Reaping the Benefits of Pelleted Lettuce


Pelleted lettuce seed (L), Raw lettuce seed (R)

Plants have been doing a pretty good job developing strategies to move seeds around for a few hundred million years. The ranges of sizes, shapes, and packaging have clearly suited them well. There are some, particularly the round ones, that are pretty easily adapted to modern agriculture. But what about the really small ones, or those that are irregularly shaped?

Pelleting: Benefits and Challenges

Pelleting is a process where seeds are coated with clay, increasing their size and creating a more uniform shape. It allows for easier, more precise seeding either mechanically or by hand. There are some seeders that require them, and practically speaking, using seeds in a precise way ultimately saves resources and money. For those gardeners and aspiring farmers who have small fingers and hands, using a pelleted seed can make the time in the cold frame, greenhouse or garden a lot more fun.


Germination Testing

Seed Suitability

Before a given lot of seed is sent to be pelleted, a suitability test is performed. This test allows us to see how the seed will germinate at a wider range of temperature and light conditions than a standard germ test. The vigor of the seed is also important, as it will often need an extra push to break through the clay coating. Sometimes, but not always, the seeds are primed before the pelleting, to ensure good emergence. All this extra testing is important because the seeds will be used in such an exacting way.

So, there must be a downside, right? There usually is. The introduction of the clay and water, and the occasional priming involved, effectively cuts the long term viability of the seeds. If one is buying pelleted seeds, be careful to buy what you need for that season, as their germ can drop off pretty quickly after one year. We package them in amounts that allow for careful planning and purchase. That said, I have used pelleted seeds for more than one season if I have to; sometimes it works, sometimes not.

New Packaging for Pelleted Seeds

One of the most exciting things about our pelleted seed offerings this year is how they are being delivered to our customers. After much searching, we found containers that will allow the seeds to safely reach their destination. Every size will be packaged in an appropriately sized plastic container, keeping them from being crushed in transport and use around the farm. When they are not being used, it’s important to keep this bottle closed, and in a cool, dark place to help maintain the viability of the seeds.


Paul grows a wide variety of greens, like this head of Vitamin Green, at his farm

Pelleted Lettuce

There are certain crops where I use pelleted seeds whenever I can. Lettuce is definitely a place where having a more uniform and larger seed is a great thing. For growers who are using a vacuum seeder to produce transplants, they are a must. Even when seeding by hand, the extra size and high visibility is really helpful. I seed all my lettuce by hand, and the speed and ease of using pelleted seeds is so much better than raw seed. High Mowing has been expanding its pelleted seed offering over the years, and has a great selection for any size lettuce grower. (In fact, I have been secretly pushing HMOS to offer all the varieties that I use on my farm.)

Regardless of whether you’re seeding a flat or a field, the challenges of handling raw lettuce seed make pelleting worth considering. And the more time you spend at it, the more worthwhile it becomes.

So without further ado, I’m happy to introduce several NEW pelleted lettuce varieties in our catalog this year:

Lovelock

A Batavian-type red leaf lettuce with superior heat-tolerance. Always a stand-out in our trials with its bright green leaves edged in deep burgundy; closes in late at maturity for a dense, crisp head. 48 days

Disease Resistance: Downy Mildew (races 1-27, 29), Lettuce Mosaic Virus, MTO-30

 

Pomegranate Crunch

A new stunning mini romaine with gorgeous deep purple coloring and smooth texture. Fast growth rate and an open habit ensure a uniquely foolproof, disease-resistant red romaine. Beautiful paired with Ansar. 50 days

Disease Resistance: Downy Mildew (races 1-27, 29), MTO-30

 

Rhazes

An eye-catching garnet Little Gem-type lettuce that forms dense, glossy heads with bright green hearts. Performed well in our winter high tunnels for early spring harvest of heart-winning heads. Pair with Spretnak for an eye-catching combination! 42 days

Disease Resistance: Downy Mildew (races 1, 4-6, 13, 15, 17), MTO-30

 

Spretnak

A green romaine that forms dense mini-rosettes of bright green leaves – a knockout in our trials! Smooth outer leaves and blanched hearts; very heat tolerant but tastes best in the cooler seasons. 45 days

Disease Resistance: Downy Mildew (1, 4-21, 23-26, 28-31), MTO-30

Other lettuces available pelleted: Bergam’s Green, Breen, Coastal Star, Green Star, Green Towers, Magenta, Nevada, New Red Fire, Optima, Roxy, and Waldmann’s

Posted in Articles by Farmer Paul Betz, Commercial Growing, Farmer Authors, Growing Tips, Variety Highlights | Leave a comment

Breeding Organic Carrots with Bejo Seeds


Bejo Carrot Field in Holland

Bejo Seeds has been breeding organic seeds for over 20 years— longer than any large seed company—because of their dedication to organic agriculture.

