Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Starting to Plan the Garden 2014

Even though I received my first seed catalog back in December, I didn't get to sit down and take a look at it until last night. The 2014 SSE (Seed Saver's Exchange) catalog was the first one to come in. I always love their catalog )or any heirloom seed catalog for that matter). And I'm luck enough to have a local nursery that carries their seeds and transplants. However, they are not the only heirloom seed company I use, they don't carry everything (unless your a member then that opens a whole new door to the heirloom seeds).

 For those who don't know, I try to only grow stuff that is considered an heirloom or antique, & OP (open-pollinated) and being an ACW reenactor I try to keep most of my seeds to 1865 or earlier.  I do make an exception to a few items and tomatoes are probably the biggest one. I LOVE home grown tomatoes. I prefer OPs but occasionally I will buy a hybrid. Another is zucchini, all of the researching I've done on heirloom veggies places this as post-CW. I've seen the yellow summer squash listed but nothing that fits the description of the green zucchini.

Anyway, here's what I could find in the printed SSE catalog that are described as being before 1865. The catagories are the ones in the SSE catalog. I've condensed there descriptions, you can find the full descriptions of these varieties on their website,

  • Kentucky Wonder Pole - first marketed in 1864 as Texas Pole, reintroduced as Kentucky Wonder, 1877
  • Mayflower (aka Amish Knuttle) - described in seed catalogs as far back as the early 1800s. 
  • Speckled Cranberry - Brought to America from England around 1825.
  • Cherokee Trail of Tears (aka Cherokee Black) - Dr Wyche's Cherokee ancestors carried this bean over the Trail of Tears (1838-39)
Beans  - Runner
  • Scarlet Runner - one of the oldest runner beans in existence. Known as early as 1750, listed in America as early as 1822 by Thorburn.
  • Painted Lady Improved (aka Bicolor Runner, Painted Runner) Described by Arrabida in Flora of Rio de Janeiro in 1827.
Bean - Lima
  • Christmas - (aka Large Speckled Calico) - First cultivated in the US around 1840
Beets - 
  • Burpee's Golden - Commercially available since 1828. 
  • Chioggia - Pre-1840 heirloom introduced to the US before 1865
  • Early Blood Turnip - Good all-purpose variety that dates back to 1825. 
Broccoli - 
  • None Listed in Printed Catalog - :-(
Cauliflower - 
  • None Listed in Printed Catalog - :-(
Cabbage - 
  • Early Jersey Wakefield - First frown in the US by Francis Brill of Jersey City, NJ in 1840
  • Premium Late Flat Dutch - (aka Drumhead, Surehead) - Introduced to the US by German immigrants around 1840. 
Carrots - 
  • Scarlet Nantes - (aka Early Coreless) - Dates to the 1850s. Original seed developed by Vilmorin in France.
Celery - 
  • None Listed in Printed Catalog - :-(
Collards - 
  • None Listed in Printed Catalog - :-(
Corn - 
  • Black Aztec - Introduced to the seed trade by James J. H. Gregory in the 1860s (no exact year given )
  • Bloody Butcher - Known in the US since 1845. Originally from Virginia
  • Stowell's Evergreen - Early 1800s
Cucumbers -
  • None Listed in Printed Catalog - :-(
Eggplants -
  • None Listed in Printed Catalog - :-(  This needs to be clarified - None listed as being available in the US prior to 1865. 
    • They list the Listada de Gandia - introduced into southern France around 1850. 
Gourds - 
  • None Listed in Printed Catalog - :-(
Kohlrabi - 
  • White Vienna - (aka Early White Vienna, Di Vienna Blanco) - Pre-1860 variety
Kale -
  • None Listed in Printed Catalog - :-( This needs to be clarified - None listed as being available in the US prior to 1865. 
    • Lacinato - )aka Dinosaur, Nero di Toscana) - Italian heirloom that dates back to the 18th Century.
Arugula/Endive/Asian Greens - 
  • None Listed in Printed Catalog - :-(
Lettuce - 
  • Tennis Ball - Grown by Thomas Jefferson at Monticello. 
  • Speckled - Brought from Pennsylvania to Ontario in 1799 in a covered wagon.
Melon - 
  • None Listed in Printed Catalog - :-(
Miscellaneous - 
  • Prickly Caterpillar
Leeks - 
  • Giant Musselburgh - (aka Scotch Flag) - Scottish variety introduced in the early 1800s (not sure if they were in the US though.
Onion - 
  • Red Wethersfield - (aka Dark Red Beauty) Listed as Large Red by Hovey & Co. of Boston in 1834. Name Wethersfield first used around 1852 by the American Seed Garden of Wethersfield, CT. 
Peas - 
  • Asparagus Pea - (aka Winged Pea) - actually a legume - Mentioned as early as 1734 by Philip Miller. 
  • Tom Thumb - Originated in England and introduced in the US in the mid-19th century.
Okra - 
  • None Listed in Printed Catalog - :-(
Peppers - 
  • Bull Nose Bell - Grown by Thomas Jefferson and listed in 1863 by Fearing Burr.
  • McMahon's Texas Bird - Native to southwest Texas. Introduced in 1813 by Bernard McMahon from seeds given him by Thomas Jefferson.
Radish - 
  • China Rose - Introduced in the US circa 1850.
Rutabaga - 
  • None Listed in Printed Catalog - :-(
Salsify - 
  • None Listed in Printed Catalog - :-( - Clarification - they do list Mammoth Sandwich Island (aka Sandwich Island) as being pre-1900.
Shallot -
  • None Listed in Printed Catalog - :-(
Turnip - 
  • None Listed in Printed Catalog - :-(
Spinach - 
  • Bloomsdale - Introduced by D. Landreth Seed Company in 1826.
  • New Zealand Spinach - New Zealand native brought to Europe by Captain Cook in the 1770s. (not sure it was in the US though)
  • Strawberry Spinach - (aka Strawberry Blite) - Grown in Europe for centuries. (US before 1865???)
Swiss Chard - 
  • None Listed in Printed Catalog - :-(
Tomatillo - 
  • None Listed in Printed Catalog - :-(
Squash - 
  • Boston Marrow - (aka Autumnal Marrow) - Introduced in 1831.
  • Long Island Cheese - East Coast heirloom. Introduced in 1807 by Bernard McMahon of Philadelphia.
  • Summer Crookneck - Domesticated by Native North Americans before teh Pilgrims. Listed as early as 1828 in the seed trade.
  • Turk's Turban - (aka French Turban, Turk's Cap) - Pre-dates the 1820s, ancestral form of American Turban.
Tomatoes - 
  • None Listed in Printed Catalog - :-(
Watermelon - 
  • None Listed in Printed Catalog - :-(
That's it. Now, I'm (not so) patiently waiting for the rest of my seed catalogs.  Hope someone finds this helpful.  Have a great day everyone! I'm off to sew!