Catalog profile #10: Seeds from Italy

Business name: Seeds from Italy
Location: P.O. Box 3908, Lawrence, KS 66046
Phone number: (785) 748-0959

Products carried: Seeds from Italy sells Franchi Seeds, which is the oldest (since 1783!) family-owned seed company in Italy. They primarily carry vegetable and herb seeds but also sell flower seeds, including ones for many gorgeous sunflowers. Their seeds are non-GMO and most are open-pollinated heirlooms. Some are organic.

While I was at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show in Seattle last month, I visited the Seeds from Italy booth. Just looking at all of the colorful seed packets containing vegetable varieties that are rarely seen in the U.S. was great fun. The owners are very nice folks who stand behind their products. Here are some examples of the seeds they offer:

Artichoke _ In addition to carrying 'Violetta', which I have seen offered at other mail-order companies, they have two varieties I've never seen before: 'Grosso Romanesco' and 'Purple Roman'. As you probably know, I love growing artichokes and hope to try some different varieties of them just to determine which do best in the Inland Northwest.

Cardoon _ This member of the artichoke family is traditional Italian fare. The plants look a lot like celery. You eat the ribs which taste like artichokes. There are 2 types available.

Fennel _ Fennel is widely used in Italian cooking as well. They offer 4 varieties.

Chicory _ Would you believe they sell 16 different kinds? Wow.

Lettuce _ They have a huge offering of lettuce. That's what you see in the photo above, which I took at their booth (click on it for a larger image). They sell several red-leaved varieties.

Peppers _ As you might guess, they sell all sorts of peppers, both sweet and hot.

Tomatoes _ And many interesting varieties of tomatoes! Makes my mouth water just looking at them.

Squash _ They offer many different types of both winter and summer squash that you've probably never heard of. I'll bet they're delicious!

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