Based in Holland, Bejo Seeds is a family-owned company with a focus on breeding exceptional quality varieties. They are committed to non-GMO breeding techniques and supporting organic seed organizations including Seed Matters, the Organic Seed Alliance and the Student Organic Seed Symposium. Bejo’s primary breeding focus is on cabbage, onions and carrots, and we are thrilled to offer dozens of outstanding varieties through our partnership with them.


Deadon F1 Cabbage

Bejo Breeding

Bejo’s world-class breeding has brought us favorites like Cortland onion, Napoli carrot, Yaya carrot, Deadon cabbage and Boro beet. Almost every diversified vegetable farmer in North America grows these crops, but few realize that breeding a new carrot variety can take up to 20 years! Few companies in the world are able to embark on breeding projects of this scope, and they are necessary to provide organic growers appropriate organically-adapted varieties.

Bejo Carrots


Yaya F1 Carrot

Looking specifically at carrots, a variety must have many important attributes to succeed – real carrot flavor, crisp but tender texture, good sweetness, strong tops, disease resistance, broad adaptability and good storage potential. Bejo carrots always rank the best in our trials, delivering the flavor and yields that growers need. We are grateful to have the quality and hard work Bejo is known for, standing behind so many of our carrot, cabbage and onion varieties.

You’ll be especially impressed with this year’s additions including Bejo’s new high vitamin C juicing carrot, Bangor and Downy Mildew resistant Yankee onion.


Bangor F1 Carrot


Yankee F1 Onion

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

The Inclusive Table: A Feast for Everyone

It’s that wonderful time of year when we gather with friends and family, enjoy great meals together, and reflect on the year behind us. With each passing year, however, it seems that there are a greater number of people around the table with dietary restrictions. For adventurous cooks (like my mother and grandmother, who work hard to accommodate my vegetarian diet) this simply presents a new and exciting challenge, but for the traditionalists it may be downright stressful. So, short of asking your guests to bring their own food, what’s a cook to do? I like to think of dietary restrictions as opportunities to learn about new dishes, start new traditions, and create greater variety, nutrition and abundance in our holiday meals. So here are some of my all-time favorite recipes for everyone around your holiday table, whether your guests are vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free.

Stuffed Dumpling Squash with Pear and Hazlenuts

This dish looks really pretty and provides a delicious, nutritious entree that will delight your guests. It’s great for tables where meat is popular, since it makes the vegetarians and vegans feel just as special! Plus, it’s gluten free and easy to make ahead and reheat in the oven before serving. Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of this beautiful dish – but just picture one of these pretty squash with a “fan” of roasted pears on top.

Ingredients:

2 small/medium dumpling squashes, tops removed, de-seeded

2 ripe bosc pears

1 cup raw whole hazelnuts

1/2 cup cheddar cheese or vegan alternative, grated

1 cup quinoa

2 T dried sage

1 T canola oil

1 cube vegetable bouillion or 1 t vegetable stock concentrate or 2 cups vegetable stock

Salt to taste

Directions: Preheat oven to 375. While oven is preheating, place hazelnuts on a baking sheet in oven, removing when the oven is preheated. They should be lightly toasted. Pour into a bowl, place the squashes on the baking sheet, and replace their tops (allowing the insides to steam). Bake for 30 minutes or until tender.

While squashes are baking, cook quinoa. First place the quinoa in a skillet with canola oil over medium heat. Stir constantly for 6-8 minutes until the quinoa is toasted and releases a nutty aroma. Then pour quinoa into a saucepan and add 2 cups water + vegetable bouillon OR 2 cups vegetable stock. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until quinoa is soft and slightly translucent. Set aside.

Coarsely chop the toasted hazelnuts, reserving a few whole ones as a garnish. Place in a bowl with grated cheese and sage. Chop one pear into small pieces and  mix in.

When your squashes are tender, remove the tops and assemble by spooning in a layer of the cooked quinoa mixture, then a layer of the fruit/nut mixture, then quinoa, and so on until the squashes are packed full.

Carefully slice the remaining pear into thin slices. Arrange the slices so that they are overlapping like a fan and covering the openings in the top of the squashes. Place stuffed squashes in oven and bake for 20 minutes. Can be served with cooked tops on the side.

Serves 2-4

Cauliflower Steak Polenta Napoleon

I’ve never been a big fan of cauliflower, but this dish has me singing a different tune! This is just about the most festive-looking entree you could ask for, and is very nourishing and satisfying without being heavy – ideal for a vegetarian feast. It’s a little more work than the previous recipe, but it’s worth it for the expression on your guests’ faces when they lay eyes on it!

