I have been involved in the American seed industry –selling, marketing, developing, and amateur breeding. In the past 20 years I became involved in more international seed work, helping persons in several less developed lands gain access to open-pollinated varieties as well as developing a few to introduce for their future use.
began with the old Harris Seed Company, a brief stint with Petoseed, then several years on my own (Market More, Inc. and Gourdgeous Farm, LLC) and then establishment of a 501c3 called Hope Seeds, Inc, and most recently the establishment of another 501c3 named Day 3 Seeds, which is what I consider to be my last and most important efforts toward seed work – Seed for Future Generations.
have resourced historical open-pollinated items, keeping the varieties available while continuing to make new selections from such. *I have accessed Seed Savers Exchange often over the past 20+ years. Other efforts have been to simply keep an old(er) heirloom item alive and available for future gardening. And, more important to me is the work of making crosses and developing new open-pollinated lines for future gardening efforts, both here in the USA and abroad.
(old school) which include hand-pollination crosses, Random Mass negative and/or positive selection, and self-pollinating within isolation. Each season (April – September here in southeast Mo.) we plant between 120 – 200 varieties of multiple species.
species to suit our target audiences are: Sweet Pepper, Hot Pepper, Determinate and Dwarf Tomato, Tropical Squash, Okra, Eggplant, cover crop / rotation legumes, and certain varieties more recently collected from travels to foreign countries (Uganda, Kenya, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Haiti, Kyrgyzstan). I am offering a select portion of my list of varieties I am working with/on, and the price per packet is $3 (which includes shipping anywhere in the USA).
via email or USPS, and can process payment via credit card. I welcome any communication of questions regarding the varieties, notes, and availability. I welcome contributions of items to my seed work, realizing the diversity of genes will benefit the overall outcomes. Find my listing for 2020 and 2021 listed below. Thank You.
Bred by Jason Cavatorta and Molly Jahn, Cornell University; 2011 Green Thumb Award; open-pollinated, semi-bush vine, 3-5” white fruit w/black spines, good flavor for fresh and/or pickling, and disease tolerance to angular leaf spot and powdery mildew. Suited well for limited space gardens as well as in large containers. Harvest may begin 70 days from seeding
Bred by Dr. Bob Munger of Cornell in 1970’s; very productive open-pollinated green skinned slicer; was a commercial farm favorite grown by many US farms during 1970’s – 1990’s before the introduction of hybrid cucumbers. D3S saves and shares seed from our continued selections in Southeast Missouri; proves useful for many tropical and sub-tropic regions.
Acquired from the USDA in 1990, and they acquired it from a selection made in South Africa in the 1960’s. This white slicer type is very disease tolerant, and heavily laden with male blooms, and occasionally a female flower which will produce a very tasty 8-12” white skinned slicing cucumber. I keep this variety alive for its extreme heat tolerance and disease package, using it to cross pollinate into my other white cucumbers for some beneficial natural crossing. It may be a very good male parent for breeding an improved white slicer and/or pickle type.
‘Asparagus’ beans, or Chinese Long beans, are warm/hot weather loving plants which bear fruit which can be 20-30” long (thus sometimes they are called ‘yard long’ beans). Red Noodle is of this species, recognized for its maroon colored pods, normally bearing two beans at each flowering stem. The vigorous vines need to be trellised to keep pods off the ground, and allowing easier harvesting. Young pods are best picked before seed development occurs, appreciating tender edible and colorful fruit for many recipes. Unlike other purple colored beans (most often of the specie Phaseolus) Red Noodle will retain its color when cooked. Harvest may begin about 65 days from seeding, warm weather permitting.
Edible seeds from tropical origins of Middle East and sub-Sahara Africa; millions of tons of this grain are produced annually in Tanzania, Myanmar, India, and Sudan and to lesser volumes in many tropical nations by small plot farmers and home gardeners. Sesame was domesticated over 3000 years ago for its oil; it survives and produces on marginal soils under high heat and drought conditions and is tolerant of infrequent wet conditions (monsoons). Subsistence farmers can include this crop on marginal lands and bring nutritional benefit to their household. ‘Open Sesame’ of the fable ‘Ali Babba and the 40 thieves’ is reference to the sesame seed pod opening to reveal its treasured seeds. Our strain being offered was collected in Guatemala. Another strain we collected was from Uganda, and after several years of comparative trialing in southeast Mo. we view no difference in plant or seed… so we have decided to grow only the one from Guatemala every season.
The name Luffa was taken from Egyptian Arabic name ‘luf’ by 17th century European botanists. Found to be a most useful plant, and tolerant to heat and humid weather conditions, bearing edible fruit when young while inedible fibrous interior when fully mature. It has been and remains quite popular to the people of India, China, and many other Asian nations. My strain of Luffa originates from a hybrid from S.Korea, de-hybridized to a stable open-pollinated very long luffa, beginning such effort in 1995. The now open-pollinated variety will produce edible young luffa 12-24” length, and allowed to fully mature (for fibrous sponge) will reach lengths of up to 4’. Intent and purpose for this development is tasty food source from a disease and insect tolerant plant with genetic heritage of tolerance to weather stress, and a long luffa sponge for home use and/or markets. Very vining plant requires trellis to produce straight fruit, 90+ warm days from direct seeding before harvest of edible fruits; allow to hang till completely dry for useful ‘scrub’ interior.
