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New Products for 2016  


NEW FOR 2016: FARM-ORIGINALS, HEIRLOOMS, AND COMMERCIAL STANDARDS

These are our New Additions for 2016, and as always they include our latest on-farm breeding refinements, and some good proven varieties that organic growers have found reliable and adaptive.

We have chosen not to seek PVP or other intellectual property protection for our original varieties. We have studied, argued, consulted, and meditated on the relative virtues and hazards of IP protection in the food sector of life. We've tried recently to contrive some variation on the use of Creative Commons 'Copyleft' or Open Source Software models to provide open forum use of crop genetics, without fear that corporate entities will Patent what others have freely offered. This turns out to be extremely complicated, completely untested in the courts, and fraught with real world differences between creative intellect, software code, and new seeds for food crops. To begin with, seeds are alive, and the rest is not.

On April 17th 2014, Wild Garden Seed joined with High Mowing Seed and public breeders at three Land Grant Universities (Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin) to release seeds of our own breeding under the auspices of the Open Source Seed Initiative, OSSI. The purpose of OSSI is to create an ethically bounded genetic commons. The OSSI Free Seed Pledge does by public intention what only endless contracts can do in law. See this OSSI essay more details.
New original  varieties will be part of the official 2016 OSSI varietal release this spring.

Regardless, these new crop cultivars, their genetics, and the traits they express are freely offered to the Public Domain, and they are not intended for any kind of privatization or ownership by others, though others may use them in their breeding, farming, or garden-related enterprises. Wild Garden Seed appreciates recognition for its breeding work by those who use it.



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Dazzling Blue Kale: European

Dazzling Blue Kale: European

Farm Original Variety! This stunning new blue kale comes from our own Hank Keogh’s inspiration to backcross a ‘Rainbow Lacinato’ variant with its ‘WGS Lacinato’ ancestor. The result, a dazzling blue-green savoyed strap leaf with underturned margins, upright growth, and a striking pink midrib. Eye-catching at the market, and the flavor is “very lacinato.” More winter hardy than any other lacinato-type, as demonstrated in the kale-killing freeze-out of 2013–14. Nice work! Farm Original Variety!
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Total Clown Lettuce

Total Clown Lettuce

Farm Original Variety! I found this multi-hued romaine as a volunteer on the fringes of a breeding plot several years ago. I didn’t plant it, but I know its Momma. Many subtle variations on red streaked and splashed romaine heads, some with rose-pink hearts. Farm Original Variety!
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Aloha Gem Lettuce

Aloha Gem Lettuce

Farm Original Variety! This is the first varietal type to emerge from ‘Manoa x Leopard,’ a glossy ‘Little Gem’ sized, medium green, savoyed, heading lettuce with something like romaine texture. A “personal sized” head that fits well on a plate, and has huge savoyed surface area to hold plenty of dressing. Can be planted 6-8” apart for intensive production. May be harvested at a wide range of maturity, from rosette to full headed. Farm Original Variety!
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Island Gems Mix Lettuce

Island Gems Mix Lettuce

Farm Original Variety! This mix of tight small heads comes from the cross ‘Manoa’ x ‘Leopard’ initiated in 2011. This will eventually produce a dozen or more distinct cultivars (inc. a couple this year), but you can preview them all right here. These are primarily mini and midi sizes in all shades of green, as well as boldly spotted and blushed kinds with many shades of red. Savoyed short-leafed packed heads are perfect salad plate size for either whole head servings or mixed salads, with complex and contrasting coloration. Farm Original Variety!
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Camo Oakheart Mix Lettuce

Camo Oakheart Mix Lettuce

Farm Original Variety! There is a complicated history here that began with a ‘Deer Tongue’ that went camo with red spots and a bronze overcast after an unplanned mating with a red-to-heart romaine, only to be made oakish by a chance encounter with Green Oakheart. The resulting genepool is something to behold, ranging in color from deepest solid red to the heart, through all stages of spotting, speckling, and blushing into spotless green. Dense oakheart heads in sizes from mini to full to elf-earred. Great salad mix oakleaf diversity. You’ve never seen anything like this. Farm Original Variety!
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Tall Oaks Mix Lettuce

