Plentiful Potatoes: Selecting the Right Varieties for Your Needs

Potatoes are a great storage crop, are versatile for an incredible variety of culinary uses, and are generally simple to grow. That being said, you’ll have by far the best success when you think carefully about your needs and select varieties specifically for your climate and situation, because each variety has unique qualities that make it particularly well-suited to a certain place or purpose. Here are some tips and suggestions for each situation.

Varieties for Specific Conditions

Cool, Wet or Clay Soil. Some regions, particularly the Northeast, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Pacific Northwest, can experience consistently wet spring conditions that make growing potatoes challenging. Because most people plant potatoes that are essentially still dormant (the eyes have not yet sprouted), they are at a higher risk of rotting in cold, wet spring soil. There are a number of ways to prevent this from happening – you can plant later, choose a location with good drainage, plant in containers or GrowBags, or greensprout your seed potatoes. But one of the best lines of defense is to select varieties that can handle these conditions in stride, so you’ll get a good crop even if the weather isn’t cooperating. We recommend: Dark Red Norland, Red Chieftain and Yukon Gem


All Blue is one of the most drought-tolerant potato varieties

Drought-Prone or Sandy Soil. Some regions of the country, in particular the West and Southwest, are experiencing severe drought. Other areas, like the Sandhill region of North and South Carolina, the Sandhills of Nebraska and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan are characterized by naturally sandy, droughty soil that drains water very rapidly. Regardless of which area you’re in, early planting, keeping the soil covered and undisturbed as much as possible, adding organic matter and selecting drought-tolerant varieties can allow you to grow a successful crop even in dry conditions. We recommend: All Red, Elba, Katahdin & All Blue


Elba is the most blight-resistant variety available

Blight-Prone Areas. Anyone who’s grown potatoes in the East will be all-too-familiar with late blight, the late summer fungus that sweeps up the coast, taking out our beloved tomato and potato plants along the way. Its water-soaked appearance is distinctive and hard-to-miss, but its speed and destructiveness spell doom for most crops, even with early detection and treatment. (And sadly, infected tubers tend to liquefy in storage, as was discovered during the Irish Potato Famine). Fortunately for all of us, a few resistant varieties have sprung up in recent years, and combined with helpful techniques like planting in well-drained areas and away from other nightshades, we can still produce a crop that will store through winter. We recommend: Elba (the most blight-resistant commercial variety available), German Butterball, Burbank Russet and Yukon Gem (which offer moderate resistance)


Scab-resistant ‘Red Chieftain’ Potato

Scab-Prone Areas. Some areas or fields may be particularly prone to a common condition called Scab, which causes brown scarring on the surface of the tubers and may reduce yields or the aesthetic appeal of the crop. While not nearly as destructive as late blight (since it often has no impact on yield), scab certainly makes peeling potatoes less fun, and can make them unmarketable for commercial growers. While the responsible pathogen, Streptomyces scabies, is naturally occurring in most soil, it only tends to become a problem in particular conditions – alkaline soil, dry soil during tuber formation, very high levels of organic matter, poor crop rotation, and light, sandy or weathered soils all support its development. The best tactics for reducing scab include lowering soil pH to below 5.2, re-building healthy soil with appropriate amendments, rotating potatoes with corn or small grains, and most importantly, using resistant varieties. We recommend: Dark Red Norland, Purple Viking, Elba, Red Chieftain, German Butterball, Rose Finn Apple Fingerling and Russian Banana.


Beautiful, gourmet AmaRosa Potatoes

Containers or GrowBags. While many different varieties can be successfully grown in containers or GrowBags, it’s a good idea to select varieties with a compact growth habit to make the most efficient use of space. It’s also a good idea to select varieties with different maturity dates, to extend the harvest throughout the season and be able to harvest new potatoes, mid-season varieties, and storage potatoes. As a general rule of thumb, you only need about 3-5 potato pieces (about 1 lb) for a standard size Potato GrowBag (which holds about 50 quarts of soil and is roughly a foot wide and tall), or about 7-10 pieces (about 2.5 lbs) for a Jumbo GrowBag (which holds about 120 quarts of soil and is roughly 24″ wide by 14″ tall). We recommend: Purple Viking (for early or new potatoes), AmaRosa or Russian Banana (for a mid-season fingerling), and Yukon Gem (for a late season storage potato).

 

Varieties for Specific Uses

Fresh Market. Some varieties are especially good for consuming as “fresh market” or tender, miniature “new” potatoes (and these varieties often don’t store as well as others). These include: All Red, Purple Viking, AmaRosa, Dark Red Norland and All Blue.

Yukon Gem is a long-storing, disease resistant variety with pink eyes like its parent Yukon Gold

Long Storage. Most of our varieties will easily last 6 months or more under proper storage conditions, such as in a cool, dark basement. For the longest storage, we recommend: Elba, Katahdin, Red Chieftain, Yukon Gold, Burbank Russet, German Butterball, Yukon Gem, Rose Finn Apple Fingerling and Russian Banana Fingerling.

Specialty Appeal. Many people increasingly prefer the unusual, eye-catching colors and high antioxidant content of specialty potatoes such as All Red, All Blue, Purple Viking and AmaRosa Fingerling, as well as the uniquely-delectable flavor of gourmet Rose Finn Apple and Russian Banana fingerlings.

For varieties for specific culinary uses, check out our article The Perfect Potato!

Posted in About High Mowing Organic Seeds, Beginner Gardeners' Guide, Growing Tips, Variety Highlights | 1 Comment

Free the Seed! Introducing the Open Source Seed Collection


Photo: osseeds.org

Inspired by the free and open source software movement that has provided alternatives to proprietary software, the Open Source Seed Initiative (OSSI) was created to “free the seed”–to make sure that the genes in at least some seeds can never be locked away from use by intellectual property rights. In other words, Open Source varieties and any varieties bred from them are part of a protected public commons, free for all to grow and breed with as they see fit. Since so many varieties nowadays have been patented or otherwise protected by intellectual property rights (removing them from the pool of breeding stock), Open Source seed has become a critical tool for ensuring that public plant breeders have the genetic resources to continue developing new varieties.

To this end, the OSSI Pledge asks breeders and stewards of crop varieties to pledge to make their seeds available without restrictions on use, and to ask recipients of those seeds to make the same commitment. High Mowing has been a proud partner of OSSI in developing the framework for Open Source seed. We strongly support the work they’re doing to create a pool of Open Source varieties, to connect farmers and gardeners to suppliers of Open Source seed, and to inform and educate citizens about seed issues.

