Fruition’s New Varieties for 2020
Each year we grow acres of organic gardens, saving hundreds of thousands (if not millions…) of seeds of tried-and-true varieties we love as we continue to adapt them to our short seasons, year after year. Each year we also grow dozens upon dozens of new varieties, exploring and experimenting, discovering new joys and learning ever, always.
This season we’re delighted to share seed with you of some gems we’ve found and here is a tiny taste of them all 🙂
Organic Haifa’s Finest Zucchini
Where do we begin? The flavor, the story, the abundance, the near spinelessness? If you don’t have time for it all, know this: Haifa’s Finest is a Fruition-bred variety, the most flavorful zucchini you’ll likely ever eat. Imagine exceptional nuttiness with a creamy density that melts in your mouth — you won’t be tossing these in neighbor’s mailboxes, I suspect 🙂
After six years of selections, we’re so excited to finally share our lusciously nutty, super creamy and nearly spineless Haifa’s Finest cousa-style zucchini with you!
If you’re ready for the long story of how Haifa’s Finest came to be, I love you (!) and rewind over half a century.
Our friends Zaid and Haifa grew up in Palestine and Jordan, obsessed with food, taking for granted the exquisitely flavorful vegetables they were surrounded with. Central to so many Middle Eastern dishes are the shorter, lime green, exquisitely nutty ‘cousa’-style zucchini and when they came to the United States, Zaid and Haifa were blown away that Americans think of zucchini as long, dark green and quite flavorless. In 1998, they founded Norwich Meadows Farm here in Upstate New York and today grow over one hundred acres of organic vegetables. (Yes, they’re amazing!) They’ve trialed many different varieties of cousa-style zucchini across the years and one has the best balance of productivity and flavor: an F1 Hybrid called Magda.
Fast forward to 2013: The seed company offering Magda announces they’re dropping the variety. Zaid and Haifa then discover that company is the only source of the seed. They promptly buy all the seed they can and asked Fruition to de-hybridize, to untangle, to save its seed and create a new open-pollinated variety they can rely on.
We said yes 🙂
Six years and six generations later, we’re honored to share our exquisitely delicious, early, uniform and nearly spineless selection that we call Haifa’s Finest, in honor of the matron of Norwich Meadows who has prepared, enjoyed, shared and grown countless thousands of the most delicious cousa zucchini on the planet — and helped us select this one — and it is an honor to share this seed, finally, with you.
Organic Jaded Cherry Tomato
If you think green tomatoes aren’t delectable, well, don’t be jaded…!
We love the diversity of flavors from bright acid to rich fruit as Jaded ripens from green to translucent.
When we first tasted Jaded at Cornell, we couldn’t wait to share them with you. A deliciously rich combination of several heirloom varieties, one of the most unusual characteristics of Jaded is the remarkable translucence indicating peak flavor has arrived. If you’re obsessed with flavor like us, you’ll appreciate the diversity of flavors you’ll find as Jaded ripens. If you prefer your tomatoes a little more bright and acid, harvest them as soon as the translucence emerges; if you love your tomatoes a little more sweet and mellow, harvest them as the translucence deepens toward gold. We harvest fruits from the whole spectrum for the fullest expression of colors and flavors. Hats off to Phil Griffiths and his public plant breeding lab at Cornell for creating this extraordinary new variety so well suited for our short seasons!
Chilean Green Savory Corn
This is no ordinary corn. In fact, this is our favorite corn with flavor unlike any we’ve ever tasted. Rather than an ear of sweet corn, Chilean Green Corn is rich, savory corn that will transform your idea of what corn is. Harvested in the ‘milk’ stage like sweet corn, we grill each cob and toss the kernels on tacos, salad, salsa, soup, eggs — their succulent, savory flavor and juicy crunch compliments it all.
Our favorite corn, Chilean Green corn is lusciously savory. Though we freeze several gallons of grilled kernels each year, each year we plant more and more so we can savor her in all seasons.
And don’t compost the cobs right away, either. The stock from these cobs is so rich and velvety, subtly sweet and deeply savory: Chilean Green Corn makes the best stock we’ve ever had, plant-based or otherwise.
Organic Salt and Pepper Cucumber
This has been my favorite cucumber for years and I’m soSOso excited to finally share it with you! Such crunch, such sweetness, such creaminess, such abundance: t is difficult to describe the joy it brings me to share this seed with you. Truly, I love this cucumber more than words.
