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Updated by Eat the Vote on Apr 29, 2016
Headline for Sweetwater Farm - Petersham, MA
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Sweetwater Farm - Petersham, MA

These are the seeds we're ordering from Fedco linked to their descriptions. Please "vote" for any foods that you're interested in, and feel free to add new ones to the list. We look forward to seeing your suggestions!

Beans - Fava, Windsor

Fedco 298WI Windsor Fava Bean (75 days) Open-pollinated. Bush type. The classic heirloom variety, listed by Fearing Burr in Field and Vegetable Gardens of America in 1863. We sell more than half a ton of these each year. Brown seed.

Beans - Haricots Verts, Concador Yellow

Fedco 251CC Concador Yellow Haricots Verts (62 days) Open-pollinated. Now you can pick your own basin of gold. Concador, the yellow-bean lover’s answer to #248 Masai, fills the need for multiple colors in this fast-growing niche. Like Masai, the uniform 4-1/2–5" pods stay slender for a long time on the vine and will keep producing copiously if tended. Medium-sized upright plants larger than Masai. Resistant to CBMV, ANTH and HB. ~250 seeds/oz.

Beans - Haricots Verts, Maxibel Bush

Fedco 249MO Maxibel Bush Haricots Verts OG (61 days) Open-pollinated. A heavy producer of uniform dark green fancy 6–8" pods of exceptional length, ramrod straightness and superb taste. For maximum tenderness and most succulent flavor pick early and often. Normal-sized bushes are not as compact as Masai. A gourmet market specialty. Speckled brown seed. White flowers. ID-certified. ~140 seeds/oz.

Beans, Multicolored Pole

Fedco 297MP Multicolored Pole Bean Mix (60-72 days) Open-pollinated. Multiculturalism in the bean patch. Pick a pole of polychromatic pods! We combine green, yellow, purple and striped varieties of staggered maturity into one packet. Great for those wishing to try all our varieties but with room for only one or two poles, and for CSAs who want to put a whole rainbow into each box. Varieties, our choice, will vary from year to year according to availability.

Beets, Early Wonder Tall Top

Fedco 2109WO Early Wonder Tall Top Beet OG (48 days) Open-pollinated. The beet that can’t be beat in our customers’ estimation. We sold more than 6,000 packets, a whopping 470 lb of seed. Selected for earliness from Crosby’s Egyptian and introduced in 1911. Quick emergence in cold soil and attractive purple tops make Wonder the choice for early beet greens and bunching beets. Both home gardeners (scarfed up 3,513 size-A) and commercial growers (bought 177 1-pounders and 15 5-pounders) like Early Wonder. In their 1916 catalog F.H. Woodruff & Sons of Medford, CT, claimed to be the largest beet-seed growers in the U.S. and the originators of Early Wonder. CCOF-certified.

Beets, Red Ace

Fedco 2121RO Red Ace Beet OG (50 days) F-1 hybrid. Sweet early season beet with purple tops. Market growers appreciate its uniformity and perfect shape, which is very similar to Early Wonder but more refined. We are well-stocked so there won’t be any back-orders. Tolerant to CLS. WA-certified.

Beets, Touchstone Gold

Fedco 2149TO Touchstone Gold Beet OG (55 days) Open-pollinated. The most refined and reliable golden beet. Much more dependable germination and uniformly round roots than others we’ve tried. Resists zoning. Like other golden beets, retains its color when cooked and has the sweet flavor prized by aficionadoes. Performed well even when overcrowded in my trial. Takes the guesswork out of growing golden beets. “The first gold beet that’s ever done well for us,” reports Janine Welsby. Ample seed is already on hand for early orders. WA-certified.

Broccoli, Arcadia

Fedco 3322AR Arcadia Broccoli (94 days) F-1 hybrid. Alan LePage’s favorite broccoli rocks in conditions that reduce other broccolis to compost. LePage’s sustained minimal damage during one 95° early September heat wave, and bounced back quickly after rain. Arcadia’s gently mounded dome-shaped frosty bluish-green heads of very refined small beads are consistently marketable and hold a long time. Big and rugged, Arcadia stands up not just to heat, but also to rot, mildew and cold stress. For a copious production of robust side shoots, LePage sidedresses plants after cutting the main heads. Arcadia is well worth the extra effort, he says. You never know what global warming might bring, so be prepared with Arcadia.

Broccoli, Fiesta

Fedco 3312FO Fiesta Broccoli OG (86 days) F-1 hybrid. Our first organic hybrid broccoli and top seller among the brocs, good for midseason. Compact plants set uniform bright green tightly domed heads that stand both cold weather and heat with considerable aplomb. “Fiesta was every bit as beautiful as Arcadia with large well-shaped heads…and was a few days earlier as well,” lauded Janine Welsby. We were amazed by its unprecedented production of side shoots. One day in early October 2007 I harvested ten from one healthy plant, the largest as big as a main head at 6–7", several others nearly as hefty, enough to comprise 3–4 supermarket bunches. OT-certified.