To support OSSI, High Mowing is proud to launch our NEW Open Source Seed Collection!

By purchasing these or any other Open Source seeds, you are agreeing to the OSSI Pledge:

You have the freedom to use these OSSI-Pledged seeds in any way you choose. In return, you pledge not to restrict others’ use of these seeds or their derivatives by patents or other means, and to include this pledge with any transfer of these seeds or their derivatives.

* * *

The High Mowing Open Source Seed Collection includes:

Stocky Red Roaster Sweet Pepper - OPEN-POLLINATED
Open Source Seed · Italian-type · 4-6″ long fruits
Outstanding variety with juicy, sweet fruit; competes well with hybrids. Among the best-tasting peppers in our trials! Attractive, smooth-skinned fruits with thick walls. Tall plants with upright habit are covered in fruit. Italian peppers are delicious traditionally fried in olive oil and sprinkled with shredded parmesan cheese. Open Source variety bred by Frank Morton of Wild Garden Seeds in Philomath, OR.

Days to maturity: 65 days green, 85 red

Abundant Bloomsdale Spinach - OPEN-POLLINATED
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. Ideal for spring plantings and overwintering for full-sized leaves. 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.

Days to maturity: 45 days

Emerald Oak Lettuce - OPEN-POLLINATED
Open Source Seed · Compact
An all-time favorite in our trials thanks to its crisp, buttery heart and sweet flavor! Rounded leaves are thick and tighten to form compact, striking dark green heads. From a cross between Blushed Butter Oak and Deer Tongue bred by Frank Morton of Wild Garden Seeds and released under the Open Source Seed Initiative. Tom Stearns’ mother loves this little lettuce!

Days to maturity: 60 days
Disease Resistance: Tip Burn

Siber-Frill Kale - OPEN-POLLINATED
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. Bred by Jonathan Spero at Lupine Knoll Farm in Oregon and released under the Open Source Seed Initiative.

Days to maturity: 60-70 days

Midnight Lightning Zucchini - OPEN-POLLINATED
Open Source Seed · PM tolerant · Harvest at 7-8″
Extra long and slender zucchini with dark green, almost-black coloring. Single-stemmed plants are sturdy and stems have few spines. Plants produce quickly and have good field resistance to disease. Midnight Lightning is the first variety bred by High Mowing on our organic seed farm in Wolcott, Vermont and was released through the Open Source Seed Initiative.

Days to maturity: 55 days

To learn more visit osseeds.org

Posted in About High Mowing Organic Seeds, Breeding / Research Program, Farm Ethics, Philosophy, Variety Highlights | 2 Comments

Sweet Success: How to Choose [and Grow] Tomatoes & Peppers

Choose your own adventure! No matter where you grow, it’s important to select tomato and pepper varieties that are well-adapted to your region and conditions. If you grow in Alaska, you’ll need to choose short season varieties that will mature and produce quickly. If you’re a Floridian, you need the opposite—varieties that produce over a long season even when temperatures climb over 90°F. Whether you grow in the cool North, the dry Southwest, the temperate Northwest or in containers or your patio, we’re proud to offer a selection of organic varieties that meet your unique needs.

 


Moskvich Tomato

Short, Cool Seasons (North & Mountain States) Look for varieties that produce early, perform well in cool, wet conditions and offer resistance to fungal diseases like blight.

Tomatoes: Moskvich, Crimson Sprinter, Cosmonaut Volkov, Mountain Princess, Iron Lady F1, Green Zebra, Sunkist F1, Glacier, Yellow Perfection, Matt’s Wild, Montesino F1, Merlot F1, Black Cherry, Bing, Sweetie, Red Pear, Bellstar, Roma VF, Fortamino F1 Rootstock

Peppers: King of the North, King Crimson, Purple Beauty, Sweet Chocolate, Golden California Wonder, Oranos F1, Hungarian Hot Wax, Early Jalapeno, Ancho Poblano, Maya Habanero, Magnum Habanero

 


Lively Italian Yellow Sweet Pepper

Long, Warm to Hot Seasons (Mid-Atlantic, Midwest and South) Look for varieties that can set fruit in sustained hot temperatures over 90°F, have good leaf cover and offer strong resistance to local diseases. In the Southeast select varieties that tolerate heavy soil and offer nematode or bacterial leaf spot resistance; in the West look for short season varieties with exceptional drought-tolerance.

Tomatoes: Cherokee Purple, Pruden’s Purple, German Johnson, Brandywine, Copia, Caiman F1, Skyway 687 F1, Merlot F1, Sakura F1, Granadero F1, Estamino F1 Rootstock

Peppers: Sprinter F1, Olympus F1, Catriona F1, Milena F1, Iko Iko, Abay F1, Xanthi F1, Belcanto F1, Corno di Toro, Lively Italian Orange, Lively Italian Yellow, Bastan F1 Poblano, Shishito, Ring-O-Fire, NuMex Joe E. Parker

 


Merlot F1 Tomato

Disease-Resistant In climates where diseases are prevalent, such as the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast and parts of the Northwest, look for varieties with suitable resistances.

Tomatoes: Skyway 687 F1, Caiman F1, Roni F1, Iron Lady F1, Rutgers, Lola F1, Sunkist F1, Arbason F1, Medford, Matt’s Wild, Montesino F1, Toronjina F1, Merlot F1, Bartelly F1, Esterina F1, Sakura F1, Roma VF, Granadero F1

Peppers: Olympus F1, Catriona F1, Milena F1, Madonna F1, Abay F1

 


Madonna F1 Bell Pepper

Heated Greenhouse Crops Many of our varieties have been specifically bred for heated greenhouse culture. Look for crack-resistant indeterminate tomato varieties with disease resistance, and long season peppers with strong fruit set in hot conditions.

Tomatoes: Cherokee Purple, Caiman F1, Roni F1, Green Zebra, Lola F1, Sunkist F1, Arbason F1, Montesino F1, Toronjina F1, Bartelly F1, Pink Bumblebee, Purple Bumblebee, Sunrise Bumblebee, Sakura F1, Granadero F1

Peppers: Sprinter F1, Milena F1, Madonna F1

 


Bartelly F1 Cherry Tomato

Unheated High Tunnel Crops Look for vigorous, productive varieties that can tolerate a wide range of conditions, particularly heat, cold, humidity and fungal diseases.

