I do not sell seed so everything on this list is free. However, I do most respectfully ask for a donation of £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 email@example.com.
HSIPAW – seed harvested 2020. I discovered this heirloom in a seed shop in the town of Hsipaw in Shan state Myanmar. The owner, herself a keen horticulturalist, had a small box of seed that she had not grown for several years. She was going to throw them way because nobody wanted to grow them anymore and she thought they were too old. I took them home and managed to get enough to germinate to yield a useful crop. They are an excellent over-wintering variety that flower very early. From a November sowing I have harvested beans in mid May. I fear this variety is now lost from cultivation in Myanmar. SYRIA SMALL – seed harvested 2020. This is a variety of bean that is often eaten when very young as a whole bean. I found it in a market in Damascus in 2011 when travelling in Syria at the start of the civil war. Young boys would sell fresh bean from great mounds they pushed around on casts through the streets of the old city. Equally delicious as a shelled bean. A genuine Syrian heritage variety.
DWARF FRENCH BEAN
KING OF THE EARLY – seed harvested 2020. A tasty Canadian heritage variety that gives a good crop from an early sowing with protection.
BLUE JAY – see harvested 2020. A heavy-cropping Canadian heritage variety with attractive, speckle purple and green slender pods. Very nice eating. Does well from an early sowing under cloches and in containers.
CLIMBING FRENCH BEAN
TRIONFO VIOLETTO -seed harvested 2020. A fine Italian commercial variety that yields a heavy crop of very long purple pods. Delicious and very attractive in the flower border too.ZURICH SNAP – seed harvested 2018 – 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.
BRECON BLACK – seed harvested 2017. OUT OF STOCK 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 – OUT OF STOCK A very fine competition bean that was bred by Alan Pickton living in the Rhondda Valley from a sport of Enorma more than fifty years ago. As well as being very long it is also very tasty.
DOUCE PROVENCE – seed harvested 2020. A heavy-cropping early pea that over-winters very well, especially with some cloche protection. This commercial variety is available through many seed companies. I have surplus seed this year which is why they are on the list. I grow them in a polytunnel, starting harvesting in May from an October sowing. Can be picked over many weeks. Plants can grow to 1.2 metres and need support.
JAUNE DE MADRAS mange-tout – seed harvested 2020 as glorious in the flower border as it is on the plate – if you can get them into the kitchen before eating them all! A 19th century French heritage variety that was claimed to come from India although there is no evidence that I can find to support this. Synonymous with the recently re-introduced Golden Sweet mange-tout which was bred in America. Documentary evidence suggests the Americans wrongly claimed there pea came first. Ah, the duplicity of pea-breeders from those times!
HANGMAN’S DOOR – seed saved 2019 – OUT OF STOCK I cannot recall how I acquired this pea. If you gave it to me please let me know! There is no record of it in the national lists or old catalogues and the name is inexplicable. A tall pea, pretty flowers and purple pods. Similar in many ways to other purple-podded peas but quite unique.
KAPUZINERÆT BLAUWSCHOKKER – Seed harvested 2019. This is a Danish heirloom drying pea. very pretty flowers and lovely dark purple pods yielding dark mottled seed. If you like using dry peas in the kitchen you will like this pea, which makes an excellent hummus.
PIMENTON D’ESPELETTE (C. annuum) seed harvested 2018 – 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 frittata as well as to spice up casseroles and sauces.I cannot imagine my larder without it!
SULAWESI (C. annuum) – 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.
THANLWIN RIVER (C. annuum) – 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.
MATHANIA (C. annuum) – seed saved 2019. This is a famous Rajasthan heritage variety that had been considered extinct due to gene drift from crossing with modern cultivars now grown by farmers. I found it on a remote farm in the Mathania district of central Rajasthan. It had been grown by the family for generations and when my guide saw them drying in the sun he burst into tears as he hadn’t seen this fruity, spicy yet not too hot chilli for many years. Prolific and easy to grow under glass. Great both fresh and drie d.
MOROCCO (C. annuum) – seed harvested 2016 -Seed first collected 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.
UKRAINE (C. annuum) – seed harvested 2018. This is the first vegetable I ever saved the seed of after discovering it in a market in Donetsk in 1988. A classic heirloom it had been grown for generations by the family of a little old lady who sold vegetables she grew in her garden. Very tasty and now well adapted to grow in the British climate. Does well outside in a sunny, sheltered spot. It’s multi-lobed tennis-ball sized fruit are sweet with some heat.
YANGON MARKET (C. chinense) – without doubt this is the hottest chilli I grow. Discovered in a market in Yangon, this Naga type has a wonderful scaly skin. Amazingly tough too. I now grow just one plant which continues to crop well into the New Year with some bottom heat in a cool greenhouse. The plant in this photo is now four years old.
SYRIA – seed harvested 2019. 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. Makes great gherkins!
OREGON HOMESTEAD SWEETMEAT (C. maxima)– Winter squash – 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 and 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.
UCHIKI KURI (C. maxima) – seed saved 2019 – Originally bred in Japan, this is a fine tasting sweet small variety that should be eaten before the end of the year.
TABLE QUEEN (C. pepo) – Acorn 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 (C. maxima) – 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 June when the plants are well established. Stop leader at 3′ and pinch out side shoots at three leaves. Harvest in September.
CROWN PRINCE (C. maxima)– seed harvested 2018. This commercial variety is classed as an F1 hybrid. However, it is a very genetically stable cultivar and home-saved seed would appear to result in crops that are true to type. Large, blue fruit that have delicious orange flesh. Very good keeper.,
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!
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.
TRUE BLACK BRANDYWINE – Seed saved 2020
A large deep red tomato with shoulders that turn almost black when fully ripe. Bred in the late 1920’s by dentist-turned-plant-breeder Dr Harold Martin from Westtown, Pennsylvania it is a cross between Brown Brandywine and a now extinct US 19th century variety Fejee Improved. Semi-indeterminate
CORNEU DES ANDES seed saved 2020
A superb heritage plum tomato, (Corneu means horn in Spanish I believe), originating in South America. Deep red, long fruits which are great for passata, ketchup and all forms of tomato-based sauces. Grows best in a greenhouse. Very good cropper too. Indeterminate
JAUNE FLAMÉE seed saved 2014
This French ex-commercial variety has golf-ball sized deep orange fruit with complex sweetness and acid balance. Terrific when roasted and also as a dried tomato but equally delicious as a salad tomato too.