Tall Oaks Mix Lettuce

Farm Original Variety! When oaks are crossed by romaines, they can develop some big and upright attitudes, and very fancy ears. This genetic family has terrific traits from ‘Crisp Mint’ romaine, including a slightly savoyed texture, crunchy midribs, clear green color and sweet taste. Some of these have long terminal leaf lobes that remind me of elf ears. Farm Original Variety!
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Big Flame Romaine Mix Lettuce

Big Flame Romaine Mix Lettuce

Farm Original Variety! Red-to-heart breeding stock crossed into (big) ‘Crisp Mint’ and ‘Plato II’ romaines. The combinations are striking and delicious, and make a beautiful erect romaine component to salad mix diversity. Aside from the unusual red patterns and rose hearts, there is a full spectrum of green backgrounds, and many patterns of leaf margination, smooth to ruffled. Red color develops early, even under UV-absorbing plastic, making this an excellent salad component for tunnel or greenhouse production. Farm Original Variety!
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Little Rosebud Romaine Mix Lettuce

Little Rosebud Romaine Mix Lettuce

Farm Original Variety! Red-to-heart breeding stock mated with (little) ‘Pandero’ mini romaine...oh my, imagine the many mini reds. ‘Pandero’ is a solid wine version of Winter Density with great disease resistance and productivity. This mix ranges from the darkest reds into exotic red-splashed variegations. Short leaves are packed into rounded or pointed heads, often rosebud pink, that are quickly parted into gorgeous salad. Farm Original Variety!
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Jagger Mustard: Indian

Jagger Mustard: Indian

Farm Original Variety! A purple-red leaf mustard with a broadly rounded projecting shape, small dentate edges, and slight surface texture. Enough heat for a good mustard flavor, but mild enough for salad mix. Something about these leaves reminds me of The Stones. Limited Supply. Farm Original Variety!
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Redpar Celery

Redpar Celery

Farm Original Variety! This cutting celery comes from a cross between our ‘Redventure’ and a fancy cut-leaf celery called ‘Parcel.’ Stems are long and slim, red with dark green leaves that are puckered and dissected in a parsley-like manner. Used like any cutting celery in cooking, but especially nice as a salad addition, a stirring straw for Bloody Marys, or atop fried eggs. Spring transplant 8–12” apart for repeat harvest into winter. Farm Original Variety!
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Ruby Vase Lettuce

Ruby Vase Lettuce

Farm Original Variety! The pointed leaves are upright, forming vase-like heads of the darkest kind of red, many having rose pink hearts from our “red to the heart” breeding lines. Selected against tip burn. Farm Original Variety!
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Green Salad Bowl Lettuce

Green Salad Bowl Lettuce

Lime green with deeply dissected ruffled oaky leaves that can form prodigious heads two feet across. This All American Selection winner from 1952, released by USDA, is a classic from the era of public crop breeding when big and productive meant beautiful. I have not grown this variety to seed since 1982, when it was the first plant I ever collected seed from. I discovered my first accidental lettuce cross in this variety, which became the parentage for my first farm-bred varieties, including ‘Antares’ and ‘Oaky Red Splash.’
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Oaky Lollo Lettuce

Oaky Lollo Lettuce

Farm Original Variety! A unique combination of compact dark red ‘Lollo di Vino’ and ‘Merlox Red Oak.’ Creates the deepest fluffy red oak you can imagine, on a mini scale. Can be planted 6–8” apart for more intense production. Farm Original Variety!
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Salinas 88 Lettuce

Salinas 88 Lettuce

Another classic product of public breeding, from the USDA lettuce station in Salinas CA, headed for decades by Ed Ryder, preeminent lettuce scientist for the US. This is iconic “iceberg lettuce” as you imagine it, resistant to nearly all maladies of lettuce, including mosaic virus (LMV), tip burn and bolting. A difficult variety to get seed from in Oregon.
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Pele Lettuce

Pele Lettuce

Farm Original Variety! From ‘Manoa x Leopard,’ this short leaf romaine begins as a dark spotted seedling, then matures into a glossy red, crisp, undulant romaine. Interior a blanched blend of pink and yellow heart. Farm Original Variety!
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Tom Thumb Lettuce

Tom Thumb Lettuce

One of the original mini lettuces, a true heirloom butterhead introduced to the US from England just after the Civil War. Medium green, very dense with creamy hearts, makes a perfect split-head salad. Fast maturing, can be densely spaced 5–6” apart in early spring plantings for abundant first-to-market heads. Heat and bolt resistant if used as a summer lettuce.
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Wonder of Stuttgart Lettuce