Tomatoes: Cherokee Purple, Caiman F1, Moskvich, Cosmonaut Volkov, Rose de Berne, Green Zebra, Arbason F1, Montesino F1, Toronjina F1, Bartelly F1, Bing, Pink Bumblebee, Purple Bumblebee, Sunrise Bumblebee, Sakura F1, Granadero F1, Fortamino F1 Rootstock

Peppers: Olympus F1, Catriona F1, Milena F1, Madonna F1, Belcanto F1, Lively Italian Orange, Lively Italian Yellow

 


Bangles Blend Sweet Pepper

Ornamental/Container Varieties Look for productive, compact or determinate varieties with good flavor and disease resistance.

Tomatoes: Skyway 687 F1, Moskvich, Crimson Sprinter, Mountain Princess, Iron Lady F1, Rutgers, Medford, Glacier, Indigo Rose, Merlot F1, Bellstar, Roma VF, Gold Nugget

Peppers: Sprinter F1, Purple Beauty, Catriona F1, Bangles Blend, Belcanto F1, Feher Ozon, Ring-O-Fire, Early Jalapeno, Black Hungarian, Dwarf Little Blue, Candlelight, Hot Purira

 


Gilbertie Paste Tomato

Processing for Sauce, Pickling, Powder or Freezing Look for drier, meatier varieties for sauces, drying and powder, and choose versatile classics with few seeds for pickling and freezing. Often varieties with short harvest windows (or concentrated fruit set) are preferred when growing for processing.

Tomatoes: Rutgers, Bellstar, Roma VF, Granadero F1, Amish Paste, San Marzano, Gilbertie

Peppers: Jupiter, California Wonder, Bangles Blend, Belcanto F1, Feher Ozon, Hungarian Hot Wax, Early Jalapeno, Ancho Poblano, NuMex Joe E. Parker, Hot Purira

 

How to Start Tomato & Pepper Plants from Seed


Trials Tomato Seedlings in a High Mowing Greenhouse

1) Moisten your potting soil by adding a little water and mixing with your hand until it feels just barely moist (but not wet or soggy).

2) Fill your tray or pots with the moist soil to within 1/2″ of the rim, tamping down lightly as you go.

3) Sow your tomato or pepper seeds on the surface of the soil using about 2-5 seeds per cell or square inch.

4) Cover the seeds by sprinkling about 1/4” of potting soil over them, then gently water in. If you have one, cover your tray with a propagation dome to hold in moisture and place the tray on top of a seedling heat mat for strong germination.

5) Once the seeds have germinated, move the tray from the heat mat and place under lights. Water gently when the surface of the soil becomes dry to the touch.


Transplanting a Tomato Seedling

6) As the plants grow, gradually raise the lights so they are 1-3” from the top of the plants (depending on the type of grow light you’re using).

7) When the plants have grown their first set of “true” leaves, it’s time to pot them up. Fill 4” pots (or solo cups with holes poked in the bottom) with moist potting soil to within ½” of the rim. Water your seedlings thoroughly, then use a butter knife to gently remove cells or clumps from their tray. Using your finger, make a depression in each 4” pot, then tuck one seedling in each depression, firming the soil around the plant.

8) Water in your transplants, then place under lights until about two weeks before planting out. At this point it’s time to start “hardening off” your seedlings by placing them in a protected area outdoors, increasing the time they spend outside each day until it’s time to transplant into the ground.

Posted in Beginner Gardeners' Guide, Greenhouses, Variety Highlights | Leave a comment

Windowsill Salad GIVEAWAY!

We know you’re excited to start growing greens indoors, so this month we’re giving one lucky winner all the tools to get started! To celebrate the New Year, we’re giving you the chance to turn over a new leaf – shoots and microgreens are simple to grow year round, no matter where you live, and provide unbeatable freshness and flavor at a time when local foods are scarce. One lucky winner will receive:

All you need is a bright sunny window (or a grow light) and a pair of scissors when you’re ready to harvest! Check out our Windowsill Salad blog to learn how it’s done.

HOW TO ENTER
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 click any of the dropdown options (below) to enter for more chances to win!

Occasionally certain browsers don’t play nice with Rafflecopter – if you have any trouble entering the giveaway, please email webmaster@highmowingseeds.com

Contest starts Wednesday, January 13th at 4pm and ends Wednesday, January 20th at 11pm EST. Good luck, have fun and happy indoor gardening!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in About High Mowing Organic Seeds, Contests, Growing Tips, Winter Growing | 175 Comments

Windowsill Salad: 5 Greens You Can Grow Anywhere


Pea and sunflower shoots growing on the windowsill

For years I bemoaned the arrival of winter, as much for the shortage of local vegetables as for the long months of cold and darkness we have here in Northern Vermont. But two years ago I had an epiphany that changed all that, and suddenly winter was a season I (almost) looked forward to.

My discovery? Growing food is almost effortless indoors. I could still eat homegrown greens and feel the joy of watching seeds germinate, but gone were the sunburns and backaches, the late frosts and surprise storms. Planting in warmth and comfort, harvest meaning a quick trip upstairs with a pair of scissors, not to mention the incredible freshness of the greens—it seemed too good to be true. Now windowsill salads are so much a part of my life and diet, it hardly seems a novelty any more. But I still get an electric jolt of excitement every day that another tray germinates, when green life springs from black dirt as if every day were springtime.


A Microgreens Trial at High Mowing

What are Shoots & Microgreens?

The small greens I grow indoors are called shoots and microgreens. They are grown almost identically—shoots just refers to pea shoots, sunflower shoots and wheatgrass, whereas microgreens include a broad array of varieties. Because shoots are grown from larger seeds, they benefit from soaking before planting, need a little more soil to grow in, and there is more variation in when they are harvested. With shoots I fill the tray about ¾” deep with potting soil, but for microgreens I use only a ½” or so, since the small plants don’t need much soil in their short lives. Microgreens can be harvested when just the first true leaf has just appeared, or can be allowed to grow longer while retaining quality and tenderness, to what I call the “teen green” stage, when the plants have two true leaves.

