing after this happens. But for most varieties, the necks are crimped when the tops fall, preventing further photosynthesis and growth. These onions should be pulled up for curing.

Onions can be cured in a number of different ways, but regardless of the method you choose, the principle is the same: they need 1-2 weeks of dry, warm conditions for the necks to dry down and the skins to become papery. You can use this test to see if your onions have finished curing: cut the top off a large onion about 1” from the bulb. If you see any green, they need more time. If the neck is completely dry with no green, your onions are fully cured.

Here are several techniques you can use for curing onions in different environments:

  • If the weather is dry and there is no threat of frost, simply pull onions and lay them down in the field to “sun-cure” for 3-5 days
  • In a warm greenhouse or hoophouse, ideally with a daytime temperature around 80-90ºF and humidity around 80%, lay onions out in a single layer on wire racks for two weeks. Check them every few days and cull any bulbs that have spoiled.
  • Onions can also be cured in a single layer on a clean surface in a shed, barn, loft, attic, garage, sunroom or under a covered porch as long as there is good ventilation and no risk of frost for at least 2 weeks

Once your onions are cured, clip the tops 1” from the bulbs and store in baskets or crates (to ensure good air circulation) in an area that is consistently 35-40ºF and 65-75% humidity.


Freshly harvested potatoes ready for curing at High Ledge Farm

Potatoes need curing too, though many people don’t realize it. Fortunately curing them is really easy. Once the potato foliage has turned brown and died back, leave the tubers in the ground for another two weeks to allow their skins to “set”. This is when the skin thickens and forms a strong protective barrier that prevents the tubers from spoiling.

After the two weeks are up, harvest the potatoes and gently brush the soil off. Now it’s time to cure them for a week to 10 days in a dark, well-ventilated area with high humidity. Simply put them in open paper bags, crates or cardboard boxes in a cool, dark place such as a garage or basement so that their skins can thoroughly dry. When the curing period is up, cull any green, injured or diseased tubers before storing for the winter in a dark, humid environment around 40-45ºF.


A coldframe, like this one at High Mowing, is excellent for curing winter squash and pumpkins

Winter Squash should be harvested before a heavy frost, usually when most foliage has died back, the stem is becoming dry and brown, and you cannot easily indent the skin with a fingernail. They can generally handle one or two light frosts, but it’s best to cover them or bring them in when cold temperatures are predicted, since multiple nights below 50ºF can reduce their storage life. Always leave at least 1” of stem attached to each squash, since short, broken or missing stems (as well as injured fruits) mean reduced storage life.

Much like onions, winter squash can be stored in several ways, but they generally need about one week of warm, dry conditions with good ventilation for their skins to dry and harden. The sole exception is acorn squash, which should be immediately put in cold storage after harvest. Try any of the following environments for curing everything from butternuts to pumpkins:

  • If the weather is dry, leave fruits in the sun for 5-7 days, covering in the evening if frost is predicted (a coldframe on pallets is excellent for this purpose)
  • Fruits can be cured in a greenhouse at 80-90ºF with good ventilation for 3-5 days
  • Alternatively, a warm, sunny place such as a sunroom, south facing window or loft inside the house is also suitable

Store cured squashes in a cool place around 50-60ºF with good ventilation (entryways, mudrooms, basements and bulkheads can often provide the cooler temperatures preferred by winter squashes.)

Other crops can store well too, but don’t require any curing. These crops include dry beans, beets, carrots, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, radicchio, kohlrabi, leeks, melons and watermelons, radishes and turnips. And certain cold-hardy crops such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage and leeks will actually improve in flavor and sweetness after a light frost or two.

Posted in Ask The Expert, Beginner Gardeners' Guide, Commercial Growing, Greenhouses, Growing Tips, Variety Highlights | 7 Comments

The Great Garlic GIVEAWAY!

This month we’re delighted to be giving away every garlic lover’s dream:

  • a beautiful handmade garlic grater by local artist Marghie Seymour of GrateGarlic (so you can eat all the garlic you like and never have to mince again!)
  • a $25 gift certificate (so you can order the garlic varieties or seeds of your choice) and
  • a lovely large hand-woven “fibre rush” basket from Basketry Botanica to help your garlic harvest keep all winter

Because we want YOU to stay healthy and happy this winter by eating lots of garlic (and next winter by planting garlic this fall!)

It’s easy: just click “Log In” below if you have a Facebook account (if you don’t have Facebook, just click “Use Your Email” to create a Rafflecopter account). Then follow the instructions to enter for more chances to win!

Contest starts Friday, September 18th and ends Friday, October 2nd at 11pm EST. Good luck, have fun and happy garlic planting!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in About High Mowing Organic Seeds, Contests, Variety Highlights | 504 Comments