Ingredients:

2 heads cauliflower

1 medium bag of arugula

1 pomegranate, seeds removed

1 cup uncooked polenta (or buy pre-made, to save time)

1 can white beans, rinsed


Roasted cauliflower steaks

1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced

1 red onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cube vegetable bouillion

1 lemon

1/4 cup parmesan cheese or vegan alternative

2 T smoked paprika

2 T olive oil

1 T canola oil

2 T dried thyme

1 T dried rosemary


Bean-zucchini mixture

1 T sage

Smoked salt (or regular salt)

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Carefully, starting in the middle, cut cauliflower heads into thick 1/2 inch slices (you will probably only get 2-3 slices per head). Place slices on a large baking sheet with remaining loose florets. Cut lemon in half and squeeze juice from one half over the cauliflower. Then sprinkle with smoked salt, half of the paprika, and drizzle with olive oil. Place cauliflower in oven and roast for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, gently flip cauliflower steaks with a spatula. Sprinkle with remaining paprika. Take your remaining lemon half and carefully cut into very thin slices, removing any seeds. Place one slice on the center of each cauliflower steak and put back into the oven to roast for another 15 minutes.

While cauliflower is roasting, make your polenta according to the package instructions, but add sage and parmesan to the batter. When firm and cooled, cut into four equal pieces and lightly fry in canola oil over medium heat. If using pre-made polenta, cut into 8 equal sized slices and lightly fry. Top with sage and parmesan.


Arugula “wreath”

Prepare the beans. Place onions, garlic, thyme and rosemary in a skillet with canola oil. Saute over medium heat until translucent, then add white beans, zucchini, 1/2 cup water and vegetable bouillon. Cook over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

To assemble: Make a small pile of arugula on each plate, spread out so that the arugula will make a “wreath” of green around your toppings. Place a portion of fried polenta in the center of the arugula. Top polenta with 2-3 spoonfuls of bean mixture. Carefully place cauliflower steak on top of bean mixture. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds over the arugula wreath around the napoleon. Serve immediately!

Serves 4

Posted in Health and Wellness, Recipes | Leave a comment

Chef Robert’s Roasted Honeynut Squash Recipe

Honeynut Butternut Squash

When Chef Robert Tobin heard about our Honeynut butternut squash, he knew he had to create a dish for it at TAMO Boston. He hunted down a local farm growing it, Siena Farms, and in no time at all it was on the menu in a recipe using honey from Seaport Hotel Boston’s own rooftop hives. We are delighted that he shared his ingenious recipe with us, just in time for the holidays!

Robert also shared the sweet story detailing how this little squash ended up on his big-city menu. “I used [the Honeynuts] as a market vegetable side for a few weeks and it went really well. I think I was more excited about them than anybody else on the property because I was able to complete the circle from hearing about it, tracing it back to High Mowing, then (through a fluke conversation I had with a farmer I had befriended through my personal CSA this summer) finding the product, and tasting it.


Chef Tobin’s photo of Honeynuts from Siena Farms at Copley Market (in foreground)

The farmer, Taylor from Silverbrook Farm, had filled in one day at Copley Farmers’ Market with Siena Farms, and he noticed the smaller squash and recognized the name as I had asked him about it before…I was pretty excited and had to wait a few days until the Copley market opened [again]. That was when I took this picture…they are FANTASTIC!”

Chef Robert’s Roasted Honeynut Squash

Ingredients:

2 Honeynut butternut squashes (or other small butternut)

¼ cup Mirin rice wine

Chef Robert’s Roasted Honeynut Squash

¼ cup rice wine vinegar

1 T garlic, chopped

1 T ginger, chopped

1.5 T honey

1 T scallions, chopped

1 t crushed red pepper

1/4 cup soy sauce

8 T vegetable oil

4 T butter

Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375. Roast whole squash for 30-40 minutes or until tender. Cool to handle, then cut in half and remove seeds and stem.

While squash is roasting, make the sauce: Add Mirin and rice wine vinegar to a pot over medium-low heat and simmer until volume is reduced by half. While simmering, add chopped garlic and ginger to a pan with 4 T canola oil and sauté for 2-3 minutes, then add the crushed red peppers and scallions and cook for a few more minutes until softened. Remove from heat, add soy sauce, and then return to heat and simmer until reduced by a quarter. Combine with Mirin/vinegar reduction and strain. Add honey and blend in food processor or whisk for 30 seconds.

Place 4 T canola oil in a pan over medium-high heat and place the cut squash face down in the pan to sear. Add butter and baste the squash with it, then add 2 T sauce for each squash half and continue to baste. When squashes are seared, turn over and place under broiler on low for 1-2 minutes to caramelize.

Serves 4

Hungry for more? We love the story of how Honeynut came into being, and we think you will too – so we made a printable infographic telling it’s story, from pollination to your place. Click the image below to download it!