5 Easy Greens

Now that I’ve been growing shoots and microgreens for a while, I like to experiment with a lot of different varieties—in particular I like to grow basil, cilantro and arugula so that I always have these versatile flavors on hand. Some microgreens, like basil, require extra warmth for strong germination, so I use a seedling heat mat when starting them. But most of them don’t need any extra heat, and the only equipment to get started is a sunny window (or shop lights), tray, propagation dome, soil and seeds (you can find the tray, dome and soil in our seed starting kit). If you’re growing on a windowsill instead of using shop lights, use a South-facing window and rotate your trays every day.


Fresh pea shoots

Pea Shoots are simple to grow, versatile in the kitchen, and perfect for any dish that calls for peas. I like adding them to pasta dishes such as macaroni and cheese or Pasta Carbonara.

Soak your pea seeds overnight before scattering them thickly over the soil surface (I use about 1 ½-2 cups for a 1020 tray), then cover with your propagation dome until they sprout. They thrive in cooler temperatures and will do just fine on chilly windowsills. I start harvesting them when they get about 4 inches tall, and have found that they’ll even regrow a few times.

 


Sunflower shoots

Sunflower Shoots have a succulent texture and delectable buttery flavor great for salads. They are ready to harvest in about 3 days, so if you want to eat them regularly, you’ll need to plant them often.

Soak the seeds for a few hours before scattering them over the soil surface (I use about 1 cup for a 1020 tray), then water in and cover with your dome until they sprout. Watch them carefully because the window to harvest them is short—their cotyledons (the very first leaves that appear) should have just unfolded. With sunflower shoots it’s best to harvest the entire tray at this stage and then start the next one; if you let them grow true leaves, they will be tough and bitter-tasting.

 


Arugula Microgreens

Arugula Microgreens are one of my favorite indoor greens—their peppery flavor is so good in so many things, from entrées to salads, garnishes to sandwiches.  You can harvest them at almost any stage, since they stay tasty and tender for a long time.

Simply sprinkle the seed over the soil (it’s best to sow a little less when growing crops with larger leaves), sprinkle a little more soil over the seed, water in and cover with your dome until they sprout.


Red Russian Kale Microgreens

 

 

Red Kale Microgreens are another favorite because they’re so pretty with their lavender stems and frilly true leaves. They’re also wonderfully versatile—I like that they have a little more heft to them, so I can throw them into miso soup, add to a stirfry or sauté with other veggies. They’re grown in the same way as arugula, and likewise can be harvested at almost any stage, from just cotyledons to baby-sized leaves.


Mild Mix Microgreens

 

 

Mild Mix Microgreens (and many other greens mixes) are perfect for salads, sandwiches and garnishes. The blend of flavors, textures and colors are exciting on the palate or plate, but still versatile enough for a wide range of uses. Sow these just like you would arugula, and try harvesting at different stages to see what you like best!

 

Tips for Success

After several years of growing indoor greens, I’ve learned a few things that have made it easier.

  • Start your greens on the same day every week. It’s a great way to ensure you have a consistent supply, and if you miss your day you can make a point to do it the following day, no harm done.
  • Never let your trays dry out! The tiny plants wilt very quickly if the soil becomes dry. Your trays will dry faster if the air is dry, if you use a small amount of soil or if your greens are growing rapidly. I check my trays every day and water lightly almost every morning to prevent them from drying out.
  • Divide your trays. Even if you really, really love sunflower shoots, you might not be able to eat them in time before they toughen up. Start by growing two or three varieties per tray, and if you find you can eat them all, grow full trays.
  • Grow what you love to eat. Obsessed with amaranth? Can’t get enough cress? Experiment with crops you’re crazy about even if they’re not being sold specifically as microgreens (my favorites are lemony sorrel and cilantro).

Cilantro isn’t for everyone, but if you’re in the fold of cilantro lovers (like me), you probably want it all the time for topping Mexican and Asian dishes. I don’t soak the seeds, I just sprinkle them thickly over the soil in the tray, then sprinkle a little more soil over them, water in and cover with the dome. They do take longer to germinate than almost everything else, so be patient and plant often!

View a PDF of the article here

Posted in About High Mowing Organic Seeds, Beginner Gardeners' Guide, Growing Tips, Variety Highlights, Winter Growing | 17 Comments

Growing Partners: Midori Farm

Growing Partners interviews are conversations with customers, seed growers & community non-profits we work with that are leading the way in environmental and social stewardship. We’re proud to share their trail-blazing work with the world, and we hope to inspire the real food leaders of tomorrow to follow in their footsteps.


Hanako Myers & Marko Colby

Marko Colby and Hanako Myers own Midori Farm in Quilcene, WA, where they produce our Abundant Bloomsdale spinach seed. They are talented farmer/breeders and dedicated High Mowing customers.

HMOS: First off, please give some background on Midori Farm, including your location, crops grown, how much space you have in production, and how your product is distributed.

MC: Midori Farm is a 29 acre farm on the Olympic Peninsula northwest of Seattle. We have pasture, about 10 acres of mixed vegetable and seed production, run a small nursery, and produce traditionally-fermented sauerkraut and kimchi. Our products are sold through a CSA, farmers markets, restaurants and regional retailers.


Marko threshing a brassica seed crop

HMOS: Why did you start Midori Farm, and how has it changed over time? How have your priorities changed, and how are these changes reflected in your business?

MC: We started Midori Farm out of our love of food and the joy of being outside all day. We had both been working on farms as hired help for a few years, and in 2008 we rented an empty pasture and planted our first market garden. In 2013 we purchased part of an old farm in Quilcene and spent a year getting it ready, then moved to the property and began farming full-time.

It was a big shift in many ways. As our business has expanded, so has our load of responsibilities. We currently have nearly year round staff, endless paperwork and record keeping, equipment to maintain, and of course crops to care for and land to pay for. These changes have been reflected in our business in that we are making more decisions based on long term planning instead of a year-to-year mindset. As we get to know our new place better we are devising a strategy that will build a solid foundation for the farm to sustain itself financially and ecologically—bringing us to the realization that we want to work on more breeding projects and grow more seed.

HMOS: What is the relationship between your farm and your local community, and how do you foster this relationship?

MC: We live in a fairly rural part of Washington State, but it’s easy to interact with lots of people in the community. For 7 years we have been hosting a weekly work trade day during which volunteers come to the farm and work for 4 hours in exchange for a CSA share. We participate in 3 local farmers markets, offer a CSA with low income scholarships, and we donate plants and seeds to all of the community gardens and school garden programs in Jefferson County. We also participate in the Jefferson County Farm Tour, when area farms are open to the public for a day.