Wonder of Stuttgart Lettuce

A green German butterhead, said to be dependable year-round with moderate winter protection. We have only grown it once so far, but are offering based on first impressions and testimonials. The stock seed for this was handed to me by a wonderful European couple at a conference last winter. I have lost the original packet with their names, but hope to recover this information for the next catalog.
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InfaRouge Ruffles Mix Lettuce

InfaRouge Ruffles Mix Lettuce

Farm Original Variety! The darkest red oak from the '80s paired up with the darkest savoyed leaf from 20 years later...‘Mascara’ x ‘Pinot.’ What took so long? There are so many shades beyond the red in here, and the leaf textures combine oak and ruffling and savoy and crisping in a hundred ways. These are full sized heads of looseleaf and oak types, describable as “wino violetto” to “21st century fire”...so many names come to mind. Farm Original Variety!
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Sea of Romaine Mix Lettuce

Sea of Romaine Mix Lettuce

Farm Original Variety! How many ways are there to be a green romaine? What if every head of romaine was as unique as every person on the street? Like migrations of humanity converged on a world capital, a sea of romaine as diverse as the rivers that feed it. That’s how this blend of green selections from romaine crosses will make you feel. From miniheads to full size, golden to jade, edges as smooth as knives, to serrate, dentate, and fuzzy. Diversity within the romaine theme. Farm Original Variety!
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Morton's Secret Lettuce Mix '16 Lettuce

Morton's Secret Lettuce Mix '16 Lettuce

Farm Original Variety! Shhhhhh! Don’t tell anyone, but this mix contains new stuff that may soon be named and released. We can’t tell you what it is exactly, but there are new lines (with variations) in here. Reds, greens, brights, darks, splashes, blushes, crisps, butters, leafs, heads, and tongues. Soon to be famous? You might be the first to find out.

This year’s secret stuff has some lotus-like lettuce that look like bloodstone, or just bloody red. There are crisphead cousins of Falstaff, a pool of green gems with Hawaiian genes, and an unlikely combination of island hearts and Deer Tongue in camo dress. If this is hard to comprehend, that’s because it’s a secret!

Note: This is a new mix for 2016. You can still purchase the classic Morton's Secret Lettuce Mix from previous years (original mix, 2014 Mix, 2015 Mix) Farm Original Variety!
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Garnet Butter Gem Lettuce

Garnet Butter Gem Lettuce

Farm Original Variety! Our good customer, Hiroshi Takikawa, market farmer from Los Olivos, CA, sent us seed from a favorite lettuce cross many years ago. This is our first selection from his gift, a compact garnet red butter lettuce with gem appeal. Farm Original Variety!
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Early Perfect Italian Peppers

Early Perfect Italian Peppers

Farm Original Variety! This is probably what Joelene was really requesting when she asked if I could recreate her favorite hybrid red Italian as an OP variety. These appeared from my “early red” breeding lines this year, and I was as surprised as anyone with its straight smooth shape, like a longer “red roaster” type, including the nicely domed crown, and few seeds. A chef's dream. Easy to clean, roast and peel, a joy to slice, little to trim or waste, uniform wall thickness, sweet taste. Farm Original Variety!
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Classic Italian Peppers

Classic Italian Peppers

Farm Original Variety! More curvaceous, full bodied, variably crowned, and blunt than the perfect model described above. Proudly less than perfect, but also less rumpled and crumpled than the rustic Italian clan. Earlier than Joelene’s, more refined, but maybe not as sweet. Farm Original Variety!
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Jimi's Purple Haze Poppy

Jimi's Purple Haze Poppy

Farm Original Variety! Out of the ‘Jimi's Flag’ poppy mix, purple petals with dark purple splotches. Purple pods have dark seeds. Farm Original Variety!
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Jimi's Snowflakes

Jimi's Snowflakes

Farm Original Variety! Crystal white petals with ice-cut edges, tan seed pods with nut-brown seeds, non-bitter and delicious. Farm Original Variety!
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New Flowers in 2016

Flowers for pollinators, gardens, and cutting.

