Seven of our striped cherry tomatoes are now available at Johnny's Selected Seeds. They are available individually, and together in the Artisan Tomato Collection.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Johnny's Selected seeds has announced it's relationship with Artisan Seeds here, in the context of a discussion of their trialing and selecting process.
These tomatoes, the first fruits of our R & D relationship with Johnny's, will be available starting November 19th.
Our collaboration continues, and there will be more exciting varieties released in the coming years. Stay tuned.
Monday, October 28, 2013
We are releasing 2 squash land-races, and one pepper land-race, at our Artisan Seeds website. For details, see www.growartisan.com
Monday, October 21, 2013
Three years ago FrogsLeap Farm and Baia Nicchia Farm started a very successful joint-venture, breeding tomatoes. At this juncture, however, the two farms have decided to focus on different areas and that the best way to further develop and release new varieties is to dissolve the joint venture, and breed/release lines independently. The two farms will continue to collaborate on some projects of common interest. The "Artisan Seeds" brand will be carried forward by Baia Nicchia Farm which will assume all rights and contractual responsibilities related to the brand. FrogsLeap Farm will release new varieties independent of Artisan Seeds. Progress at FrogsLeap Farm may be followed at www.frogsleapfarm.blogspot.com, and on the Frogsleap Farm Facebook page and progress at Baia Nicchia may be followed at www.growartisan.com, and on the Artisan Seeds Facebook page.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Baia Nicchia Frying Pepper Mix -- Available now!
We will be at the market June 30th
Menlo Park Farmers' Market: Open Sundays from 9AM to 1PM. Our stand is located at the west end of the market, across from the orchid stand. Open 7 months of the year (see below)
Yearly Menlo Park market schedule: Main crops indicated
January: Winter Greens
February: Out of market
March: Winter Greens, Pea Shoots
April: Out of market
May: Out of market
June: Out of market
July: Tomatoes, Squash, Frying Peppers, Squash Blossoms, Herbs, Edible Flowers, New Zealand Spinach
August: Tomatoes, Squash, Frying Peppers, Squash Blossoms, Herbs, Edible Flowers, New Zealand Spinach
September: Tomatoes, Frying Peppers, Winter Squash, Sweet Peppers, Chile Peppers
October: Tomatoes, Frying Peppers, Winter Squash, Sweet Peppers, Chile Peppers
November: Winter Squash, Frying Peppers, Sweet Peppers, Chile Peppers
December: Out of market
Friday, May 10, 2013
Son of Blush: Lucky Tiger
Our breeding program really got going with Maglia Rosa. Then Maglia Rosa was used to create Blush, and now Blush now lends many of it's genes to it's offspring, Lucky Tiger.
Lucky Tiger will be available exclusively this fall from Johnny's Selected Seeds.
For more info on our breeding, follow our Artisan Seeds blog and/or our Artisan Seeds Facebook page.
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Bumble Bees (New from Artisan Seeds) Photograph by Aaron Whaley
Pink Bumble Bee and Purple Bumble Bee are now available as grafted plants from Garden Life. The Bumble Bees are also available this coming year from our collaborators at Log House Plants and Plug Connection.
Artisan Seeds is currently selling these Bees at www.growartisan.com and next fall bulk quantities of seed will be available from AP Whaley Seed.
Friday, October 26, 2012
Blush: Masterminded by Alex. This tomato spawned a "rule" of breeding that we live by.
Blush was recently a taste-test winner in Pennyslvania. Check out the tally sheet from the Franklin County Master Gardener's taste test (September 11, 2012)
Our julienne cherry tomato -- Blush -- was created when Alex (age 8 at the time) decided to cross his two favorite tomatoes. It has been turning heads ever since.
Blush has also been very important as a parent line: A few years ago, when we had accumulated a group of round, striped cherry tomatoes, they looked great, but didn't compete with Blush in flavor. What did we do? We held them back, and crossed every single one to Blush. We think it was worth it, and now you can decide if you agree, because some of Blush's descendents are now available.