Midori Farm

HMOS: Tell us about your location – what are some of the advantages and disadvantages associated with your area?

MC: The North Olympic Peninsula is a rural area about 60 miles by road and ferry from Seattle. We are about 25 miles from Port Townsend which is the biggest town in the area with 11,000 residents and a seasonally robust tourist economy. There is great interest in local food and farms in the area. Our farm in particular is set back from the interior coast and backs up to the Quilcene range of the NE Olympic mountain range, and as a result the Quilcene valley gets much warmer and colder than many locations closer to the Puget Sound. Our farm was formed on the old flood plain of the Big and Little Quilcene rivers.  The soils vary from sandy loam to gravely loam to rocky sand mixed with heavy peat, sometimes in the same field! We have good irrigation water, mostly good drainage and a long, mild growing season, with most of our rain falling between October and April. The mild climate makes it possible to overwinter biennials for seed production, and allows us to grow dry-seeded crops such as spinach, beet, chard and brassicas.

HMOS: What are the biggest challenges with the crops you grow, and how have you overcome them?

The challenges we face are high weed pressure, and just enough humidity to proliferate all manner of fungal diseases. We are continually refining our cultural practices to better manage weeds. To address fungal diseases we work on improving our soil health, lessening our weed pressure and selecting plants that do well with our particular challenges.


Abundant Bloomsdale Spinach

HMOS: What High Mowing varieties do you grow, and are there any special techniques you use for success?

MC: One of the seed varieties we grow is Abundant Bloomsdale Spinach, which we developed in partnership with Organic Seed Alliance and now sell to High Mowing. We worked on Abundant Bloomsdale for five years, selecting it for dark green savoyed leaves, disease resistance and bolt resistance.

Timing is everything for spinach seed production. It needs to be planted early enough to ensure that it is pollinating while temperatures are still cool, and it’s important to flame-weed just before the spinach germinates. We advise new seed growers to use the plethora of resources available online and in books, choose varieties that will mature well in your region, and select crops that you love to work with.

HMOS: What are your goals for Midori Farm, and how do you envision its future?

MC: In the future we want to bring more animals onto our land, increase the depth of understanding of our crew so they may take on more management responsibilities, and work on breeding new vegetable varieties suited to organic production.

To learn more visit midori-farm.com and check out Abundant Bloomsdale Spinach on our website!

Marko & Hanako grow:

Cylindra Beet

De Cicco Broccoli

Deadon F1 Cabbage

Caribe Cilantro

Tyria F1 Cucumber

Arava F1 Melon

Meadowlark Kale

Abundant Bloomsdale Spinach

Dario F1 Zucchini

Posted in About High Mowing Organic Seeds, Ask The Expert, Breeding / Research Program, Commercial Growing, Farmer Authors, Growing Tips, Variety Highlights | 2 Comments

Getting Started: Growing Onions & Leeks from Seed

There are a lot of advantages to growing onion & leek plants from seed – you have more varieties to choose from, it’s more economical than buying sets (especially if you already have a seed starting setup), and the onions you grow will store better. But for me it’s also a blissful diversion from the dark days of winter, when nothing satisfies like the scent of potting soil or the sight of something green sprouting, and it’s too early to start anything else.


Megen in the Onion Trials

Variety Selection

Onions are a little different from most other crops because they are sensitive to day length—different varieties need different amounts of light in order to start forming bulbs. This makes it extra important to choose the right type for your growing region. Each variety is categorized as a long, intermediate or short day type:

Short day onions tend to be sweeter and usually store for only a few months, while longer-day onions generally offer a wider variety of flavors and much longer storage life. Growers in the Pacific Northwest often plant shorter day varieties like Walla Walla in the fall (in greenhouses), then wait for them to form bulbs in spring when the day length rises above 12 hours. With spring planting, however, short day onions planted in the far North will result in miniature bulbs rather than an early harvest. It’s also important to consider the types of onions you enjoy eating (red, yellow or sweet), and any diseases that are common in your area–CortlandSedona & Yankee all have resistances that can mean a bigger harvest in areas with severe disease pressure.

 


A hand sower can make it easier to plant small seeds like onions

How to Start Transplants

For most northern growers, direct seeding onions isn’t really an option—the growing season is too short for them to mature unless they get a big head start indoors. A few varieties, like New York Early, are fast enough that they can be direct-sown, but they need early planting and consistently moist soil for this to work. So most growers in the northern half of the country begin their season by starting onion, leek and shallot seed in February or March, about 10-12 weeks before the transplant date. It’s important to start on time, since delaying planting can result in miniature onions if the plants start bulbing before they are full grown.

Check out this article if you need tips on setting up for seed starting; if not, you’re ready to get started:

1) Moisten your potting soil. Add a little bit of water and mix with your hand, and keep adding a little more water until it feels just barely moist (but not wet or soggy).

2) Fill your tray or pots with the moist soil to within 1/2″ of the rim, tamping down lightly as you go.

3) Sow your onion or leek seeds on the surface of the soil, being careful not to crowd them – there should ideally be 2-4 seeds per cell or square inch, and certainly no more than 10 if you’re really trying to stretch your space. The more densely you plant them, the thinner (and more vulnerable) they are likely to be at planting time. My goal is for them to be almost as big around as a pencil by transplanting day.


Onions germinating

4) Cover the seeds by lightly sprinkling about 1/8” of potting soil, sand or vermiculite over them, then gently water in. If you have one, cover your tray with a propagation dome to hold in moisture, then place the tray on top of a seedling heat mat. Onions & leeks germinate best at 75-85°F.

5) Once the seeds have germinated, remove the dome, remove the tray from the heat mat and place it under lights. Water gently when the surface of the soil becomes dry to the touch.

6) As the plants grow, gradually raise the lights so they are 1-3” from the top of the plants (depending on the type of bulb you’re using). When the plants reach 5” tall, use scissors to trim them back to 2” as this will encourage them to grow thicker and stronger (and the onion trimmings are delicious in sandwiches & soups!) About two weeks before planting, you can begin hardening off your onion starts by moving them outside each day.