Brussels Sprouts, Diablo

Fedco 3344DB Diablo Brussels Sprouts (110 days) F-1 hybrid. Home gardeners have yet to give this devil its due. It might be a little slow getting going, but for those who have a long enough season, Diablo is dependable and productive. These are uniform good-looking solid medium-sized sprouts of good quality. A representative sample of 10 sprouts weighed 7 oz in the 2009 trial. CSA grower Jan Goranson recommended Diablo for its disease resistance and ability to produce a consistent sprout every time.

Cabbage, Bartolo

Fedco 3394BT Bartolo Cabbage (115 days) F-1 hybrid. Consider Bartolo if you need an excellent hybrid storage cabbage that will last and last. During a bizarre mild winter in Michigan, Anne Elder picked her last heads of #3392 Gunma and Bartolo on Jan. 12! Sits high off the ground with large round 4–8 lb dark green heads, well-protected with waxy thick serrated wrapper leaves. Very high-yielding and a beautiful plant in our trials. Tolerates BS and TB.

Cabbage, Golden Acre

Fedco 3352GA Golden Acre Cabbage (62 days) Open-pollinated. The best choice for those preferring an early open-pollinated cabbage that’s not a pointy-headed intellectual from Jersey. A selection of the Copenhagen Market type billed as “new…the earliest of the round-headed cabbages” in the 1928 Jerome B. Rice catalog. Heads average 3–5 lb. Short stems with sparse wrapper leaves and medium-sized core keep it compact. Not completely uniform in the 2013 trial, but highly rated in the taste test. Home gardeners esteem its excellent flavor, particularly in the sweet tender hearts. Grey-green heads, some with a faint reddish tint in the outer leaves, white interiors. Not long standing.

Cabbage, Super Red 80

Fedco 3370SR Super Red 80 Cabbage (80 days) F-1 hybrid. Super Red 80 ripens well before Ruby Perfection, with smooth tight round medium-dark red 3–5 lb heads. Splendid appearance will appeal to market growers. Resists splitting. Tender and crisp with a pleasing flavor. Sales have increased ten consecutive years, quadrupling since 2003.

Carrots, Mokum

Fedco 2086MK Mokum Carrot (48 days) F-1 hybrid. Arguably the tastiest carrot for fresh eating in late spring and summer. Repeat winner of our summer taste tests. Mokum’s earliness, slenderness and sweetness transcend its flaws. Blunt Amsterdam-type that sizes extremely quickly with short weak tops. Should be harvested at 5–6" before the roots push out of the ground and develop green shoulders. Although not a versatile full-season carrot, Mokum merits succession planting so you can enjoy it young throughout the summer. Always the first to disappear from our spring patch. Susceptible to ALTS at our Colrain, MA, plot in 2009 and 2012 but not in 2010.

Carrots, Scarlet Keeper

Fedco 2079KO Scarlet Keeper Carrot OG (85 days) Open-pollinated. A stalwart storage carrot and difficult-to-produce biennial seed crop. These 7–9" heavy cylindrical roots with broad red shoulders, large deep orange cores and blunt tips are without peer when they come out of the root cellar in March, even though they are not our first choice for fresh fall eating. Good for juicing, too. In a taste test at our warehouse its juice quality was comparable to that of our old favorite #2086 Mokum.

Carrots, Scarlet Nantes

Fedco 2042SN Scarlet Nantes Carrot (68 days) Open-pollinated. This old-time favorite Nantes variety with bright orange roots averaging 6–7" proves that good quality is not always expensive. Sweet with a small dark core. Received a high overall score in the 2005 Oregon State University trials. Has been our best-selling carrot in recent years.

Carrots, Sugarsnax

Fedco 2094SS Sugarsnax Carrot (68 days) F-1 hybrid. If you have the tilth, we have the carrot. Tom Hodgson of Wishetwurra Farm in W. Tisbury, MA, sent us a picture of his 15-incher. We thought an Imperator carrot with flavor was an oxymoron until we met Sugarsnax, a fresh-market standout with long slender beautiful deep orange roots ideal for bunching. In average conditions more likely to grow 9" than 15. Outstanding in trials and taste tests, it has a tender sweetness that keeps you coming back for more. Tolerant to ALTS, CLS and P.

Carrots, Yaya

Fedco 2093YO Yaya Carrot OG (58 days) F-1 hybrid. Several customers informed us that Yaya is a Greek term of endearment for grandmother. Not yet a grandma in the carrot world, relatively new Yaya is in the same quality class with #2086 Mokum and #2092 Nelson, a standout three straight years in our observation plots. Slightly shorter-rooted than Nantes Fancy but more flavorful. A little smoother and more uniform than Nelson. Strong tops, good for bunching. Crisp clean sweet carrot flavor. Can be used for baby or full-sized carrots. Showed some tolerance to ALTS in our 2009 MA plot. In their blind taste test covering two seasons, Katie and Joel Wolpert found that Yaya had superior flavor compared to Nelson all through the summer until Thanksgiving. Then Nelson turned the tables and was outstanding after Thanksgiving. OT-certified.