These sweet Salt & Pepper cucumbers are incredibly crisp and creamy as well as disease-resistant, making them immensely abundant.
Regional adaptation and organics have been part of this cucumber’s vision from the beginning. Salt & Pepper is the sweeter, smoother little sister of Silver Slicer, both from Cornell’s public plant breeding program with Powdery Mildew as well as Angular Leaf Spot resistance.
For the full and delectable story of this cucumber’s heritage, enjoy the video here!
Sugar Snap Pea
Sweet and juicy, crisp and prolific, easy to grow and a joy to eat! Sugar snaps are the time-tested classic and we agree: Homegrown goodness just doesn’t get any better than this.
Any peas can be harvested at a diversity of sizes. Sugar Snap is sweetest and most juicy when the pods are plump and the peas inside have just begun to form.
Sugar Snap is a full-size, 5-foot variety and here’s how to enjoy snap peas for 6 weeks straight: sow both dwarf and full-size peas on the same date, in early spring, once the snow melts. The dwarf varieties flower and fruit many weeks before the full-size varieties do, their production waning just as the full-size peas come on. It’s simple, brilliant and delicious! I can’t wait for you to try it 🙂
Organic Queen Lime with Blush
What?! Just look at her! Queen Lime with Blush is a whimsically show-stopping zinnia with petals unfolding, layer after layer, in spectrums of cantaloupe-salmon and electric yellow. We all found ourselves constructing reasons to go visit her each day. Given the flocks of native butterflies and pollinators, we weren’t the only species smitten with her.
One day in August we all laughed, realizing we would go to visit Queen Lime with Blush every day, continually finding reasons to be in her company, just like the butterflies.
Each long, strong stem on these 4′ plants is perfect for cutting and the more you harvest, the more she’ll bloom 🙂
Organic Purple Giant Zinnia
These massive zinnias are luminous, absolutely exquisite, the color of plums and sunset. Purple Giant is impressive both in bloom volume as well as height, easily reaching over 4′ with long, strong stems ideal for cutting from early July through frost.
Like all zinnias, the more you harvest Giant Purple the more you’ll have to harvest! And her two-week vase life is absolutely dreamy.
Organic Frilled White Poppy
With endless petals of exquisite ivory unfurl like slow-motion fireworks all summer long, the seeds of Frilled White poppy originally came as a gift from our dear friends of Uprising Seeds in Washington nearly a decade ago. We have been in awe as we grow and save seed of it each year since.
All Papaver somniferum poppies like Frilled White love to establish in cool soils, so harden off their seedlings to transplant ~3 weeks prior to final frost.
Organic Night & Dawn Snapdragon
Did you know snapdragons are edible? Toss them in salads and enjoy every bite!
We love this stately, gracious Night & Dawn snapdragon for her contrasting raspberry-cream petals with vivid golden throats, practically begging you to open them as you did when you were five.
I nearly lost my mind and felt like I was 5 when I learned snapdragons like Night and Dawn are edible. I was 35! And I know our gardens will keep teaching me til I’m 105 🙂
Our friend and mentor Frank Morton of Wild Garden Seed in Oregon selected this beauty out of Night & Day snapdragon and, as usual, Frank open our minds and the possibilities of this world in more ways than we’ll ever know 🙂
Night & Dawn snapdragon grows about two and a half feet tall, often higher with greater fertility, and trellising is unnecessary for her to thrive for cutting, munching or simply as a splash of color in your garden.
Organic Sharlyn Cantaloupe
Dear Friends. This melon. Is utterly luscious.
With an exceptionally wide harvest window, Sharlyn is one of the easiest melons to not only grow but to harvest with confidence.
We had heard about Sharlyn for years and indeed, she’s an early melon for short seasons that ripens to a white flesh that melts in your mouth with a remarkable pineapple sweetness. But here’s the thing: one week before her flesh is white she’s tinged tangerine in the center and lime on margin with a bright, tropical honeydew flavor, firm yet tender and delightfully juicy. What does this mean? The optimal window to harvest this melon is over one week! This is almost unheard of. One of the most challenging aspects of growing melons is simply knowing when to harvest them (can I hear an amen?!) and Sharlyn makes it easy. As soon as her green netted rind begins to blush gold, she is dreamily delectable.