 


Transplanting alliums in the High Mowing Trials field

How to Grow Onions & Leeks

When it’s time to plant (after the last hard frost, about 2-4 weeks before your last frost date), prepare your planting bed and make furrows about 4” deep. Water your seedlings thoroughly, then use a butter knife to gently remove them from their tray, carefully separating them as needed. Onions can be planted in clumps of 2-4 without reducing yields; leeks and shallots should be planted individually. Gently firm the soil around each plant or clump of plants, and don’t worry if only a few inches of foliage are sticking out. Keep the beds well watered and weeded until the plants are established.


Onions are fully cured when their necks and skins are dry and papery

Once your onions are well-established (about 8” tall), you can mulch the bed thickly with straw, leaves, or my personal favorite, coffee hulls from a nearby roaster. At this stage, mulching or undersowing with white clover helps discourage weeds and retains moisture around the shallow onion roots. Leeks, on the other hand, should be hilled once a month or so by hoeing soil up around their stems, which results in a much bigger harvest. They can be harvested whenever you wish, washed and stored near freezing for many months.

Onions can be harvested fresh for bunching any time, or wait until their tops flop over for storage onions. At this point they can be pulled up and dried in the field for 3-5 days (if the weather is clear), or cured in a warm, dry, well-ventilated place for 2 weeks before trimming their roots and tops.

Print or download a PDF of the article here.

Posted in Beginner Gardeners' Guide, Growing Tips, Variety Highlights | 15 Comments

The Future of Organic Seeds

The world is changing, and our seeds and breeding need to change with it. What does the healthy agriculture of tomorrow look like? How will our climate and habits change? These things need to be weighed so that we know how to direct our organic breeding work. Here are some of the ways we are meeting the needs of current and future farmers.


Delicious ‘Honeynut’ Butternut Squash

Flavor, flavor, flavor

The future will be delicious! People are no longer satisfied with cardboard tomatoes, flavorless peppers and beautiful but bland carrots. We know how to farm and breed for flavor; it’s just a question of actually doing it. More ecologically-sound farming techniques, married with breeding for resilience and great flavor, will help us all appreciate vegetables more. Bold, interesting and intense flavors are not always associated with vegetables, but that’s because in recent years, most have been bred for looks or yield first. We think that the future has to have both and our job is to find them or breed them and provide them to you.

 


Super-early ‘Purple Beauty’ Pepper

Short season for every region

Farming in New England, we feel an urgency around the growing season because of the “winter is coming” mentality, and short season varieties are the best way to ensure a good harvest. But if you’re growing in the South, short season varieties can be helpful too because of the scorching heat, or severe pests and disease. In the West the problem might be a lack of rain.

Wherever you are, short season varieties mean that your crop is in the field for a shorter period of time, and therefore exposed to less weed, pest, disease and weather pressure. Fewer days in the field mean less risk. And for organic farmers, this is extra important because we have a more limited toolbox to reduce these risks. On our northern VT farm we test out the hardiest and shortest-season varieties for you, wherever you farm.


Vigorous, productive ‘Nash’s Green’ Kale

Vigor is key

Wet when you don’t want it and dry when you are wishing for rain. Isn’t that what seems to be happening a lot more lately? Perhaps it’s becoming the norm due to climate change, but we cannot afford to sit back and expect our old varieties to be able to handle what is coming. Under adverse conditions, vigor really matters.

Vigor is when a seed germinates in 5 days instead of 10. Vigor is when that seedling grows at twice the rate you expect. These things don’t have as much to do with conditions; they have to do with the seed – strong, powerful and vigorous seed. We can select for improved vigor and produce the strongest seed possible, to help in the times when you need it most.

 


Improved ‘Dolciva’ Carrot

Improving OPs – You Get What You Invest In
For centuries people have saved seeds from their favorite plants, selecting for the characteristics they wanted. These are sometimes called landraces, or diverse populations of open-pollinated (OP) varieties. But for some crops breeding has become totally dominated by hybrids, with the end result that hybrids generally perform better than OPs. Just as innovations in horse-drawn technology stopped with the advent of the tractor, innovations in OPs nearly ceased with the onset of hybrid breeding.

But new investments of attention, time and money in OP breeding are yielding great results. New varieties like Who Gets Kissed? sweet corn, Abundant Bloomsdale spinach, Dolciva carrot and Honeynut squash are examples of innovations achieved through OP breeding by universities, non-profits, individuals and seed companies. Both hybrids and OPs play a critical role in ensuring a bountiful harvest, and in our trials we’re seeing these improved OPs doing really well. Many were developed to thrive in organic conditions and offer comparable quality and consistency to hybrids, helping to ensure an array of successful options for your garden or farm.


‘Abundant Bloomsdale’ Spinach, developed by a team of organic farmers in partnership with Organic Seed Alliance

Interdependence and independence
The organic movement has had to defend itself for years against those who thought that we were crazy, messy or just plain wrong. But in setting ourselves apart, we must not ignore sources of knowledge that help us do better. So at High Mowing we constantly seek out partnerships with farmers, seed companies and breeders, even if they’re not dedicated to organic. We always learn something interesting, and some wonderful collaborations have been born—some of our partners have diverted more resources into organics, or have arranged with us to do that for them. The point is that if we stay inside our organic bubble, we will be less able to shift the world toward a more ecological future.

At the same time, we are fierce about High Mowing remaining organic and independent. Our decisions and strategy are aligned toward us controlling our own destiny. Together we can stand up to the unhealthy vision espoused by many global seed companies today. The future is bright in the organic community; the increasing awareness of the environment, economic equality and human rights mean that organic farmers will be needed in the future. And we aim to be there, providing the seeds you need to produce food in a way the planet can sustain.

 

Posted in About High Mowing Organic Seeds, Ask The Expert, Breeding / Research Program, Commercial Growing, Farm Ethics, Trials, Variety Highlights | Leave a comment

Growing Partners: Good Water Farms

This article is part of Growing Partners, our new series focusing on the farmers, gardeners, seed growers, breeders, vendors and non-profits we work with that are demonstrating leadership in environmental and social stewardship. We’re so invigorated by their trail-blazing work, we want to share it with the world–and hopefully inspire the real food leaders of tomorrow to follow in their footsteps.


Brendan Davison, Owner & Founder of Good Water Farms

Brendan Davison is the owner of Good Water Farms a certified organic microgreens farm on Long Island. High Mowing works extensively with Brendan, providing seeds and support as his business evolves and grows.

HMOS: First off, please give some background on Good Water Farms, including location, crops grown, how much space you have in production, and how your product is distributed.

