Check Out My New Book

Grow Cook Eat

To get DigginFood
updates by email
enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Follow Me On Twitter


Great Small Seed Companies

Today over at Re-Nest I share 3 of my very favorite  small, family owned seed companies: Wild Garden Seeds, Kitazawa Seed, and Seeds from Italy. You can click right here to read more about why I buy seeds from each of these three companies, but I thought it also might be fun to name some of my favorite varieties here.

Wild Garden Seeds

‘Purple Peacock’ broccoli. Amazing cross between broccoli and kale. You can eat everything on this plant and it survives the winter in the Pacific Northwest. Fabulous!

‘Survior’ Italian parsley. A great, long lasting and  cold tolerant parsley with a nice taste.

‘Triangle Flashback’ calendula. This beautiful calendula is nothing like the garden variety orange one that is so common. It has tons of tapered petals and looks almost like a strawflower. Stunning on salads.

‘Delicata Zeppelin’ winter squash. This wonderful, delicious delicata squash has a great story. In the late 1990s a field of delicata squash that was grown for seed cross pollinated with gourds, resulting in fruit with a terrible bitter flavor. Pretty much every seed company in the country bought their seed from this source. This variety has been grown out from seed saved before the contamination and it is always delicious!

‘Flashy Butter Gem’ lettuce. I love this lettuce because it combines the color and flavor of my favorite lettuce variety, ‘Forellenschluss’, with the texture of my favorite types of lettuce, butterhead. It is is so pretty and tasty!

Kitazawa Seed

Misome. This is a spinach like green that grows well in cool weather. Very tasty and quick.

Tatsoi. Tatsoi is my favorite green for stir fries because each deep green leaf has a crunchy white petiole. Goes to seed quickly in the heat, but it is a great spring and fall crop.

‘Hojiso’ red and green shiso. The undersides of this green herb are colored bright violet. So pretty! Also very tasty in a cucumber salad.

‘Pak Choi’ green. Super pretty, easy to grow from seed and fast!


Seeds from Italy

‘Quarantina’ cima di rapa (broccoli rabe). This broccoli rabe matures in under 40 days, which means there is still time to get it in the ground for a fall crop.

‘Rossa di Treviso’ radicchio. Most radicchio that you find at the grocery store is round, but I prefer the elongated Treviso types. They have a slightly loose head, but the same bitter taste.

‘Super Marconi’ pole bean. The perfect green for grilling because the fat pods do not fall through the great. They have an almost meaty texture and a sweet, delicious flavor.

‘Cavolo Nero’ kale. A gorgeous black kale with deeply rumpled leaves. Grows well from seed and tastes delicious raw, stir fried, braised, and roasted.

‘Early Purple’ kohlrabi. I love to cut a kolrabi into matchsticks, drizzle olive oil and lemon juice over the top, plus a bit of coarse sea salt. It makes an excellent snack or a quick side dish.

(Image: ‘Flashy Butter Gem’ lettuce via Wild Garden Seed)
Blog Widget by LinkWithin
Be Sociable, Share!

9 Responses to “Great Small Seed Companies”

  1. 1
    Charade Says:

    Thanks so much for the treasure-trove of information. That ‘Purple Peacock’ broccoli is fascinating. It looks just like Mardi Gras!
    Charade´s last [type] ..Is it really September already?

  2. 2
    Charade Says:

    Oops – just realized that’s the ‘Flashy Butter Gem Lettuce’ that looks like Mardi Gras, but the other looks like Mardi Gras beads…maybe.
    Charade´s last [type] ..Is it really September already?

  3. 3
    Rebecca Says:

    I’m going to have to buy the Purple Peacock broccoli. We love kale and broccoli in our house so it’s perfect.
    Rebecca´s last [type] ..Fall Garden Update

  4. 4
    Karen B Says:

    Thanks for reminding me about Kitazawa. I’ve been meaning to order from them and I just did. This fall I’ll try Red Beard Bunching onions, Shonan Red (bulbing) onions, Akarenso Hybrid Spinach (with pinkish-red stems),and Kyoto Red Carrots. Do you think I’m feeling a need for more color in my life?
    Karen B´s last [type] ..#32 Kourambiedes (Greek Butter Cookies) 1974

  5. 5
    Willi Says:

    Karen–Yay for colorful vegetables. Try the ‘Rainbow Lacinato’ from Wild Garden. It is like dino kale but with a gorgeous purple hue. Love it!!

  6. 6
    Willi Says:

    Rebecca–It really is the perfect plant. I grow scads of it!

  7. 7
    Gardener on Sherlock Street Says:

    Great resources for winter garden dreaming. Thanks.

  8. 8
    kristy Says:

    Thanks so much for the heads up on these companies. I already have a shopping cart full of new seeds to try.

  9. 9
    Nell Foster Says:

    The “Flashy Butter Gem” lettuce is sold at our farmers market. it is beautiful in a salad!

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge