For New Year, more fruit, veggie seed catalogs to arrive
The Honeynut Squash, new from Seeds By Design Inc., is a small butternut squash variety
developed by Cornell University (Photo courtesy of the National Garden Bureau).
By Bobbie Whitehead With the New Year, new seed catalogs arrive, and gardeners can find many new and heirloom fruit and vegetable varieties intended for the garden, containers or both. Even with countless new produce varieties offered, catalogs and seed companies still have growers’ all-time favorites, and some may include enticing coupons for the 2012 fruit and vegetable season. Among the latest catalogs to arrive, Gurney’s Seed & Nursery Co. of Greendale, Ind., has added a number of varieties such as the Now or Later Pea, a variety that can be harvested early to eat as a Snow pea or can be allowed to mature into a shell pea.
Gurney’s has also added some heirloom tomato varieties such as the Italian heirloom Principe Borghese used for sun-dried tomato dishes. On this catalog cover, gardeners can also find discount coupons. At the Seed Savers Exchange of Decorah, Iowa, which released its 2012 seed catalog in November, gardeners will find a rare heirloom tomato variety called “Emmy.” This tomato originated in Transylvania, and SSE received seeds for the Emmy tomato in a letter from a woman residing in Oregon in 2005, according to a press release. The person sending the Emmy seeds had received some in the 1970s from a Transylvania-native friend while the two lived in Germany, SSE writes. Apparently, the Transylvania native continued to grow tomatoes from one she took when she immigrated to Germany at the end of World War II. And for gardeners interested in smaller vegetables, here are two they may want to grow. The Ivory Pear from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds of Mansfield, Mo., is one of many new heirloom varieties listed in the colorful, thick catalog. This small pear tomato has a unique color, an “ivory-cream,” according to the catalog description and photo. In addition to bite-size tomatoes, gardeners may want to grow the Honeynut squash, a new butternut squash variety from Seeds By Design Inc. of Maxwell, Calif. Developed by Cornell University, this butternut squash has a unique size, growing up to five inches with a weight of about eight ounces, but it still tastes like a butternut squash, according to Seeds By Design.