 

 

Posted in About High Mowing Organic Seeds, Ask The Expert, Recipes, Variety Highlights | Leave a comment

Be First to Market with Colorful Vegetables

In Vermont, most farmers’ markets start in May. This may seem late to those of you growing in warmer climes, and it is. What’s even more shocking is that at that time of year, there’s only just enough produce to even have a farmers market – you’ll find kale, salad greens, scallions, radishes, some overwintered roots and…not much else. Many farmers are now supplementing their spring offerings by selling transplants and value-added products from the previous season to stay competitive.

Historically gardeners in Vermont play it “safe, not sorry” and refuse to plant tomatoes before Memorial Day (and for those of us who have been burned by late frosts these past few years, we understand why). But at long last, the times they are a-changin’ – consumers of local food are demanding more local produce earlier in the season, and growers are responding. So we’re excited to share our varieties and ideas to help you be the first at market with the bright, colorful vegetables your customers look for.

Plan for Early Crops

Growing extra-early crops isn’t that difficult, it just takes a little extra-early planning. With a little special attention given to direct-sown and transplanted crops, you can harvest them weeks earlier than your neighbors.

Direct-Sown Crops

Prepare several beds for early spring planting in the fall. Choose locations with the best possible drainage, as spring flooding can slow down spring planting. Thoroughly amend the soil and form a smooth level bed to allow for planting as soon as soil can be worked. Beds can be covered with black plastic the week before planting to warm the soil for tender crops. After spring sowing, cover beds with row cover to keep the germinating seeds moist and protected from frost. Remove the row cover or add hoops before plants strain against it, replacing the row cover for protection on cold nights.

Transplanted Crops

Start your transplants 2-4 weeks earlier than you ordinarily would. When their roots fill out 4” pots, transplant them into 12” diameter or 3 gallon pots. Keep the plants in the greenhouse or indoors under grow lights, watering thoroughly on sunny days and fertilizing lightly every 2 weeks until it is warm enough to plant outdoors (usually when all danger of frost has passed). Then harden off as you normally would, over several days to a week, before transplanting.

Choose Early Varieties

This trick may seem obvious, but it can’t be understated – choosing varieties that mature earlier can mean getting to market with them a full week or two earlier, and that translates into paying back your investment sooner. Here are some of our earliest varieties in each category to get your season off to a colorful start!

NEW! Gemstone Greens Mix provides an eye-catching, flavorful mix of deep maroon and emerald green leaves, with an incredible array of leaf textures in just 21 days.

Vivid Choi Pac Choy offers a rainbow of stem and vein colors for baby or full sized leaves. 21 days baby, 45 full size

Purple Plum and French Breakfast Radishes can be direct-sown as soon as the soil can be worked and provide bright magenta color in just 25 days.

Ruby/Rhubarb Red and Pink Passion Chards have bright, colorful stems as baby or full sized leaves. Add them to mixes for a splash of early color! 30 days baby, 60 full size

Rhazes and Spretnak Lettuces will charm customers with their petite size and bright color. Plant early or overwinter in hoophouses for super-early salads! 42-45 days full size

Azur Star Kohlrabi produces gorgeous purple, eye-catching globes in just 50 days.

Early Wonder Tall Top Beet is a sure crop for both greens and roots in less than 45 days, while Touchstone Gold is a treat for the senses in 55.

Napoli F1 Carrots offer that welcome splash of orange in just 45 days for baby carrots or 55 for full size, while White Satin F1, Cosmic Purple, and Yellowstone create an irresistible rainbow in 70 days.

Poona Kheera Cucumbers will have customers asking questions about their endearing stubby, russeted appearance in 50 days, while Silver Slicer steals the show with its mild flavor and elegant creamy white color in 54.

NEW! Purple Viking Potatoes are stunning with their pink-streaked purple skins. A versatile Early Season potato that will delight your spring customers.

Toronjina F1 Tomatoes will win the race to first orange cherry with prolific yields of seductively sweet fruits. Perfect in high tunnels for the absolute earliest tomato in just 55 days from transplant.

 

Purple Beauty Peppers shine early with glossy black skin and bright green flesh in just 55 days, while Iko Iko offers a rainbow of red, purple, and gold-streaked fruits in 65-80 days.

Little Finger and Snowy Eggplants are the perfect early offering – plant according to our instructions above and you’ll be harvesting these 60 day beauties way ahead of the pack.

Golden Midget Watermelons will catch eyes and hearts everywhere with golden yellow rinds and delicious bright salmon-pink flesh in just 70 days.

 

Posted in Commercial Growing, Growing Tips, Variety Highlights, Winter Growing | 1 Comment

Sprouts Collection GIVEAWAY!

ENTER TO WIN! We’re giving away a Best-selling Sprout Collection to one lucky winner – read to the end for details on how to enter.

