*This seed is offered as part of the "Gusto Italiano Project", a collaborative partnership between Uprising Seeds, Italian breeders Smarties.Bio, and the Culinary Breeding Network. Certified organic seed is grown in Italy by Smarties.Bio.
Type: Variegato di Castelfranco
Days to Maturity (slot): 65 days (extra early)
Named after the town about 40 miles NW of Venice, towards Bassano, Variegato di Castelfranco is winter salad royalty and one of the most visually stunning "greens" we grow. Plants begin with an open habit of broad green leaves which eventually develop a central conical head that becomes denser and denser through the fall and into the winter. As the weather cools the leaves develop stunning burgundy flecking which is contrasted against the inner golden leaves that have been blanched by the exterior. Patterning and degree of flecking can vary from plant to plant and the outer edges of the leaves have an elegant serrated shape. Sometimes referred to as the "Tulip of Winter" in Italy, the dense heads are laboriously opened up into a beautiful floral shape for to display in markets. Castelfranco types offer some of the best fresh, raw eating of the entire radicchio family, with thin tender leaves and a very mild bitterness. Very cold-hardy it is one of the very best choices for winter salad greens.
About the named varieties... For most vegetables, in order to provide a continuous harvest over a long period of time, growers stagger planting dates throughout the season which in turn provides a continuous harvest as the plants mature to eating stage. With radicchio, a different strategy is employed. For the most part, the majority of heading radicchio is best suited to seeding around the summer solstice (transplanting in the second-third week of July). To achieve a longer harvest period, rather than staggering planting dates, breeders have developed different varieties within a type with different days-to-maturity harvests. These are often referred to as "slots" with, for example, Castelfranco types having early, mid, and late slotted varieties.
65 days from transplant.
Packet: 100 seeds