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.
‘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!
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!
‘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.