Happy, Healthy Holidays

The holidays are such a special time of year – we get together with our friends and families, share laughter and good times, and reflect on the year behind us.  We also gather to share delicious meals prepared with love and steeped in tradition – sometimes many, many of them. This is one of the few times of year when we embrace abundance with abandon, even as much of the country is frozen in the grip of winter and plant growth has ground to a halt. But it doesn’t have to – in fact, just the opposite. There have never been more options for producing fresh food in the winter than there are now – and you can give your holiday meals a nutritional boost while you’re at it.

With sprouts it’s easy to grow your own fresh food indoors, all year round. And now you can share that gift with friends and family! We are pleased to launch a NEW Special Holiday Collection of our Best-selling sprouting seeds paired with a sprout jar lid – so you can share a happy and healthy holiday with your loved ones. Best of all, we’ll be giving away a Best-selling Sprout Collection to one lucky winner! Read on to enter and learn more about sprouting.

What are sprouts?

Sprouts are tiny immature plants grown without soil. We offer them in a wide array of flavors for a multitude of versatile culinary uses. Some varieties, like Alfalfa and Sandwich Booster Mix make delicious greens for sandwiches and salads, while others, like Crunchy Bean Mix and Ancient Eastern Blend are perfect garnishes for soups and entrees. Still others, like our best-selling Mung Beans, are essential ingredients in Asian dishes such as Pad Thai. Visit our Sprouting Seed page for more recipe ideas!

Why grow sprouts?

Sprouting at home offers a unique opportunity to produce your own fresh greens indoors, and can be done even where space and light are very limited. It’s so quick and easy to do that it makes a great activity to do with kids. Just soak, rinse, and harvest your fresh sprouts in 3-5 days! Sprouts are exceptionally nutritious, and when you grow them at home they are literally the freshest food available. Plus, homegrown sprouts are more affordable (and the results last longer) than store-bought sprouts. Need more reasons to choose our sprouting seeds? They’re the only 100% certified organic, Non-GMO Project Verified sprouting seeds in North America, and the only ones in the US being packaged according to Federal food safety standards.

How are sprouts grown?

Growing sprouts at home couldn’t be simpler – all you need is a clean wide mouth quart jar, a sprout jar lid, seeds, and water! Once you have your materials, it’s as easy as one, two, three:

  1. SOAK – Place 1-2 tsp sprouting seeds in your clean jar and cap with sprout jar lid. Soak your sprouting seeds in cool fresh water for 2-12 hours (follow the recommendations for individual varieties in the package instructions)
  2. RINSE your sprouting seeds with cool fresh water every 8-12 hours for 3-5 days. Place the jar upside down in a bowl at an angle after each rinse to allow water to continue to drain. On the last day, place the jar in indirect light to “green up” your sprouts.
  3. HARVEST (and eat!) your finished sprouts after 3-5 days (use time recommended on package). Sprouts can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Want to see the process step-by-step? Check out our How to Grow Sprouts Video!

NEW! Special Edition Best-selling Sprouts Collection

This collection includes:

1 packet of Alfalfa sprouting seeds

1 packet of Sandwich Booster Mix sprouting seeds

1 packet of Mung Bean sprouting seeds

1 Sprout Jar Lid (fits wide mouth canning jars)

Sprouting seeds in this collection are packaged in re-closeable zippered pouches that include detailed instructions for each variety.

Our Best-selling Sprout Collection is a great value, saving you 20% , and we’re giving one away to a lucky winner!

HOW TO ENTER
It’s easy! Just click “login” below to create a Rafflecopter account if you don’t have a Facebook account. Then follow the instructions to enter for more chances to win. Contest starts Thursday, December 11 and ends Thursday, December 18 at midnight EST. Good luck, have fun and be sure to check out this post for more gift ideas!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in Beginner Gardeners' Guide, Growing Tips, Health and Wellness, Kids and Gardening, Variety Highlights | 120 Comments

The Gift that Grows ~ Eco-Friendly Ideas for the Green Thumb on Your List

Do you have a farmer or a gardener on your holiday gift list? Here are some of our favorite ides for sharing the gift of growing with your loved ones.

Gift Box Collections

Want to give a gift of seeds, but don’t know what to choose? Our themed Gift Box Collections offer something for everyone! Each collection includes 3, 5, or 10 packets of seeds, a helpful planting directions card and a refrigerator magnet. Each collection is enclosed in a beautiful kraft paper box for the perfect finished gift (and don’t forget to include a gift message at checkout!)

We love the Kid’s Garden Collection for younger gardeners. Mammoth sunflowers, purple carrots, striped pole beans and more make for a magical garden they’ll never forget.

