Bigger Picture

Jessica Lougue

By Jessica Louque

Spring Seeds Part 2 – High Mowing Seeds

As mentioned in some of my previous articles, High Mowing Seeds is another of my favorite seed companies and definitely one of my go-tos for Spring planting. My particular favorites are their Shanghai Pac Choy, Burgundy Okra, and the wide selection of beans, including soybeans! As a reference, for Christmas 2016, I ordered from High Mowing to add to our “Garden Present” that Bobby and I get each year. From High Mowing, we bought the Shanghai Pac Choy, Burgundy Okra, Blackeye Cowpea, Calypso Dry Bean, Eclipse Dry Bean, Jacob’s Cattle Dry Bean, Light Red Kidney bean, Vermont Cranberry dry bean, Black Jet soybean, Shirofumi soybean, Chiba Green soybean, and the Midori Giant soybean. We’ve had a lot of success with some of these in the past, particularly the soybeans. We’re trying out some of the dry beans for the first time this year and will see how they go. Phacelia is a great bee forage, but it just does not grow well at our house. It could be that most garbage and/or rocks have more organic matter than our soil, but hopefully it’s getting a little better each year.

I would also like to point out here that the pac choy has excellent flavor and it’s a smaller variety so it makes a fantastic stir-fry with beef tips and teriyaki sauce. As a bonus, they also sell a napa cabbage that goes well with the pac choy stir-fry if you pair it with pork. Throw in some soba (buckwheat) noodles and soy sauce and you’re good to go! As a bonus of favorite companies, if you’re interested in small-batch food, The Bourbon Barrel in Lexington, Kentucky has some of the best soy sauce I’ve ever eaten, and their Kentuckyaki is a great teriyaki sauce to use in stir-fry.

Gardening Is Cheaper Than Therapy And You Get Tomatoes.

For my “preferred” seed vendors, I have the following qualifications: reasonable prices, organic options, lots of varieties available, good germination rates, and personable customer service. On my quest to cover my favorite seed companies, I’ve sent out requests for information of the company, its background, and a description of whatever plants/seeds they would like to highlight. I also didn’t ask for a bee-related preference since I know a lot of you guys are gardeners for produce as well as bee forage. High Mowing was more than willing to provide some information on their company, and gave me a variety of their favorite offerings with some gorgeous photos. If you do plan to purchase from High Mowing Seeds this year, please try a few of their “NEW for 2017” options and let me know how they grow in your specific area. At the end of the article, you will find information for purchasing seeds online or by calling to order. There is also an option to find a dealer that sells High Mowing Seeds near you (if it’s available) so you don’t have to order. I hope you readers are able to take advantage of their company and order some of their great seeds!

High Mowing Organic Seeds Company Bio

High Mowing Organic Seeds began in 1996 with just 28 varieties, many of which originated in founder Tom Stearns’ backyard. Today we offer over 600 heirloom, open-pollinated and hybrid varieties of vegetable, herb and flower seed, and grow several of our offerings on our very own production farm in Wolcott, Vermont.

High Mowing believes in promoting healthy environments, healthy economies, healthy communities and healthy bodies through organic seed production and land stewardship. We work to provide an essential component in the re-building of a healthy food system: the seeds.

Our small and dedicated staff is passionate about food and farming. Some of us run our own farms. Some of us have farmed in the past. We are a fun-loving group with diverse interests, brought together by our common love of growing.

Poona Kheera Cucumber ∙ Heirloom

Unusual gourmet variety with sweet golden skin and juicy, crisp texture. Specialty variety from India has light yellow skin when young, with rosy russeting at full maturity. Traditionally sold at yellow stage, but flavor is best when harvested as rosy blush begins. Heavy producer. Climbs easily on a trellis to 5-6’. Small flowers attract pollinators, especially ground bees.

Green Wave Mustard Greens ∙ Open-pollinated 

Bright lime green, ruffled leaves add great contrast to salad mixes. A reliable workhorse mustard, with beautiful color and spicy flavor that mellows when cooked. At baby stage leaves are flat with softly serrated edges. At full size, leaf margins become heavily serrated and frilly. Leave plants in the ground to flower post-harvest to attract pollinators.

