I do not sell seed so everything on this list is free. However, I do ask most respectfully for £1 for each envelope they come in to help towards the costs I incur in my seed-saving endeavours . Please email me with your request as supplies run low very quickly. Once I confirm please send an SAE (A large second class stamp on a padded A5 envelope is ideal) and the cost of the envelopes either in the form of stamps, as cash or you can pay using PayPal using my email firstname.lastname@example.org
SYRIA – seed harvested 2017. This wonderful courgette was grown from seed I discovered in a market in Damascus. The plants are trailing and will crop through to the end of October if given protection. Good resistance to powdery mildew, (which is easily treated with regular applications of potassium bicarbonate). My absolute favourite courgette ever as the fruits have low water content and, unlike most modern varieties, actually has real flavour. Great used in frittata or grilled. Grow three plants a metre apart to ensure good pollination and plenty of fruits to enjoy and share.
CLIMBING FRENCH BEAN
RAY’S BUTTER BEAN – seed harvested 2018 – another bean from the Heritage Seed Library, (HSL). This Australian-bred ex-commercial variety – which has been lost from cultivation in Australia – benefits from an early sowing. Very heavy crops of delicious yellow flat pods which hold very well even as the beans swell.
ZURICH SNAP – seed harvested 2017 – A heavy cropping Swiss heirloom from Pro-Specie Rara and grown by my son in Switzerland. Long mottled pods of delicious beans in profusion over a long season. Best eaten fresh. Highly recommended.
DWARF FRENCH BEAN
EMPEROR OF RUSSIA – Seed harvested 2018 – In my humble opinion this is the tastiest French bean you will ever eat. Prolific and very early. I sow seeds under bottle cloches for their first month of growth. A sowing in early May will crop in early July. An abundance of very long pencil thin and completely stringless pods are borne on plants that grow to 2′. It is worth staking in a windy location. Sow seeds 2 together 9″ apart in rows 9″ apart. Thin the weakest plants when they have properly emerged. For a late crop sow under glass in July to harvest in October and later.
VAL’S BEAN – Seed harvested 2018 – An HSL variety and tasty heirloom bean that yields a good crop of fine-tasting pencil pods that hold well so can be harvested when quite large.
MAY BEAN – seed harvested 2018 – This interesting and early maturing bean can be harvest and eaten green as pods or allowed to mature when it yields plenty of small white beans that are delicious in casseroles, stews, etc. Sow directly into open ground in mid May 2 seeds 9″ apart in rows 9″ apart. Protect with cloches if necessary. Thin to one plant per station. Stake if in a windy location.
VERMONT CRANBERRY – seed harvested 2018 -This American shelling bean can also be eaten when young as quite tasty long podded French beans. Sow directly into open ground in mid May 2 seeds 9″ apart in rows 9″ apart. Protect with cloches until early June if necessary. Thin to one plant per station. Stake if in a windy location. Very good grown early with protection.
FOWLER – seed harvested 2018 – A very tasty bean from the HSL. Holds incredibly well and is completely stringless even when very large. Crops prolifically over a long season.
BRECON BLACK – seed harvested 2017. A Welsh heirloom that has come to me via the Irish Seed Savers organisation. I have grown this variety for wider cultivation in Wales. It was grown in the gardens of St. Fagans outside Cardiff and will be grown in 2019 at Aberglasney gardens in West Wales. Tender pods when harvested young. Shows some variability in length but needs to be more widely grown and enjoyed, especially in Wales.
RHONDDA BLACK – SEED HARVESTED 2017 – Another Welsh heirloom from South Wales given to me by a gentleman when I gave a talk in – you’ve guessed it – the Rhondda valley> Probably grown as a competition bean, this black-seeded cultivar produces lots of long straight pods which are best eaten when young.
MONTACUTE – Seed harvested 2018 – This heirloom has been grown on the Montacute estate in Somerset for decades. An HSL variety I have grown for them so have a few extra to share. Very heavy cropping, long and tender tasty beans. if you want to save your own seed then you must grow the crop in isolation as runner beans will cross with others up to half a mile away.
LAOS MANGE-TOUT – seed harvest 2017 – Pea grows to 6 feet . A really exciting find in a market in Vientienne, Laos in 2009. The seed are speckled dark blue and I presumed would yield a purple pod. The plants are rampant with pale purple flowers. very pretty. But surprisingly the pods are green. Absolutely delicious they can be harvested when very young, blushed pink like a maiden’s blush as mange-tout or when starting to fill as a sugar-snap. They can also be harvested as shelling peas. Sow a double row in a flat-bottomed drill one inch apart by two inches between the row and cover with a good inch of soil. Firm down and keep well watered until germination. Need to be able to grow up secured pea-netting or sturdy 6′ pea-sticks.
ROBINSON – Seed harvested 2018 – In my opinion this is the finest tasting pea you will ever grow. 5″ pods of fat sweet and tender peas, they are almost impossible to get to the table they taste so good straight from the vine! This variety grows to 6 feet and requires careful staking. I use pea netting stretched across bamboo poles which are cross-braced to make them rigid. Sow seed 2″ apart in spring in a 1″ deep drill four inches wide. As soon as the peas emerge put a climbing support along either side of the drill. Stretch string over straggling vines as they grow. This plant is a vigorous and heavy cropper.