BD: Good Water Farms (GWF) is a year round certified organic microgreens farm currently located in East Hampton, NY.  We grow about 26 varieties of microgreens. We have 8 varieties we cut and package for 13 Whole Foods stores and we also deliver living trays to about 30 restaurants from the Hamptons to New York and Brooklyn. Our mission is to feed people, serve people, and we are unique because we grow our microgreens in soil.


Microgreens growing under lights at Good Water Farms’ current location in East Hampton, NY

HMOS: How did you get started with Good Water Farms, and how would you describe its growth/expansion?

BD: I started Good Water Farms in the driveway of a house I was renting in Amagansett, NY in the spring of 2012. I grew in a 7×11’ greenhouse and distributed trays of living microgreens to restaurants here in the Hamptons. Within one month I had outgrown my little greenhouse, and at the end of the summer I moved into our current location in nearby East Hampton. Our current growing facility consists of a 2,000 square foot warehouse and we also have a 12×36’ greenhouse.

 

HMOS: What is the relationship between Good Water Farms and your local community?

BD: The relationship between GWF and the local community is still a puzzle. We are the only certified organic year-round farm out here, and yet the majority of the restaurants stop using our product in the fall, winter and spring. The Hamptons has this old belief that it can only make money in the summer months—that is why the majority of our business is west of here. But meanwhile 70,000 people live out here year-round. When we move to our new facility this fall, we will have a year-round farm stand and a microgreens CSA. So, the advantage of our area is the amount of wealth, but the disadvantages are the old ways of thinking.


Some large-seeded microgreens crops like cilantro, beets and chard, are trickier to grow than others

HMOS: What are the biggest challenges with the crop(s) you grow, and what innovations have you developed to overcome them? What are the biggest advantages of your crop(s)?

BD: Microgreens have a big advantage, which is the fast turn around, but some are tricky to grow. Our most difficult crop has been cilantro—we basically have to change how we grow it every season, and it requires a lot of love and attention. But all the varieties we use from High Mowing work very well. The biggest challenge in our business is finding people to work and creating a consistent ecosystem year-round.

HMOS: As your business has grown, how have your priorities changed? What changes have you made to ensure its long-term sustainability?

BD: Over time the thing that has changed priority-wise for us is that now we put surfing first and GWF second—for the past 3 years it has been the opposite! We also now have a partner that believes in our vision and has the resources to help us grow.


Good Water microgreens featured on the blog Salad for Presidents

HMOS: What advice would you give to someone just starting out?

BD: The advice I give to everyone starting out is: have a clear vision before you even plant a seed, know that’s it’s gonna cost more than you think, it’s a 365-day-a-year job, and don’t cut corners. But aside from that, people should develop their own way of growing – growing should come from deep within themselves.

HMOS: What are your goals for Good Water Farms? How do you envision its growth in the future?

BD: In the short term we are moving to our new 4,000 square foot facility located on 34 acres of farmland in Bridgehampton, NY. We are going to turn the 34 acres into a biodynamic farm and will be quadrupling our microgreens production! In the longer-term, I envision opening up GWF’s all over the country.

 

To learn more about Good Water Farms, visit them on Facebook or the web at goodwaterfarms.com

Brendan grows:

Sacred Basil

Rosie Basil

Santo Cilantro

Broccoli, Red Kale & Arugula Microgreens

Belle Isle Cress

Sunflower Shoots

Pea Shoots

Posted in About High Mowing Organic Seeds, Ask The Expert, Commercial Growing, Farmer Authors, Greenhouses, Growing Tips, Variety Highlights, Winter Growing | Leave a comment

NEW for 2016: High Performance Hybrids

Hybridization is a technique that has been used purposefully and accidentally for thousands of years to achieve a diversity of characteristics including unique colors and shapes, high yields and disease resistance. Many growers rely on the benefits that hybrids offer, especially disease resistance and uniformity of maturity and size, because their markets require a level of consistency that may not be achievable using open-pollinated seed. While we are thrilled about the current “renaissance” in OP breeding, we are also grateful to the partner companies we work with for continuing to develop the high performance hybrids our commercial grower customers need –  like these, our NEW hybrids for 2016.

Passat F1 Cabbage - 90 days

Storage & processing · Upright habit · 6-8 lb heads

One-stop-shopping for all your cabbage needs! Versatile late-season variety with large, dense heads and early vigor. Ideal for slaws, sauerkraut, storage and fresh eating, with quality that improves in storage. High Brix and classic texture with a short core. A gorgeous, uniform late season variety to replace Kaitlin. Good resistance to leaf diseases and black rot. Bred by Bejo Seeds for the kraut & processing industry in Holland. (Brassica oleracea) Disease Resistance: Fusarium Yellows, Thrips

Adona F1 Cauliflower - 76 days

Spring or fall crop · 5″ heads

Strong, vigorous plants with beautiful, high quality heads and a short harvest window. Attractive, well-domed compact heads with dense flavorful white curds that resist becoming fuzzy or ricey. Heads are well-protected; wrapper leaves are well suited to tying or the “break, fold and cover” method of blanching. Tolerant of bacterial soft rot and downy mildew. From Bejo Seeds. (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis)

Cupar F1 Carrot - 95 days

Storage · 8″ Chantenay-type

High yielding, vigorous roots with disease-resistant foliage. Tapered deep orange roots with broad shoulders and very little greening. Maintains its attractive, uniform appearance and sweet flavor improves in storage; ideal for CSA growers looking for a reliable and long-storing carrot for bunching or season extension.  (Daucus carota)

Kalunga F1 Cucumber - 55 days

Compact · 12-13″ fruits

Lightly ribbed, long green fruits on vigorous, productive plants. Compact plants are early to mature, producing one fruit per node. The highest yielding European type in our trials! Tasty, non-bitter fruits have golden flesh and an extended shelf life. Ideal for unheated greenhouses, but widely adapted to many different growing conditions and seasons, with intermediate resistance to PM. From Vitalis Organic Seeds. (Cucumis sativa)
Disease Resistance: Scab, Target Leaf Spot

First Kiss F1 Melon - 71 days

Cantaloupe · 1-2 lb

Exceptionally early melon with consistently high quality fruit. We were instantly lovestruck with this small, early cantaloupe! Every melon was filled with firm, wonderfully sweet flesh—unusual in such an early melon. A standout in our taste tests 2 years in a row, with strong disease resistance and an attractive, lightly netted rind. Bred by Dr. Brent Loy at UNH.  (Cucumis melo)
Disease Resistance: Fusarium Wilt (2), Powdery Mildew (1&2)