A Florida Market type, known for its elongated tear drop shape, dark purple skin, and large fruit; interior eating quality is very nice with white flesh and small seed cavity near bulbous end; tall and well branched plant reaching about 36” height and 30” spread; yields well from mid-summer till frost, and has proven quite productive in trials in the tropical zones of Haiti and Uganda; Our strain comes from my family farm and was a variety we grew for decades, originally from the Harris Seed Co./Moreton Farm of Rochester, NY.
Tropical type hi-dome flint of golden yellow kernels on 8-9” length with 18-20 kernel rows. Primarily used for silage and some meal use in Cuba and south Florida (where our selection originated as a gift from UofFl Breeder Dr. Brian Sculley in the 1990’s. We have made selections over the years in both Florida and Missouri. The husk protection is most excellent with plant tolerance to wind lodging and quite disease tolerant, staying green even while the ears are fully maturing (which makes it quite useful as a silage variety. We value it for its unique valuable traits as a stand-alone variety as well as for crossing of its traits to other tropical types.
Tropical type dent white on 6-8” length with 16-18 kernel rows. Collected from a field in Naminage, Uganda over 10 years ago, this open-pollinated white meal corn will grow quite tall in Missouri (planted out of its selected day-length slot of equatorial region of Uganda). The stalk strength is very good, with above average husk protection and good disease package. The kernel is tender and easily hand-ground (traditional method in Uganda villages) with a good white color.
Originator of the selection stock from 1990 – present day. My efforts to develop this strain of mini decorative multi-colored popcorn began in 1991. I field crossed several strains of multi colored mini popcorns… a source from Oklahoma, one from Michigan, one from New York, one from Idaho, and one from Illinois. Using crossing block plantings, selecting for ear length (desired 6-8”), multiple kernel color range, and row count of up to 16, I spent three years of choosing for target type in both Florida and Missouri. The original release was named ‘Smoke Signals’ and seed made available to Harris Seed Co. and my own company Gordgeous Farm. I continue to make new crop selections each year, though not in the acreage once done in the 1990’s. I still like it for bunching/decorative use, and for eating (though admittedly the popped kernels are small yet very tasty/nutty flavor).
Black Thai is a very tall strain with black seed born on umberelic racemes late in our season in southeast Mo. The plant is quite strong and avoids lodging even in extreme winds. The birds seem to like the seed (for if we don’t harvest in time the racemes are left bare). Our strain comes to us from a visitor from Cambodia many years ago, and we are not sure of its origins and overall cultural use in that region. We enjoy it as a seasonal windbreak for our summer vine crops of pumpkins and winter squash. We also use it as decorative addition to our tropical maize and tall sunflowers for a ‘Maze’ planting for visitors to our property… an attention getter.
This black seeded bean originates from India with our strain gifted to us by a missionary to Nigeria. Mungo is very heat tolerant and disease resistant, yielding quite well with 2-3 pods per hand, each pod yielding 6-8 seeds. It is a very accepted bean in multiple recipes of Indian cuisine, and has been accepted in many African countries as introduced by agronomist missionaries.
This tan seeded bean was a useful cover crop and cattle forage crop in Florida for many years of the past century, and our selection originates from a gift by Dr.Brian Sculley of the U.ofFl. The plant is very heat and disease tolerant, always the last legume in our gardens to desiccate. We find it very useful as a cover/rotation crop, compost additive, and good host plant for multiple beneficial insects (ladybug, lacewing, praying mantis) and small birds as the deep cover allows for aphids to survive the heat of summer… though we don’t recommend to much of it planted at one time, managing the insect population. We like to inter-crop this bean with our tropical maize and tall sunflowers to help suppress weed growth.
‘spicy-warm’ variety originated from Biber, Turkey. Short plant suited for containers as well as small spaces. Plant spacing of 6” in 24” rows will yield average number of fruit of exceptional eating and spice quality. The wrinkled pointed green fruit measure 2” wide at the shoulder and up to 5” in length, ending in a pointed fruit which will turn scarlet red at full maturity. The medium heat level shares well with the very good flavor, making it a very good spice pepper for drying, grinding, as well as fresh use. This has become one of my favorite warm peppers for my own cooking.
This selection of Napoleon originates from seed from Seed Saver Exchange in 2012. The selection we have made in southeast Mo. are for regional disease tolerance and more blocky three lobed shapes (and we get some 4 lobed). The flavor and quality of the fruit remains constant over the years, making it one of our favorite bell types to grow. It is a mid-season maturing variety with dark green to deep red coloring, though we find it best to harvest for eating at the ‘chocolate’ stage before the fruit gets totally red since the holding quality at full ripe is not good (but this is when we harvest for seed-saving). I continue to make selections each season on this early 20th century variety.
sweet triangular thick-walled pimento type. Original seed given to us by missionaries working among the Dungan Chinese of Kyrgyzstan. Short well branched plants will yield early and well into the season. Very nice flavor picked at young, light green stage and even better when fully ripe salmon/red. Very nice for stuffing, chopping, canning, and freezing.