Cauliflower, Snow Mystique

Fedco 3428SM Snow Mystique Cauliflower (93 days) F-1 hybrid. On Oct. 11 our trialer noted, “I went out today and found two absolutely beautiful and large cauliflower heads. They were Snow Mystique. Big, tight and gorgeous!” Mystique has all the attributes we loved in Cassius: clean, white, dense well-proportioned heads, the same good upright habit and the dome shape to ward off excess moisture plus a tender flavor not expected from such a massive plant. Massive it was, heads rated at 1.8 lb average by our supplier, but double that weight in our trial. Perfect for end of September and early October when cauliflower is at its best in our climate. Can be slow-growing in higher elevations and cold spots.

Celeriac, Brilliant

Fedco 3645BC Brilliant Celeriac (100 days) Open-pollinated. Apium graveolens var. rapaceum Celeriac, the frog prince of root vegetables, likes rainy years. A staple in central and eastern Europe, now becoming more popular in the States despite its ugly exterior. Recently it has been embraced by chefs, gourmets and foodies. Even though it is not a celebrated part of Downeast cuisine, Jason Kafka planted a half acre this year, setting in 7,000 plants. Kafka considers it a good market crop that requires little maintenance and seldom is bothered by insects or wildlife. Since most of the root grows hidden below ground, Kafka enjoys the “gambler’s thrill” of pulling them out at harvest time to see how they did. “This year’s been nice; they never lacked for moisture.” Its nutty parsley-celery flavor, improved by light fall frosts, enhances meat, fish and poultry. Great raw for winter slaws and salads, it may be boiled, mashed or braised. Brilliant is a classy early celeriac, high yielding with relatively smooth roots, clean white internal coloration and superb eating quality. An early start indoors is essential for good yields. Can be stored up to six months in moist sand in the root cellar. Kafka aims for softball-size, but anything at least tennis ball-size is marketable.

Chard, Bright Lights

Fedco 3036BL Bright Lights Chard (56 days) Open-pollinated. In 1998 Johnny’s Selected Seeds won its second AAS for making Swiss chard commercially available in a rainbow of colors. Bright Lights bathes stems, midribs and secondary veins in a panoply of gold, yellow, orange, pink, intermediate pastels and dazzling stripes. The tenderness of its dark green to bronze leaves and the mildness of its chard flavor impressed the AAS judges. Young seedlings respond to cut-and-come-again culture, ideal for mesclun. Developed by John Eaton of Lower Hutt, New Zealand, who found the parent plants, red and yellow, in a small home garden in 1977 and crossed them to standard green and white varieties, selecting for color and flavor over the next fifteen years. Johnny’s worked the following years to preserve the strength and range of the individual colors. One of only four items in the catalog whose A-size packet sales exceeded 3,000. Sold more than 5,500 packages, all sizes. “Performed insanely well” for Jason Kafka this year in his high tunnels, and “looks stunning still” on Oct. 16.

Corn - Popcorn, Calico

Fedco 679CP Calico Popcorn (105 days) Open-pollinated. An heirloom dual-purpose corn with 5–8" ears that look like smaller versions of Indian corn. The shiny bright ears come in an array of colors, with red, yellow and mottled rosy-brown most common, but brown, purple, blue, white and other combinations possible. Kernels are smaller than those of most Indian corns, but larger than conventional popcorns. Calico is both decorative and edible so you can hang it on your door in fall and pop the very same batch on Thanksgiving. Seed grown by the Biseks in Minnesota. ~7 seeds/g.

Corn - Sweet, Sugar Buns Yellow

Fedco 524SB Sugar Buns Yellow Sweet Corn (74 days) Yellow sugary enhanced hybrid from Crookham with sublime tenderness. About as sweet as our palates like, but not cloying like the supersweets. Sugar Buns does not have as good cold-soil emergence as other early corns; please don’t rush it.

Cucumbers, Suhyo Long

Fedco 1394SO Suhyo Long Cucumber OG (61 days) Open-pollinated. Known for its sweet mild burpless flavor, this Asian cucumber grows up to 15" long with a curly shape if unsupported. For straighter fruit that packs better Jason Kafka grows these in his greenhouse in vertical hedges, stretching Trellis Plus netting (#9071 in the OGS section) between conduits. According to Tom Vigue these make good dense pickling cukes if picked young enough. Sets well in heat. Resists PM. QCS-certified.

Eggplant, Black King

Fedco 3685BK Black King Eggplant (79 days) F-1 hybrid. A fine hybrid eggplant from Takii in Japan that looks good for the main crop. A vigorous grower and high yielder suitable for both greenhouse and open-field cultivation. Black King plants were “enormous for the low amount of nitrogen in their bed: waist high early in the season and very productive…liked the flavor almost as much as Applegreen,” said Brenin Wertz-Roth. 7" shiny bulging oval fruits outperformed Diamond in Adam Tomash and June Zellers’ trial. Their two King plants produced 11 ripe fruit averaging 0.9 lb. Resistant to excess heat.

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