The Heritage Farm Collection: 'Michels' cowpea

The Heritage Farm Collection: 'Michels' cowpea

In 1941, Vince Michels,’ army unit held maneuvers by walking from Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri to Tennessee.  During this march, Vince noticed they were walking through "a field of something planted with pods."  Vince picked a few pods, and mailed them to his father, Fred Michels, in Earling, Iowa.

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The Heritage Farm Collection: 'Halbert Honey' Watermelon

The Heritage Farm Collection: 'Halbert Honey' Watermelon

This historic variety of watermelon was developed by Mr. H.A. Halbert of Texas and introduced in 1902 by the W. Atlee Burpee seed house. That year, the Burpee catalog described it as “new to the general public” and as a selection by Mr. H. A. Halbert of Texas “who plants for his home trade thirty acres of this original pet of his, each season...”

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The Heritage Farm Collection: 'Missouri Pink Love Apple' tomato

The Heritage Farm Collection: 'Missouri Pink Love Apple' tomato

The Jennings claimed that their ancestor “Grandpa Barnes” grew it during the 1860s but only as an ornamental plant because he thought tomatoes were poisonous (not an uncommon misconception at that time).

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The Heritage Farm Collection: 'Brinker Carrier' bean

The Heritage Farm Collection: 'Brinker Carrier' bean

It is a good snap bean, but received especially strong taste reviews as a shelling and dry bean. Jane Jensen of Utah writes, “yummy shelly bean, had the best flavor, white, creamy smooth, delicious.”

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The Heritage Farm Collection: 'Pink Plume' celery

The Heritage Farm Collection: 'Pink Plume' celery

In 1894, the Peter Henderson & Co. seed house of New York introduced Pink Plume celery. Its beautiful appearance and intense flavor inspired gardeners and seed companies to add it to their collections. By 1903, over 100 seed houses across North America were offering this variety.

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The Heritage Farm Collection: 'Enrico Rao' arugula

The Heritage Farm Collection: 'Enrico Rao' arugula

SSE listed member Hans Hansen, of Peaceable Kingdom School in Texas, sent SSE this arugula in the mid-1990s. Peaceable Kingdom School received seeds for this variety from Ric (Enrico) Rao in 1992. Ric had been growing and saving seed from his family’s heirloom arugula since finding some seeds in his grandfather’s garden shed in 1983.

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Seed Savers Exchange Members Evaluate the Collection

Seed Savers Exchange Members Evaluate the Collection

Each year Seed Savers Exchange members from across North America trial garden varieties from SSE's genebank collection. They send us reports on performance and taste qualities, and photos of the varieties growing in their gardens and harvested in their kitchens. Read on to find out some the results we've seen and some of the varieties we've tested.

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SEED STORIES: Conti Family Heirloom Garlic

SEED STORIES: Conti Family Heirloom Garlic

It’s fairly obvious that it’s garlic-curing time at Heritage Farm. The air is redolent with the smell of the culinary Allium. Catalog and Collection varieties have been harvested, and Heritage Farm staff are now preparing garlic varieties for catalog sale, Exchange distribution, or maintenance planting.

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