Sunday, March 13, 2011

Seed Order for Summer Crops--Territorial Seed Company

Although I have many packages of vegetable seeds, there are always some irresistible descriptions in the seed catalogs for vegetables I haven’t tried. I rationalize that some of my seeds are getting past the 2-5 year cutoff point for viability and I need to get replacements right away.

When choosing a seed company, the first thing I look for is whether they have signed the Safe Seed Pledge. The pledge states that the company will not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants. If they do not have a statement to that effect in their catalog, the catalog is tossed.

Thankfully, more and more seed companies are taking that pledge. One such company, Territorial Seed Company in Cottage Grove, Oregon,, was one of the first to sign up. Their pledge reads:

“As charter signers of the Safe Seed Pledge, we pledge that we do not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants. We wish to support agricultural progress that leads to healthier soils, genetically diverse agricultural ecosystems, and ultimately people and communities. All of our seed is untreated”

Because I buy seeds from about a half-dozen seed companies, each order is a portion of the final inventory of seeds I want this year. I like that Territorial has ‘Sampler’ packets with a small amount of seed that can be used up within 1-2 years. Since I’ve bought from Territorial in the past, and have been very satisfied with their seeds, they are getting my first seed order this year**:

Corn ‘Honey & Cream’—“…old-fashioned flavor…bicolor corn. …sweet, 7 inch ears form rows of the most flavorful, creamy kernels. …7 foot tall plants exhibit disease resistance.”

Cucumber ‘Green Slam’—“…one of the first slicers to ripen, and it continued to pump out cucumbers all summer long. …6 inches long…nice clean flavor, without a hint of bitterness.”

Okra ‘Star of David’—“…heirloom variety…extra plump… …distinctive, tasty okra flavor. Cut one in half and its fascinating cross section reveals a geometric, six-pointed Star of David. …5-6 inches long (or smaller)… productive plants when kept picked.”

Pumpkin ‘Jack Be Little’—“Terrific for decorations and eating. These charming little orange pumpkins are 3-4 inches across, somewhat flattened and ribbed, with small, strong stems. Short 5 foot vines produce 6-12 of these fascinating miniature pumpkins.”

Tomato ‘Early Girl’—“A widely adapted variety for early tomato production. …plants bear 4-5 ounce red, globe-shaped tomatoes…

Tomato ‘Stupice’—“This cold-tolerant tomato ripens sweet, red, slightly oval, 2 inch fruit that make an excellent choice for first-of-the-summer salads, lunch boxes, and juicing. Stupice consistently gets high marks for taste throughout the summer. Pumps out fruit over the entire season. Bred in the former Czechoslovakia [and is pronounced “stu-peach-ka”]. Indeterminate potato leaf variety.”

The corn, cucumber and okra all sounded like really tasty varieties to try. With the tomatoes, I’m going with two early varieties since we’ve had more than two years of unproductive tomato plants in the heat of the Sacramento Valley summer. The variety ‘Stupice’ sounds especially good. I can’t wait to see how it performs. And the pumpkins are just for fun. After growing the ‘Sugar Pie’ pumpkin last year, and finding how easy pumpkins are to grow, I just had to grow some more.

Pumpkins are a great crop for the wee gardeners to start with, too.

**permission given to use photos from Territorial Seed Catalog


  1. I'd still like to have another Cherokee Purple tomato - although it isn't overly productive, it is soooooo good! I'm looking forward to having Stupice in my garden!

  2. I hope to have okra in my garden for the first time this year. I'm trying to grow it from seed. Fingers crossed! I hope you'll share some recipes.

  3. I'm glad to hear that you're going to try okra in your garden, Christine. It's pretty easy to grow and has a lovely, big flower. I do have a recipe with tomatoes, onions, okra, shrimp and Louisiana hot sauce over white rice. I'll have to look it up for you. Good luck in all your gardening!

  4. I love pumkins as a food and for Halloween fun too!