Organic Cornell’s Bush Delicata
Delicata squash is divine though the long, sprawling vines of full-size winter squash can make it difficult to grow in small garden spaces, raised beds and container gardens. Cornell Bush Delicata to the rescue! We’re thrilled to share this seed of Bush Delicata, growing to the more manageable size of a zucchini.
Cornell continues to create extraordinary new varieties for short seasons and we are so honored to share them with you!
Even better, Bush Delicata has resistance to Powdery Mildew making your harvest that much more abundant. Once again, hats off to Cornell University’s public plant breeding program lead by Molly Jahn! Cornell’s Bush Delicata is always our first winter squash to ripen, it’s delectable flesh is surrounded by thin, totally edible skin. Expect two to five ripe fruit per plant — the more sun and fertility the plant receives, the more you’ll harvest.
Organic Blue Vervain
One of our favorite native perennials here in the Northeast, pollinators flock every day from early July through frost to our resplendent spires of Blue Vervain. She grows three to five feet high, growing taller with more light and greater fertility, thriving in full as well as part-sun. Once established, Blue Vervain flourishes in just about any season that may come, hot or cold, wet or dry.
I’ve rarely seen such pollinator diversity as I see on our native, perennial Blue Vervain.
Medicinally, the flowering aerial tops of Blue Vervain has been used for many generations as a gentle nervine to help ease anxiety. We’ve made ours into a tincture that we’re grateful to have in our medicine cabinet.
We’ve also made a new collection to share with you, by popular demand:
Organic Bouquet Collection
Here are six of our favorite easy-to-grow classics for bouquets all summer! Their long, strong stems are perfect for cutting and the more you harvest them, the more they continue to surround you with beauty. Each variety in our Bouquet Collection is well-adapted for our short seasons, so you’ll harvest that much more abundance this season.
Our Organic Bouquet collection includes one packet each of Benary’s Wine Zinnia, White Larkspur, Craspedia, Evening Colors Sunflower, Double Take Cosmos & Chim Chiminee Rudbeckia.
Fruition’s Garden Trellising
This is the most resilient and easy to use trellising we’ve found. We love to reuse this UV-resistant trellising for many seasons in so many different ways, effortlessly supports vertical crops from pole beans to peas, cucumbers to winter squash. This trellising also makes cut flowers easier to harvest, horizontally supporting all cut flowers from dahlias to zinnias, snapdragons to larkspur. Each piece is 5-feet tall and 30-feet long and is easy to cut when needed.
DIY Potting Mix
Our DIY Potting Mix is an easy and economical way to make 80 quarts of nutrient-dense potting mix perfect for starting seeds and potting up transplants in spring as well as growing greens indoors all winter. A rich diversity of micro- and macro-nutrients, simply add our mix to compost, peat moss and perlite for an economical abundance of potting soil! Our mix is also ideal for soil blocking, growing the healthiest seedlings we’ve ever seen. Here is the recipe that comes on the back of the package for you:
Across the Seasons Perpetual Garden Calendar
We made Across the Seasons, a 40-page perpetual calendar to help plan, record & celebrate the happenings in your garden! A perpetual calendar is one with dates but not days of the week, making it relevant beyond a single calendar year. You’ll find growing charts at the beginning plus garden tips with each month to surround you with abundance, as well as a section specifically for you to record notes by crop. Here’s just one page to get a taste and explore the rest here!
In an era when apps are everywhere, we love creating this calendar, an experience of paying attention & play, engaging all our senses in a way that’s intended to last years rather than moments.
The heart of the calendar is ample space for you to record the planting, harvest & all other happenings of your garden, as you see fit. Across the seasons, patterns will emerge as you amplify your successes, learn from your mistakes and share what you learn with the rest of us.
We first shared ginger last season & sold out early, so we’re thrilled to share our organic ginger rhizomes with you again!
It’s true, you can grow ginger right in your backyard, even in a container, even in short seasons! And freshly dug baby ginger is lusciously sweet, melting in your mouth, marvelously unlike anything you’ll ever find in a store.
Fresh baby ginger is lusciously sweet! Its leaves are also full of ginger flavor, which we dry to steep for tea all winter. Be sure to put our annual ginger harvest party on your calendar!
Also, enjoy our blog on sharing Six Steps to Growing Your Own Ginger. It’s fun but far from foolproof, so I’m honored to share both our ginger and everything we’ve learned to surround you with success.
Enjoy dreaming of your gardens to come!
Know we’re cozy here at Fruition, doing the same 🙂
Sow Seeds & Sing Songs,