Navajo Tea Navajo Tea

Navajo Tea Navajo Tea

A low-growing, big-flowering, eye-catching native species suitable for pathway borders. Also known as Hopi tea or Greenthread, Navajo Tea is an important medicinal plant in the southwestern US. The entire plant, filiform leaves and yellow petals, can be used as a yellow dye source and an herbal tea that alleviates aches and pain. Luteolin, one of the flavonoids found in Navajo Tea, is notable for its anti-inflammatory effects.
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Ghost Pipes Nicotiana

Ghost Pipes Nicotiana

I love having scented flowers around regular work stations or along frequented paths. Nicotiana knows how to take care of herself. Once transplanted into place it making a carefree border or filling a difficult corner. Grows to 5’ by the end of autumn. Space transplants 12” or more apart. Long tubular ghost-white flowers are gorgeous en mass, glowing as dusk gathers in the heavy fragrance.
3,000 seeds/packet, 27,000 seeds/gram
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Hopi Black Dye Sunflower

Hopi Black Dye Sunflower

Gorgeous multi-use Hopi heirloom with bright yellow petals that contrast beautifully against the dark centers. These tower 7-11 feet with terminal heads more than a foot across, and smaller axillary blooms. The large seeds are great for snacking, but the real treasure is in the dark hulls that can be used to obtain a spectrum of purple to grey dyes. Smaller side flowers are perfect for cut arrangements.
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Aztec Sunset Mix Zinnia

Aztec Sunset Mix Zinnia

This is the short, compact zinnia species, generally 10–15” tall, but very productive on a stems/sq. ft. basis. Also less prone to mildew and other leaf grief. ‘Aztec Sunset’ is a mix of evening colors from orange-red through burgundy and into purple, fully doubled, often bicolored petals tipped in white or yellow.
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Persian Carpet Zinnia

Persian Carpet Zinnia

My introduction to the wonders of compact zinnias. These are so resplendent and low lying that you do wish you could lie down in them to watch the winged life. These are brighter in tone than the ‘Aztec Sunset,’ a mix of solid and bicolor petals in carmine, yellow, deep red, and white fringed shades.
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Dyer's Chamomile

Dyer's Chamomile

Low maintenance perennial dye plant from the Mediterranean. Leaves are lacy with a bluish-green hue, and bright yellow daisy-like flowers are a punch of sunshine throughout the growing season. Plants spread readily, creating a mat of beautiful foliage and blooms. Dried flowers create a crisp yellow dye that can be over-dyed with indigo or woad for brilliant greens
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Dyer's Coreopsis Plains Coreopsis

Dyer's Coreopsis Plains Coreopsis

Wildflower species common to central Canada, the US and northern Mexico. Coreopsis flowers are a favorite hub for native bees, and ours this year attracted solitary bee species in abundance that were not found on any other flowers. Sow seeds in autumn or spring for early summer flowers. Our population is a mixture of the species type bicolor-petal (red/yellow) flowers, and stunning crimson and yellow-speckled variations that are garden show-stoppers and pigment rich. Flowers are used to obtain rust and mahogany dyes.
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Shades of Gold Mix Marigolds: Tall

Shades of Gold Mix Marigolds: Tall

Monstrous plants (up to 5 ft) that produce large doubled flowers up to 3” across. Blooms range from limey to lemony yellow, to bold gold and deep orange. Dye produced from fresh or dried flowers produce a spectrum of yellow and orange hues. The large flowers make gorgeous dried garlands that will keep your home cheery through the winter months.
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Mr. Majestic Double Marigolds: Short

Mr. Majestic Double Marigolds: Short

Extravagant yellow and maroon doubled flowers make me think of Mr. Fancypants. These low-growing productive marigolds start blooming early in summer and carry on until frost. Like other French marigolds, these produce root exudates that are the organic alternative to chemical nematicides. Dye from the petals are colorfast rust-toned, and the doubled flowers give you more dye for your effort.
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Blanket Flower Gaillardia

Blanket Flower Gaillardia

Easy carefree cut flower for the dry border, vigorous and self-maintaining favorite of butterflies, natural prairie companion to Black Eyed Susan and Coreopsis.
300 seeds/packet, 300 seeds/gram
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Goldilocks Rudbekia

Goldilocks Rudbekia

This is the best Black Eyed Susan for cut flower growers according to every source I've come across, including Armitage. 4” blooms of long slim doubled petals in rich golden yellow tones. Long strong stems are 30–42” tall, holding high bright mops of color, calling in the bumbles. This rugged species is meant for the driest border that challenges you.
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