It’s spring, and that means it’s time to start gardening. It’s still not too late to get some seeds started for the season, and Driver’s boasts a curated collection of exotic offerings from Redwood Seeds in Manton, CA. On their small family farm, Kalan Redwood and her husband Cam grow and save a variety of rare heirloom seeds from around the world. Our produce manager, Lauren Miller, worked with Kalan to put together a selection of seeds that would thrive in Sausalito.
If you have a hot and sunny location, try planting some Hopi Blue Corn, which yields the sacred blue corn meal of the Hopi. Or try growing your own Luffa Sponge vine! If you love tomatoes, the Indigo Rose Cherry Tomatoes are perfect for snacking on during hot summer days. Other exotic plants include the Peruvian Purple Pepper (totally purple plants – leaves, stems, and fruit!), the Guatemalan Blue Banana Squash from Central America, and the adorable Sakata Sweet Melons from Asia. Don’t forget to plant an Armenian Cucumber plant, yielding the biggest cucumbers around!
If your coastal garden is a little shadier, try planting Redwood Seeds’ Kale, Apollo Arugula, Double Purple Orach and Goldenberry.
Many of Redwood Seeds’ varieties are heirloom seeds which means they’ve been around for longer and the seeds have shown to be heartier than newer varieties. “There’s a narrowing of the gene pool today and the heirloom varieties are getting lost. As a result, we’re seeing a lack of diversity,” said Lauren. Many supermarkets, for example, will only have one kind of pepper. A variety like Redwood’s Peruvian Purple Peppers won’t be in most produce sections because they are not grown on a mass scale. “Heirloom variations are incredibly important for resilience in the food system in the and in the eco-system,” said Lauren.
All of Redwood Seeds are “open pollinated”, which means the plants are grown outside and are pollinated by bees, rather than by hand in a contained greenhouse environment. “Open pollination is what you think of when you think of pollination. It’s not the way we’ve twisted it and made it sterile and processed,” said Lauren.
For more information on Redwood Seeds please visit their website: www.redwoodseeds.net. And be sure to check out our new Redwood Seed section in the Produce Department!