Hudson Valley Heirloom Seeds
Seven heirloom seed packs: spotted trout lettuce, ragged jack kale, costata romanesca zucchini and more. Grown or packed in Accord, New York. Scroll down for varieties and planting details. (more info)
A hundred years ago spotted lettuces, maroon sunflowers, flowery zucchini and sweet broccoli lined the furrows of New England gardens. They’re reminiscent of familiar industrial vegetables, but unlike the predictable, unvarying varieties piled high in misted supermarket produce aisles, these exotic cousins have some taste tricks up their sleeve.
The Hudson Valley Seed Library grows or gathers (from other, neighboring organic seed producers) a catalog of hardy, affordable seeds that are rooted in the history and soils of New York. Further on the theme of Northeast pride, Ken Green and Doug Miller, the men behind the Library, enlist local artists to design frame-worthy seed packs.
- Costata Romanesca Zucchini: Striped summer squash with a nutty flavor, the costata is great eaten cooked or raw. Plenty of males to bear showy, delicious squash flower blossoms.
- Piracicaba Broccoli: Flavorful and abundant all season long, this little broccoli can be harvested until early December. Sweeter with a looser head than the grocery store kind.
- Ragged Jack Kale: Slightly unkempt around the edges but still dapper, ragged Jack has tender, bluish-green leaves and pinkish-red veins. Succulent, amazing with garlic and very nutritious.
- Cilantro: An easy-to-grow, refreshing herb deemed indispensable by cultures the world over. Don’t let he genetically-hobbled cilantro-haters dissuade you, cilantro is handy for Mexican, Vietnamese, Moroccan, Indian and whatever other food you happen to invent.
- Basil Bouquet: Different basils do different things. Hardy Genovese is good for pounding into pesto, and aromatic Thais don’t give up their flavor in a frying pan. Sow the seeds and experiment with the different fragrant leaves that turn up.
- Spotted Trout Lettuce: Crisp romaine lettuce, flecked with festive dark violet. These leaves are softer and more tender than plain romaine. Easy to grow and can be sown directly into the ground every 2–3 weeks for a continuous salad supply through the summer and into Fall.
- Velvet Queen Sunflower: Regal maroon petals with a deep velvet luster. These flowers turn and nod towards the sun, with tall, thick stalks that climbing flowers can cling to, like bean poles.