The urban gardener in your life will be happy to receive a Container Garden Collection, which includes edible herbs and flowers, plus easy-to-grow vegetables that will thrive on a porch or patio. This collection of 10 packets includes all the garden favorites like tomatoes, peppers, kale, peas, cucumbers and more.

Beginner gardeners will love the Garden Starter Collection, which includes 10 varieties that can be direct-sown outdoors. Your beginner will simply prepare their garden beds, sow the seeds, water in and watch them grow – no transplanting required.

NEW! The Best-selling Sprout Collection is the ultimate holiday gift for gardeners who want to get growing now. Sprouts are fun and easy to grow (you don’t need to have a green thumb!), and allow you to grow your own food indoors, all year round! The collection includes our best-selling Alfalfa, Sandwich Booster, and Mung Bean sprouting seeds, plus a sprout jar lid that fits wide mouth jars. Simply soak, rinse, and harvest fresh greens in 3-5 days!

 Hats & T-Shirts

The High Mowing Seedster in your life will love our organic hats and t-shirts. Our shirts feature artwork by Vermont artist Marcia Brewer, are 100% certified organic and are printed with environmentally friendly vegetable-based inks.

Our organic cotton hats feature the High Mowing logo and are available in black or wheat.

 

Seed Starting Kits

Our basic Seed Starting Kits offer everything you need to get started growing your own transplants! And they make great gifts for gardeners who want to take their skills to the next level. Complete with a closed bottom tray, a cell tray, germination dome and high quality organic potting soil, our seed starting kits make terrific gifts for anyone getting serious about gardening!

Gift Certificates

Can’t decide? Give the freedom of choice with a Gift Certificate!

Posted in About High Mowing Organic Seeds, Variety Highlights | 2 Comments

Savor the Rainbow with Indigo and Artisan Tomatoes

INDIGO TOMATOES feature eye-catching deep blue skin coloring, derived from wild tomato cultivars discovered in the Galapagos Islands and Peru. The color comes from elevated levels of anthocyanin, a powerful antioxidant. We are pleased to offer something for everyone this year with grape, saladette, and slicing-sized fruits. Note: Let ripen for most aromatic flavor; Rose and Apple are ripe when black with red undersides.

NEW! Indigo Cherry Drops 65 days

OP • Indeterminate • Prolific • 1 oz.

Tremendous yields of cocktail-sized deep red fruits with purple shoulders and excellent sweet flavor. Grafting will increase already-impressive yields of hundreds of fruits per plant. Bred by Dr. Jim Myers at Oregon State University (OSU). PVPAF

NEW! Indigo Apple Tomato 70 days

OP • Indeterminate • Resists cracking • 2-4 oz.

Beautiful and early variety with fruits that start deep purple-red and turn nearly black in the sun. Sweet, rich flavored fruits resist cracking and sunscald. A larger Indigo tomato with exceptionally high anthocyanin content; firm, meaty fruits are delicious sliced on sandwiches. Bred by Brad Gates using an original cross made by PKS Heirlooms in Copemish, MI.

Indigo Rose Tomato 75-80 days

OP • Semi-determinate • Good container variety • 2-2.5 oz.

Stunning edible and ornamental tomato that ripens to jet black with purple-tinged foliage. Produces clusters of 6-8 firm ebony fruits. Vigorous and disease-resistant. Bred by Dr. Jim Myers through the high-flavonoid breeding program at OSU. PVP

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ARTISAN™ TOMATOES were created to provide farmers and gardeners with gourmet striped fruits and the delectable rich flavor characteristic of heirlooms. Fred Hempel has been breeding striped tomatoes in Sunol, California for nearly a decade and offers them through Artisan™ Seeds LLC, a breeding company focused on local/specialty markets.  They resist cracking and are well-suited to either field or greenhouse culture.

NEW! Pink Bumblebee Tomato 70 days

OP • Indeterminate • Resists cracking • 1.5” fruit

Extraordinarily beautiful rose-colored fruits with gold striping. Juicy and sweet with rich flavor perfect for caprese salads with basil, mozzarella and balsamic. Very versatile and sure to be a hit in mixed pints at CSAs and markets!

 

NEW! Purple Bumblebee Tomato 70 days

OP • Indeterminate • Resists cracking • 1.5” fruit

Lovely burgundy fruits with olive green stripes and superb rich flavor. Incredibly pretty in mixed pints – an instant hit at CSAs and markets. Versatile in the kitchen. An eye-catching color combination that will draw customers back for more.

 

NEW! Sunrise Bumblebee Tomato 70 days

OP • Indeterminate • Resists cracking • 1.5” fruit

All the colors of the sunrise in a sweet and tangy tomato! Lovely gold fruit marbled with pink stripes on the inside and out. Irresistible with Purple and Pink Bumblebees in mixed pints; exceptionally versatile in the kitchen.

