- by Tom Stearns, owner and President of High Mowing Organic Seeds
Just as the season has finished, it is already getting to be time to plan for 2013. What new markets are you going to strive for; what new tools do you need; what new crops might you grow? And of course, what varieties are you going to grow? Right on cue, our 2013 seed catalog will be arriving to you shortly. Its pages are filled with all the reliable varieties that you’ve been getting from us for years as well as 73 new varieties that we have trialed and determined to be really worth your consideration. We trial over 800 varieties every year and these are the cream of the crop. They are not added to our catalog unless they have proven themselves. We hope that you’ll agree, but how do you know unless you try them?
Here are a few that I am really excited about and think you should definitely try:
My Fair Lady F1 Corn – This bicolor sweet corn is from our collaboration with University of Wisconsin and is the first new hybrid organic sweet corn on the market in many years. 75-78 days and comparable to Luscious.
Owl’s Eye F1 Pumpkin – This unique pumpkin is another variety from our collaboration with university breeders – this time with University of New Hampshire. Glowing golden-yellow skin on this medium jack is a nice variation from traditional orange. Big, strong, green handles.
Celesta F1 Radish – Introducing the first hybrid organic radish in the world! Uniform, holds well and keeps interior quality much better than open-pollinated varieties. Try it and you won’t be disappointed.
Cha-Ching F1 Zucchini – After many years of breeding work, we are happy to release our first hybrid zucchini bred on our farm. The plants have a really open habit, making for easy harvest of the medium-green, glossy fruit. Highly productive.
Iron Lady F1 Tomato – The first triple-resistant tomato variety—resistant to late blight, early blight, and Septoria leaf spot—and it tastes great! You definitely need to try this one if you have given up on field tomatoes because of disease.
Okay, there are lots of others too, but these are my favorites and on my short list for 2013. If you don’t regularly trial new varieties on your farm each year, it is a great way to make sure that you are taking advantage of the genetic diversity of organic varieties – both old and new. Check them out to see what they can do for you!