A little more history: The year that the cross that created Blush was made, Alex participated in setting up crosses for our annual winter crossing list. He chose 3 of the 19 crosses to be made that year, after the other 16 had been established (by a PhD-holding plant breeder with big plans). The striking outcome is that about 90% of the value from that year came from Alex's 3 crosses. The progeny from his crosses continue to permeate most everything we are doing.
What was Alex's breeding secret? He crossed his favorite tomatoes.
He didn't try to "fix" cool looking, but poor tasting, varieties. He picked his 4 favorite tomatoes and suggested 3 crosses. The striking results from that year spawned "Alex's Rule" of tomato breeding: Cross tomatoes that taste great with other tomatoes that taste great -- because it is hard to get a mediocre-tasting tomato from two parents who taste great.
Friday, July 06, 2012
Friday, March 02, 2012
A few years ago we were filling some boxes of mixed summer squash for a restaurant customer. We didn't have quite enough, so we started tasting the immature winter squash, to see if any of them could fill in, in a pinch.
One of the winter squash varieties we were growing, Potimarron, did more than just fill in. It was better than any of the zucchini and patty pan already in the boxes. The flavor is clean, without bitterness, and the squash can be eaten like apples. On the other hand, there is a depth of flavor that standard summer squash do not have. Finally, the flesh is fine grained and dense, so squash can be grilled, souped and steamed. Light cooking is fine, because there is no bitterness to vanquish.
Over time, we have pretty much stopped growing summer squash. Instead, we harvest young Potimarron (Potimarron Jeune), and sell it as summer squash.
Potimarron, is also one of the main winter squash we sell. It is unparalleled for use in soups, and the soft orange skin can be pureed into the soup -- no peeling necessary. In fact, the skin is where much of the chestnut flavor is located.
People seem to be catching on to this squash. Last month, when we went to order seeds from Seed Savers Exchange, they did not have any bulk packages left. We were forced to buy lots of individual seed packets. So, if you want to try this variety this year, you may want to order seeds today.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Green-When-Ripe beefsteak tomatoes like Cherokee Green and Malachite Box are crazy good. Their flavor is out-of-this-world. One reason they are not already featured on menus as prominently as Cherokee Purple and other beefsteak superstars is that they are hard to get from farm to chef efficiently. Because the optimum picking window is marked by very subtle color and softening changes, even the best picking crew will pick large amounts of under-ripe or too-soft tomatoes. The under-ripe ones usually never attain full flavor, and the soft ones can not be boxed, shipped and sold in time.
The super-hero tomato that fixes this problem, and may well bring green-when-ripe beefsteaks to the general populace is Captain Lucky.
Captain Lucky is a relatively new variety bred by Millard Murdock in North Carolina. It is essentially a green-when-ripe tomato that has a bit of surface color and marbling -- and this color gives a small farmers like us the cues we need to harvest it efficiently, at just the right time! We will be selling Captain Lucky fruits this summer, and packets of seeds next fall and winter when we launch the Artisan Seeds online store.
Friday, February 10, 2012
The Mareko Fana that Menkir Tamrat brought us two years ago is probably best characterized as a "land race". Some are short, some are long. Most are brown but some are red. Most are thick-fleshed, but some are thin-skinned and delicate.
We are going to be evaluating and playing around with the diversity of our populations for a long time to come. However, in the short term we are selecting for two types of Mareko Fana:
Mareko Fana: Brown and thick-fleshed. Excellent for making Berbere spice. We typically use these mature, and dry them before use.
Mareko Fana Red: Red, thin-skinned and delicate. Fantastic as a frying pepper. We typically pick many of these young, and sell (or eat) them as frying peppers. The taste is mild when they are young.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Red arrow indicates 4-way stop sign. Blue dot is the Sunol Water Temple. Yellow rectangle is our field.
We farm adjacent to the Sunol Water Temple (as part of the Sunol AgPark), and we hold small hands-on workshops at our farm site. Upcoming workshops are listed at www.growartisan.com
General tours, educational events and school visits to the site are coordinated by SAGE.