Orange Sherbet F1 Melon - 80 days

Eastern-type · 7-8 lbs

Extremely disease-resistant melon with superb eating quality. Generally agreed to be one of the best hybrid cantaloupes available, and the hands-down winner in our 2014 taste tests! Well-netted round to oval Tuscan melons slip easily from the vine. Consistently delicious aromatic flesh with high Brix is firm and ships well. Our first melon with watermelon mosaic virus resistance! Bred by our friends at Colorado Seeds.  (Cucumis melo)
Disease Resistance: Fusarium Wilt (1&2), Powdery Mildew (2), Watermelon Mosaic Virus

Zoey F1 Sweet Onion - 95 days

Intermediate day · 4″ bulbs

A widely-adapted sweet onion with excellent quality. Beautiful with pale yellow skin, narrow necks and sweet, flavorful white flesh. High yielding, uniform and vigorous, with some tolerance to pink root and leaves that flop down without crimping, allowing bulbs to size up while creating a barrier against disease. Best planted early in the season to maximize size potential. From Vitalis Organic Seeds.  (Allium cepa)

Abay F1 Sweet Pepper - 85 days green, 95 yellow

Widely-adapted · 4″ fruits

Jumbo-sized blocky gold fruits on widely-adapted plants. Hefty 4″ peppers with thick walls start dark green and mature to a beautiful golden yellow. An excellent open field variety that is well-suited to spring and fall plantings in the Southeast, and as a main crop in northern areas. The only hybrid organic yellow bell on the market that’s resistant to bacterial leaf spot! From our partners at Vitalis Organic Seeds.  (Capsicum annuum)
Disease Resistance: Bacterial Leaf Spot (1-5), Tobacco Mosaic Virus

Bastan F1 Poblano Pepper - 65 days green, 85 chocolate

SHU 3,000 · 4-6″ fruits

Large, high quality dark green chiles on productive plants. Thick-walled, medium-sized fruits are a glossy dark green, nearly black, maturing to a deep chocolate with mild heat. Plants have an upright habit with excellent leaf cover and concentrated fruit set; extremely high yielding. Delicious roasted, stuffed, battered and fried – or try them stuffed with smoked gouda and grilled! From Vitalis Organic Seeds.  (Capsicum annuum)

Escalade F1 Spinach - 43 days

Summer crop · Upright habit

Nicely savoyed, emerald green leaves with luxuriant texture. Slow growing and slow to bolt, Escalade is the perfect vehicle to ride out the main season. A bullet-proof variety that east coast growers will appreciate—capable of handling temperature and light variations better than any other organic variety—but also great for western growers thanks to strong mildew resistance. Produces uniform oval-shaped leaves ideal for commercial baby leaf production. Excellent DM resistance. From Vitalis Organic Seeds.  (Spinacia oleracea)
Disease Resistance: Downy Mildew (1-14)

Yellowfin F1 Zucchini - 50 days

Compact, open habit · Harvest at 6-8″

The first organic yellow zucchini with PM resistance! Uniform, cylindrical fruits with pure gold color and buttery flavor simply glow at market. Compact, nearly spineless plants have an open habit for ease of harvest. Strong resistance to powdery mildew and intermediate resistance to CMV for a reliable harvest even in challenging field conditions. From Vitalis Organic Seeds. (Cucurbita pepo)
Disease Resistance: Powdery Mildew, Cucumber Mosaic Virus

Festival F1 Dumpling Winter Squash - 90-100 days

Semi-bush habit · Stores well · 1-2 lbs

Delightful multi-colored squash with superior eating quality. Attractive personal-sized squashes topped our dumpling trials in both flavor and yield for 2014! Deeply ribbed and striped fruits with a wide, slightly rounded bottom. Flesh is peach-colored, similar to an acorn squash but with superior sweet flavor and texture.  (Cucurbita pepo)

Fortamino F1 Rootstock Tomato

A vegetative rootstock developed to boost plant growth in short, cool seasons. The ultimate stress-buster! Created for transplanting into stressful conditions, such as the field or unheated hoophouses. A strong root system gives plants a boost in early growth stages, later providing excellent leaf cover and reducing transplant shock. Scions grafted onto Fortamino also have increased yields, with more flowers per truss and a higher average fruit weight. Intermediate resistance to TSWV, root-knot nematodes and corky root. (Lycopersicon esculentum)
Disease Resistance: Tobacco Mosaic Virus, Leaf Mold, Verticillium Wilt, Fusarium Wilt (0-2), Fusarium Crown Rot

Bartelly F1 Tomato - 60 days

GREENHOUSE · Indeterminate · .75 oz

Delicious, disease-resistant cherries for unheated greenhouses and high tunnels. Knocked our socks off with its sweet, well-balanced flavor! Slightly oval fruits developed for growing in unheated organic, low-input greenhouses; also suitable for heated greenhouse culture. Healthy, vigorous plants are well-branched with strong resistance to TMV and leaf mold. From DeBolster Organic Seeds.  (Lycopersicon esculentum)

Disease Resistance: Tobacco Mosaic Virus, Leaf Mold (1-5)

Skyway 687 F1 Tomato - 78 days

Heat-tolerant · 12 oz fruit

Our first heat-set field tomato! Heavy, high quality field tomatoes with good flavor for vine ripening on vigorous, semi-determinate plants. Particularly well-adapted to organic conditions in the Southeast U.S., setting fruit well over 90°F and offering strong virus and nematode resistance. Prune ground suckers early in the season. Tolerant of bacterial spot, with intermediate resistance to TSWV, TYLCV and root knot nematodes. Semi-determinate · (Lycopersicon esculentum)
Disease Resistance: Tomato Necrotic Stunt Virus, Verticillium Wilt, Fusarium Wilt

Tom F1 Watermelon - 80 days

High yielding · 4-10 lbs

Smaller, early melon with dense, flavorful flesh and long shelf-life—perfect for taking to market. Beautiful light green melons with dark green striping and slightly oblong shape. Flesh is a deep pink with excellent sweet flavor and dense, fine-grained texture. Long shelf-life and the highest yields of any hybrid melon in our trials! (Citrullus lanatus)

 

Looking for more? Check out our NEW OPs for Organic Growers or all of our new varieties!

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