AVI JOAN (Avi Juan)- seed harvested 2017 – This truly magnificent pea was given to me by Jesus Vargas, a passionate seed guardian who has collection of about 150 native and heirloom Spanish and Catalan vegetable varieties including this giant. Bred by his grandfather and named after his grandmother, Ave Joan grows to 2 metre, with large flowers that attract large numbers of bees. The pods are long with mostly 10 fat peas of a divine sweetness. Excellent to freeze and because of their size a punnet of pods yields a veritable feast. Until Jesus gave me some seed he was the only person to grow this awesome pea.
PUBESCENS ROCOTTO – Seed harvested 2012 – This is a truly remarkable chilli. It has a lovely bushy and compact habit, produces beautiful purple flowers and has wonderful plum-sized fruit with black seeds. It does not cross with other chillies either and can be grown as a perennial if kept at a minimum temperature of about 10 degrees in winter. I harvest fresh chillies right through until February when a severe prune and a good feed sets the plants off to produce an early crop. This plant grows well outside in a sheltered sunny spot.
BURMESE PLUM – Seed harvested 2013 – A local variety with heavy crops of small, round fruity and spicy chillies that are great used fresh as an alternative to a dried bird’s foot chilli. Does well in a 15cm pot in a sunny and sheltered location outside.
BLACK CUBAN -Seed harvested 2016 – An heirloom that has a bushy habit with lovely mauve flowers and a forest of small black chillies that turn a deep red when ripe. Hot and tolerant of cold. This photo was taken in December. Will continue to crop all year if kept at a minimum of 10 degrees.
HSIPAW PURPLE – Seed harvested 2016 – A local commercial crop. Tall plants with black fruits that ripen slowly through green to red. Hot.
PIMENTON D’ESPELETTE seed harvested 2011 – a protected French variety that is used as a condiment in local cuisine. Easy to grow with heavy crops of large medium spicy fruits which should be dried and then milled for use as course chilli powder or as an alternative to pepper. Great on scrambled eggs and sprinkled on fritatta as well as to spice up casseroles and sauces.
SULAWESI – seed harvest 2017 – limited stock – I found this chilli in a market on the island of Sulawesi in 1990. It grows to 4″ is pencil thin and very hot. Prolific, Early and easy to grow but can be slow to germinate. Sow in gentle heat in early February and transplant when four true leaves have formed. Pot on in May into 10″ pots in greenhouse. Does well in a border and outside in a sheltered sunny spot.
CHILLI – THANLWIN RIVER – seed harvested 2016 – I was given this chilli by a Burmese farmer whose family has grown them for many years on the banks of the Thanlwin river in southern Myanmar. Does well in the UK with an early start. Abundant long hot fruits that can be eaten fresh, dried and also ground up for a great chilli powder.
CHILLI – MOROCCO – seed harvested 2016 -Seed acquired in 1997 from a desert oasis in eastern Morocco. Up to 3-inch three-lobbed boxy hot and sweet chilli pepper that turns brilliant red when ripe. Plants grow to 3 feet in height. Does well in a greenhouse border or pots. Best grown under glass but worth trying in a sunny, sheltered spot.
SYRIA – seed harvested 2017. This is a classic ‘Lebanese’ type that I have grown on from seed originally discovered in Aleppo in 2011. The local grower was Future Seeds, but sadly they suffered terribly during the civil war. Grown to supply Syrian refugees who want a taste of their own country again this is probably the fines cucumber I have ever grown. eaten whole straight from the plant it is unimpeachable flavoursome; sweet and crunchy. Possibly derived from a local bred variety, Babylon, this variety has both male and female flowers so I doubt is an F1 hybrid. It breeds true from saved seed
DEKAH (aka Dekan) – Seed harvested 2015 – I acquired this variety from the HSL and have grown it for some years. However, the HSL has identified it as a listed variety called Dekan and so it is now no longer being included in their library. I have plenty of seed of this lovely robust cucumber which grows very well outside A prolific and tasty short slightly prickled Russian cucumber that I grow under glass in isolation. Long growing season and fairly resistant to botrytis. Early, prolific and very tasty.
ZANZIBAR – seed harvested 2009 – I found this seed at a market in Zanzibar in 2007. Grown for the first time in 2009 it is a rampant type with very sweet dark green fruit that go brown as they ripen. Well worth growing. Prolific and very tasty.
OREGON HOMESTEAD SWEETMEAT (C. maxima) – seed harvested 2018 – a large and prolific blue-skinned Hubbard type that will take over wherever you grow it. Fruits up to 5 kilos if you let them. Lovely orange flesh, with skin that is easy to peel the fruits keep well into spring. An American heirloom bred for the cooler summers of north west USA this squash does very well in our climate.