 

Green Tiger Tomato 70 days

OP • Indeterminate • Prolific julienne-type • 2” fruits

Beautiful elongated green fruit with dark green marbling and gold undertones. Superbly flavorful and prolific in our 2012 trials! Chefs love the cylindrical shape for easy slicing. Ripe when yellow with green streaking.

 

Pink Tiger Tomato 70 days

OP • Indeterminate • Prolific julienne-type • 2” fruits

Elongated rose-pink cherry with radiant orange striping. Julienne-type fruits are prized by chefs for their superb bright, delicate flavor and ease of preparation. Heavy yields on slightly smaller plants than Green Tiger.

 

NEW! Blush Tomato 75 days

OP • Indeterminate • Prolific julienne-type • 2” fruits

Elongated sunset-colored fruit prized for its exceptionally sweet, juicy, tropical flavor. Prolific julienne-type fruits are ready when a pink blush appears over the golden yellow skin; ripens well off the vine. Unique flavor and convenient shape for easy slicing.

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

The Secret Garden: Our Web Exclusive Varieties

Looking for a variety you ordered last year, but don’t see it in the catalog this year? You’ve come to the right place! Each year some varieties don’t make the cut in our catalog – we may have decided to add a variety too late to be printed in the catalog; there may have been a crop failure and no more seed is available; there may be a newer, better variety available that replaced it; or it could just be that it didn’t sell as well as we’d like. Whatever the reason (and it’s not always bad!), you can find a treasure trove of old, new and rare varieties in the Web Only section on our website. Here are some highlights of our Web Exclusive varieties that you won’t find on paper…

NEW! Bush Delicata Squash

OP • PM-tolerant • Bush habit • 1.5-2lbs

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.

Silverado Chard

OP • Slow to bolt • Baby or full size

Glossy leaves are bright green and beautiful at full size or at baby leaf. More savoyed than Fordhook, with a narrower stem. Extremely slow to bolt and has shown field resistance to Cercospora leaf spot, allowing for a long harvest window.

 

Ocate Lettuce

OP • Slow to bolt • Resists Tipburn • DM (1-21, 23-26, 28), LMV

Lovely pale green oak leaf lettuce with strong disease resistance. Ocate’s attractive, compact shape compares favorably to Panisse. Very pretty heads of loosely lobed, buttery leaves are slow to bolt and not susceptible to tipburn.

 

NEW! YellowFin F1 Zucchini

HYBRID • Compact habit • Uniform • PM, CMV

The first organic yellow zucchini with PM resistance! Uniform, cylindrical fruits with pure gold color provide great color and buttery flavor at market. Compact, nearly spineless plants have an open habit for ease of harvest. Strong resistance to Powdery Mildew and intermediate resistance to Cucumber Mosaic Virus for a reliable harvest even in challenging field conditions.

Magenta Spreen

OP • Versatile micro or salad green • Re-seeds easily

A beauty in the field with sparkly green leaves and a pink powdered center. Known not only for its densely packed nutritional value but also for its ability to color the lips pink. Use steamed like spinach, or for an addition to salad mixes like amaranth and orach, or as a micro-green. Mild flavor is nutty and fresh. Take caution – plants reseed easily and can become weedy.

 

Falcon F1 Eggplant

HYBRID • Uniform and productive • 6.5” fruit

A hybrid Italian eggplant for organic growers! Compact plants set fruit early and continue setting throughout the season, resulting in higher yields. Fruits are deep purple with glossy sheen and moderately sized bright-green calyx. Great variety for field crops or high tunnels.

Annelise F1 Hybrid Tomato

HYBRID • Truss-type • 2 oz • TMV, LM (1-5), VW, FW (0,1), FCR

Perfect trusses of bright red, cocktail-sized fruit. Annelise has excellent disease resistance and is widely adapted to growing in a heated greenhouse, high tunnel or open field. The earliest maturing variety in our 2012 tomato high tunnel trials, with cascading trusses of 2 oz fruits. This is a classic truss type with 10-12 fruit on a truss. Fruit measures 2-2.5” in diameter and holds well to allow for ripening of the entire truss. Indeterminate

Golden Chard

HEIRLOOM • Improved

Emerald green leaves against deeply golden stalks make a striking combination. Leaves are savoyed with moderately thick stems. This strain was rescued by the Abundant Life Seed Foundation and has been improved for color and vigor by seed producer and breeder Frank Morton.

Click here to see all of our Web Exclusive varieties!

Posted in About High Mowing Organic Seeds, Variety Highlights | 1 Comment

A Year of Giving


Ester Minani, a New Farms for New Americans trainee in Burlington, VT received seeds through the Vermont Community Garden Network

Each year High Mowing donates organic seeds and produce to a vast array of recipients. From school gardens to seed libraries, from food banks to senior centers, our donations have far-reaching impacts across the country. Through our Donation Program schools, community groups and non-profits are building healthier communities, encouraging organic gardening and healthy eating habits, and reducing community dependence on less-than-fresh food with high mileage.

