February 6, 2012

2012 Seed Purchases (Part 3): Seed Savers Exchange

Back in November, Seed Savers Exchange had a 50% off sale on "last-season's" seeds. I had never ordered from them before, so I thought it was a good time to try them out. I've grown the soybean before, but everything else will be new for the 2012 vegetable garden. Here's what I ordered (and the descriptions provided by Seed Savers Exchange):

Bean, Golden of Bacau
(Phaseolus vulgaris) Donated to SSE by friends in Bacau, Romania. Very productive, 6-10" long flattened golden Romanotype beans. Excellent sweet flavor. Even when the seeds begin to form the pods are still stringless, tender, and sweet. Best for fresh use but can also be frozen. Pole habit, wax, 60-70 days.

Cucumber, Mexican Sour Gherkin
(Melothria scabra) Newly rediscovered heirloom. Produces abundant crops of 1-2" fruits reminiscent of tiny watermelons that fall off the vines when ripe. Sweet cucumber flavor contrasted by a surprising sourness, as if they are already pickled. Great for growing on a trellis. 60-70 days.

Soybean, Envy

(Glycine max) Developed by the late Professor Elwyn Meader at the University of New Hampshire. Upright 24" plants produce an abundance of all-green beans, excellent quality. Great short-season variety. 75-85 days.

Squash, Galeux d'Eysines

(Cucurbita maxima) (aka Galeuse d’Eysines, Courge Brodée Galeuse) A French heirloom squash from the Bordeaux region; noted in Vilmorin’s Les Plantes Potageres (1883). Seed carried by La Ferme de Ste. Marthe and collected by SSE member Amy Goldman at the 1996 Tranzault Pumpkin Festival. Attains weights of 10-20 pounds. Best used for beautiful table centerpieces or eaten in stews and soups. Harvest squashes slightly immature as they tend to crack. 90 days.

Pea, Golden Sweet

(Pisum sativum) Collected at a market in India. Tall 6’ plants with beautiful bi-colored purple flowers and bright lemon-yellow pods. Best eaten when small, excellent for stir-fry. Seeds are tan with purple flecks, can be dried and added to soups. One of the few yellow edible podded peas in SSE’s collection of 1,200 peas. Edible podded, 60-70 days.

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