TABLE QUEEN – Winter squash – seed harvested 2018
A delicious acorn squash up to 1 kilo that keeps well. Orange flesh within dark green skin. Sow 2 or 3 seed on edge into 4″ pots in a propagator at 70 degrees or a sunny windowsill in a warm room from early April. Thin out the weaker seedlings and grow on until May and plant out under large cloches in rich ground leaving plants at least 3 feet apart. Remove cloches in early June when the plants are well established. Stop leader at 3′ and pinch out side shoots at three leaves. Harvest in September.
POMPEON – Winter squash – seed harvested 2010 – A delicious squash up to 2 kilos that keeps well. Deep orange flesh within dark green skin. Sow 2 or 3 seed on edge into 4″ pots in a propagator at 70 degrees or a sunny windowsill in a warm room from early April. Thin out the weaker seedlings and grow on until May and plant out under large cloches in rich ground leaving plants at least 3 feet apart. Remove cloches in early June when the plants are well established. Stop leader at 3′ and pinch out side shoots at three leaves. Harvest in September.
ASPARAGUS KALE – Seed harvested 2011 – A delicious winter kale. Leaves can be harvested and steamed or used in a stir fry. Delicious with garlic and vinegar. The flower spikes are edible and should be cooked like asparagus when they start to grow in the spring. Sow in June and transplant 18″ apart when 6 leaves have grown.
RAGGED JACK KALE – Seed harvested 2004 – This is a beautiful and very hardy Kale from N. America. Its deeply serrated green and purple leaves can be steamed or used in a stir fry. Great with garlic and vinegar too. Sow in June in a seed bed or pots and transplant firmly when large enough to handle into a well prepared bed 18″ apart. Leaves can be harvested right through the winter and into Spring when the plants send up flower spikes.
DELAWAY – Spring cabbage – seed harvested 2008 – A delicious spring and early summer non-hearting cabbage. Leaves can be harvested and steamed or used in a stir fry. Delicious with garlic and vinegar. Use like spring cabbage. The flower spikes are also delicious when they appear in late April/early May. A very long harvest season. Sow in July/August and transplant 18″ apart when 6 leaves have grown.
BURMESE SOUR TOMATO – seed harvested 2017 – I found this gorgeous tomato in a market in Yangon. It is called the sour tomato because it is used in Burmese sour cuisine. In fact it is one of the tastiest tomatoes I know and is delicious eaten thinly sliced, sprinkled with basil, salt and olive oil.
SYRIAN STUFFER – seed harvested 2018 – This tomato is from Future Seeds of Aleppo, which I was able to buy when in Syria in 2011. The packet shows a fairly ordinary looking regular tomato, but what I have grown is very different. A semi-determinate variety producing many clusters of thin-skinned richly aromatic fruit the size of a small grapefruit or large orange. Very nice sliced in a salad but even better when stuffed. This is the first year I have grown this cultivar and so I am not sure if it is a hybrid so cannot guarantee that saved seed will come true. Take a chance!
JERSEY SUNRISE – This is the famous Jersey tomato all of us baby-boomers ate as first season crops back in our youth. A very heavy and prolific cropper. Long trusses of round fruit up to 4cms in diameter are born in profusion. Very sweet when picked ripe. Sow in early February in gentle heat and transplant into 3″ pots when four true leaves have formed. Plant into their final quarters in April/May. Worth trying outside in a warm, sheltered spot. Likes lots of feeding. A good all-rounder
MOMBASA -Seed harvested 2011 – A cordon tomato suitable for greenhouse cultivation only. I discovered this lovely tomato in a market in Zanzibar. Small trusses of medium-sized deep red scalloped fruits which keep well after harvest.
NELLO’S PLUM – Cordon tomato – seed harvested 2017 – Suitable for greenhouse cultivation. I was given seed of this delicious tomato by a smallholder in Tuscany who was the subject of one of my TV shows. The fruits are large, flavoursome and wonderful to cook with. Also I dry them in a cool oven for an English equivalent of Italian sun-dried tomatoes. Blanche, skin and freeze for use in soups and sauces in the winter. Makes great ketchup! Sow in trays in February in gentle heat and transplant into 3″ pots when four true leaves have formed. Plant in greenhouse border and grow up canes or thread around string. Stop at 7th truss.
SPECKLED ROMAN – Seed harvested 2017. This tomato was first given to me by Dave Rees. A striking colourful large plum tomato which is great sliced in salads and used in cooking. Sow in trays in February in gentle heat and transplant into 3″ pots when four true leaves have formed. Plant in greenhouse border and grow up canes or thread around string. I have been cropping from eight trusses.
GRAHAM’S TOMB THUMB -seed saved 2018 – This indeterminate cherry tomato was given to me by Graham from Gabalfa in Cardiff. He has been growing it for the last twenty years and his neighbour, who first gave him seed, grew it for the previous 30 years so this is a genuine Welsh heirloom tomato. Thin-skinned and delicious.
LETTUCE -WHITE SEEDED SAMARA – Seed harvested 2016 – an ex-commercial British variety now in the HSL. A fast-growing main-crop butterhead with fine flavour.
ONION – UP TO DATE – seed harvested 2016
This magnificent onion has wonderful long-keeping properties and an excellent flavour.