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With 8” of snow on the ground, and in the midst of one of the coldest stretches of weather we’ve seen in 15 years of farming in the Pacific NW, it feels like an odd time to write to you about the coming growing season, but isn’t that the joy of seed catalog time? The dream of warmer days and meals created from the day's harvest sustains us through the depths of winter. We are a family of skiers, so much joy is found in the winter months, but we too long for the season of abundance! Our pantry is well stocked with treasures from 2019. Plenty of passata from Cuor di Bue Albenga tomatoes. Dried Fiashetto di Manduria tomatoes. Frozen edamame. Fermented hot sauces and ajvar, a tangy puree of roasted red peppers and eggplant and garlic from the Balkans. Kimchi and sauerkraut. Biquinho peppers, a Brazilian specialty (new to the catalog this year), pickled in a boozy brine of cachaça and vinegar. We are still harvesting ‘Cascade Glaze’ collards and ‘Russian Frills’ kale sweetened from cold and hardship. Radicchios in a myriad of colors and shapes and a closet full of Belgian endive and Isontina chicory- the most perfect beautiful rose-shaped radicchio you ever did see. A root cellar full of celeriac and onions, parsnips and ‘Dowinda’ cabbage. So, fear not, we are eating very well and we hope you are too! Now is the time to descend into dreams and plans. Now is when meals take their first steps, as the sowing and tending of seeds is the beginning of any good recipe. We think about a spring table of Lebanese meze dishes when overwintering cauliflower are sown in July. We dream about late summer caponata when Violetta di Firenze eggplant are sown in March. Holiday celebrations come to mind when Isontina and Incantatore radicchios are sown in July… This year is another exciting catalog of offerings with 25 new varieties: half a dozen new peppers from cool season-adapted tropical chilis and Eastern European hot paprikas, to ‘Criolla di Cochina’ sweet peppers from Nicaragua, considered by some to be the birthplace of sweet pepper breeding. You’ll find ‘Crapaudine’ beets, thought to be the world’s oldest existing beet cultivar dating back to the days of Charlemagne, and ‘Dowinda’ cabbage and ‘Monarch’ celeriac for the winter root cellar. As always, a plethora of new flowers have caught our fancy, (and most likely yours!) from history-rich and fragrant Mignonette to what we believe to be the first certified organic seed anywhere for cut-flower darling, ‘Sahara’ rudbeckia, as well as a flurry of wonderful whites to brighten your gardens and bouquets. The planning for the next 18 months of eating, bouquet-making, and eye-feasting begins today! This is our 12th year of Uprising Seeds and our goal as a seed company is quite simple: to foster connections through shared celebrations of food, culture, beauty, and place. We seek varieties that have stories to tell, that are rich in both flavor and tradition. We look for cultivars that are equally at home in the kitchen garden and market farm but that haven’t sold their culinary soul for traits of commercial production. We were proudly one of the first seed companies to take seriously the need for organically grown seed for specialty cut flower growers to help meet the needs of an exploding organic/seasonal/”slow flower” market and feel as though our diverse selection of certified organic flower seed, from market standards to unusual oddities reflects that commitment. And we work hard through our donation programs to make sure that all of you who want a garden, the children who are just learning about gardens and stewardship, as well as those who are healing from trauma, have all the seeds they need. These are among the many things that make and keep us and so many others, happy and inspired. We’re working to reshape how a seed company can interact with the needs of the food systems and communities it supports, and we are committed to cultivating that relationship with you. Our business has grown quite a bit in the last dozen years and we’d like to thank all of you who have been with us from the start as well as those who have just recently discovered our little corner of the agricultural world. From a hyper-local beginning, we now ship orders all over the country and world. Our focus has always been and will remain on Pacific NW growing and short, cool-season climates and we still grow more than 75% of the varieties we sell ourselves, at our home farm just south of the 49th parallel in Lynden, WA, with the rest sourced from a dedicated network of family farms here in the PNW. Ours is very much a farm-based business. We are farmers first and are happy to keep it that way. Through a desire to lessen the resource-impact of our work, as well as explore some different ideas, we’ve decided to take a year off from producing a printed catalog in 2020, so we do hope you’ll come to visit us online and peruse the new additions and old favorites. We’ll likely return to print in some form or other in the near future, but in the meantime, we are using the break to vision creative new uses of media to tell the stories of our seeds and the people and places associated with them. As always, we wish you a bountiful 2020. Thanks for joining us in this joyous uprising! Crystine, Brian, Rowan, Meira, Rio, Anna, and Bre Ps. if you are interested in any of the preservation techniques or dishes we've mentioned in this letter, some of the books that are getting the most play in our kitchen these days are: "Fiery Ferments" by Kristen & Christopher Shockey "Coming Home to Sicily" by Fabrizia Lanza "Six Seasons" by Joshua McFadden "Preserving the Japanese Way" by Nancy Singleton Hachisu "Preserving Italy" by Domenica Marchetti Look for some cooking pages on the website this season
  • Jan 17, 2020
  • Category: News
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