High Mowing is proud to donate seeds and produce in three important ways:

Seeds

Each year we donate thousands of packets of seed to schools, community groups and non-profits all over the country. Through a simple online form, organizations can request a donation of up to four bundles of 25 seed packets each (up to 100 packets!) Each mixed bundle includes a variety of vegetables, plus some herb and flower seeds to provide a well-rounded assortment for any garden project.

High Mowing donated over 63,000 packets valued at more than $170,000 to school and community groups in 2014 – a 17% increase over our 2013 donations of 54,000 packets!

When we donate seeds, we know that they end up teaching the food system leaders of tomorrow. We know they help create a more peaceful, well-fed world. And most importantly, we know we are investing in the future we want to see.


Carson Daly plants High Mowing seeds donated through the National Gardening Association at a new school garden in Brooklyn

Harvested Produce

One of the best things about working at High Mowing is the staff CSA. From May to October, we have a walk-in cooler overflowing with the bounty from our breeding plots, trials fields and showcase plantings. Our trials crew takes the measurements they need to evaluate the vegetables, then loads them into the cooler. The staff takes home as much as they like, and then the remaining produce is picked up by the Vermont Foodbank, conveniently located right across the street from our offices. The Foodbank works to ensure better food security in our state through a variety of food distribution, training and education channels, with the ultimate goal of ending hunger for the roughly 86,000 Vermonters currently depending on emergency food assistance.

The Foodbank hauled away more than 5,900 lbs of produce from our farm in 2014!

Gleaned Produce


Volunteers with Salvation Farms harvested over 500 pounds of sweet corn from our fields this year!

After planning, preparing, planting, weeding, covering and uncovering, and finally harvesting our crops on the farm, it’s no surprise that the farm crew doesn’t always have the time or energy to harvest everything. And this is true on many farms, both here in Vermont and beyond. In response to this problem of too much food, not enough time, both the Vermont Foodbank and a wonderful organization called Salvation Farms have stepped up to the plate—by gleaning.

Salvation Farms’ mission is “to build increased resilience in Vermont’s food system through agricultural surplus management.” Director Theresa Snow and her team of volunteers glean produce from farms that have more produce in the field than they can harvest. They then clean and sort this produce either at the Southeast State Correctional Facility, where inmates give back to their community by helping volunteers process the produce. Now this is where things get really interesting – while smaller volumes are packed at the Southeast State Facility and shipped directly to the Foodbank, food shelves, and community kitchens, the largest volumes are cleaned and packed at the Vermont Food Venture Center, just down the road in Hardwick, VT, where they become part of The Vermont Commodity Program.


Salvation Farms volunteers processing acorn squash from High Mowing

The Commodity Program provides low-cost local produce to institutions like schools and hospitals – and in turn, the money they saved by purchasing the Commodity product instead of produce from a distributor goes directly toward purchasing more local food. In this way the Commodity Program doesn’t compete with the for-profit marketplace, but actually supports the purchase of additional Vermont farm product. Salvation Farms is hoping to further expand the program to include meat products and a larger processing facility in the near future.

Salvation Farms came to High Mowing twice this year and gleaned over 4500 lbs of sweet corn and acorn squash from our fields.

Giving Back

It makes us feel great to know that our local communities benefit from the healthy produce we grow on our farm. Our local community helped us grow into the company we are today and is at the core of everything we do. Whether it’s through our Seed Donation Program, produce donations, or even the free Community Seeds box in our front office, giving back when we can is a way of saying “Thanks” to all the people in our community who believed in us and supported us from the very beginning.

It gives us great pleasure to be able to “pay it forward” to the non-profits and community groups across the country who benefit from our seed donations. If you’ve received a donation from us, we want to say “Thanks” to you too—your work empowers communities to achieve food security, supports better nutrition, and helps build the food system we want to see. Thank you for all you do!

Excited about giving back this season? Here are some fulfilling ways:

Register as a volunteer gleaner with the Vermont Foodbank to get email updates about gleans in your area, Send a Holiday Card or Make a Donation

Register at the Gleaners Interface to volunteer with the Vermont Gleaning Collective and Salvation Farms, or Make a Donation

Feeding America served meals to over 46.5 million Americans in need this year. No matter where you are, you can help reduce hunger in your community this season. Make Thanksgiving Special with a matched donation ($1 = 20 meals!), Find Your Local Foodbank, Host a Virtual Food Drive, or Volunteer your time!

Posted in About High Mowing Organic Seeds, Farm Ethics, Philosophy | 2 Comments