A tall plant with many branches bearing multitudes of elongated sweet peppers. 2” wide x 6-8” length of smooth skinned green to golden peppers are very nice eating quality and one of our garden favorites for roasting, pizza, and salad use. The tall plants will benefit from cage or staking to support the full crop capacity into the late summer and even fall.
Work on this de-hybridized variety began in 1997 and continues to this day with annual selections for flavor, fruit length and shape, and plant strength. The 2” wide by 8-12” long green to red pointed sweet peppers are very tasty and appreciated by our gardening friends here in southeast Mo. It remains one of our favorite varieties to consume and share… surprising many who look at the fruit type expecting a hot pepper, to be fully taken aback by the very sweet flavor. Plant is tall and will benefit from staking/caging, and we normally plant it on 8” centers to get best yields.
very warm pungent pepper grown among the Dungan Chinese in Kyrgyzstan, 18”+ strong plant with good branches which will yield good quantity of elongated thin walled green to red peppers. Utilized for pickling and drying, this very warm pepper is above average in size for its type (1.5” wide x 6” long) with a slight wrinkling to the mostly smooth skin. If it is heat you desire for making spice pickles or chow-chow… then this may be your pepper.
This wild selection given to us from Guatemala is a very tall well branched plant (perennial in tropics) with multitudes of ½” wide by 1” long very hot spice flavor. Oft used in recipes of native Guatemalans, this unique plant is being reviewed and selected for our garden use, perhaps even keeping the plant in a large container over winter in one of our greenhouses.
I began selecting this spicy Cayenne over 8 years ago, mostly for its very nice cayenne-like pungency alongside the sweetness of the fruit… making it one of my favorites in egg dishes, chili, and salsas. It yields well, bearing ½” wide x 7-8” long bright red thin skinned fruits on rather tall well branched plant (which benefits from cage or birdnest staking method.
Early yielding okra on rather short plants, originally selected by USDA in 1951 in northern region of India, and selected several times over the past two decades in our gardens of Florida and southeast Missouri. This variety yields very good quantity of slender and tender pods, very much preferred type in most areas of India and Pakistan. This selection has shown great potential for yields in field trials in Florida and Missouri, and I feel has great potential as an okra variety for short growing season areas of USA (as long as day temps might reach into the 80+). It is also suited to container gardening and small space gardens since the leaves are lancelate and plant not overly tall.
Originally bred by Dr.Ray Volin of Northrup King Seed at his Florida facility, it was introduced in the 1980’s espousing its earliness and yielding quality of very good tender pods. Dropped from production and marketing by the company in the 90’s it has been saved by several seed-savers, including myself. Our selections have been maintained on our southeast Missouri farm, and the variety continues to show very good yields and tender green pods. It has since been introduced into several countries in need of okra improvements – Haiti, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Nigeria, and others.
1940’s release out of Louisiana, this variety has shown good reports from Texas to Missouri for the past decades till now. Our selection was gifted to us by a gardener in Sikeston, Mo. and we have grown for two seasons finding good uniformity of long green, tender pods in good yields.
Originally a release out of the U.ofGa. in the 1980’s this lovely red-stemmed plant with dark green/reddish leaves yields fair quantity of red tender pods. It is a tall plant, and lovely companion plant in decorative gardens. Low yielding as compared to our other okras, it is fun to include for its color, height, and striking red stems.
A gift to us from a family garden in eastern Tennessee, this very compact plant with large umberelic leaves yields nice quality green pods. It is suited to growing in tight spaces, in large containers, and lends itself to unique garden combinations with herbs, flowers, and other smaller vegetable plants.
strongly flavored flat chive used often among the Dungan Chinese people of Kyrgyzstan, this herb was gifted to me by missionaries from the region in the 1990’s. Perennial in our zone 6, and heavy bloomer in September, with good seed yield in October.
Missouri heirloom pink-skinned roma type sauce and saladette type, with good flavor and saucing quality. The plant exhibits very good disease tolerance, a concentrated set of three or four hands of 4-6 fruit per hand, on a compact indeterminate plant. One of our favorite saucing and freezing tomato. The name comes from two women named Meta… unrelated yet both families had grown the variety for decades.
dark green fruit with a deep orange, sweet meat interior, and it is a good keeper in fall into winter. This tropical type is selection of the types grown in many tropical nations, though I am selecting for the shape most preferred – flattened ‘Cinderella Coach’. The long vines grow quite vigorously, yet require warm days and nights to set adequate female flowers, yielding fruit which weigh 10-15lb.. Our selection originated from the country of Trinidad/Tobago in the 1980’s
medium green blotchy fruit with tannish interior meat of mild texture and rather low sugars. This type is popular in Bahamas and south Florida for addition to stews and soups. The vigorous vine yields round fruit weighing about 10-12 pounds. The variety originates from the UofFl in the 1960’s.
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