Hale’s Best Melon ∙ Heirloom

Heavy producer of oval-shaped fruits with old-fashioned juicy flavor. Heavily netted and slightly ribbed with juicy salmon flesh. This great variety has stood the test of time and is still loved by many for its classic muskmelon flavor. Thin rinds do not hold up well to shipping. Developed in 1920 by a Japanese farmer in California. Flowers attract pollinators, especially ground bees.

Picnic Pepper Collection ∙ Open-pollinated ∙ NEW for 2017!

Now a snack pepper mix developed with open-pollinated varieties! The Picnic Pepper collection includes a single 10 seed packet of each of the Picnic Pepper varieties. The collection when compared to market standard snack peppers in trials has consistently performed well or better than the hybrids. We’ve especially selected our set for their rich, sweet flavor and we hope you agree they taste better than most any other pepper you’ll try! Flowering plants will attract pollinators.

Benning’s Green Tint Summer Squash ∙ Heirloom 

Easy-to-grow pale green fruits that mature to a creamy white. Bushy plants provide good yields of saucer-shaped fruits with scalloped edges. No formally noted virus resistance, but has shown field resistance in our trials. Flowers attract pollinators, especially ground bees.

Garlic Chives ∙ Open-pollinated ∙ Perennial

Similar to standard chives with delicate garlic flavor. White, star-shaped flowers are long-lasting, ornamentally beautiful and unique. Plants grow more slowly than standard chives and are slightly less hardy. Makes for a great addition to salads and a delicious garnish on most dishes. Prolific blooms are attractive to bees.

Bouquet Dill ∙ Open-pollinated ∙ Annual

The most widely-grown organic dill for fresh eating, flowers and seed heads. A versatile, early-maturing variety used for fresh leaves, seed head production and cut flowers. Produces seed heads well ahead of others and right in time for Summer pickles. Flowering umbels average 6” wide. Flowering plants produce plenty of pollen for bees and butterflies.

Thyme ∙ Open-pollinated ∙ Perennial

Tiny aromatic leaves cover slender woody stalks ending in sweet white flowers. Makes a beautiful low-growing border along herb and flower beds, growing only 6-10” high. A versatile culinary staple. Our strain is hardy to Zone 4. Flowers are excellent forage for pollinators.

Double-Click Cosmos Blend ∙ Open-pollinated ∙ Annual ∙ NEW for 2017!

The cosmos you could confuse with a dahlia! Blend of fully double and semi-double flowers share the many-shaded pinks of Sensation Blend, but have the layered petals of an aster or dahlia. Hardy, tolerant of drought and low fertility, subject to very little disease or pest pressure, this cosmos blend is much easier to grow than either of its look-alikes. Open habit attracts many pollinators.

Black Beauty Poppy ∙ Open-pollinated ∙ Re-seeding annual ∙ NEW for 2017!

The poppy that looks like a gorgeous peony! We had universal agreement amongst a tough audience that this flower had to be in our catalog. Between the double flowers and the dark velvety burgundy color, Black Beauty is a stunning eye-catcher unlike any poppy you’ve ever seen. And like all poppies it’s easy to grow, needs minimal care, and will re-seed itself. Open habit attracts many pollinators.

Evening Colors Sunflower Blend ∙ Open-pollinated ∙ Annual

Each plant carries an amazing variety of gold and pale yellow flowers with dusty rose to pink rings. An unusual genetic mix with few solid colors and chocolatey brown centers. Well-branched; stems average 18” long with single heads. Great for bouquets and provides a long season of color! Attracts bees and butterflies.

Phacelia Cover Crop ∙ Open-pollinated ∙ Annual ∙ NEW for 2017!

The blossom no self-respecting pollinator can resist! Highly attractive to honey bees, bumblebees, and syrphid flies, whose larva are voracious feeders on aphids and young caterpillars. Phacelia is widely adaptable and tolerates drought better than most, but requires dark and a little cool for good germination, so bury seed at least ¼ inch deep. Often grown together with buckwheat, which acts as a nurse crop for the slower germinating phacelia. Once established, the phacelia will take over the planting and flower over a long season. But a word of caution – don’t put in a big planting too close to a crop you need pollinated as you’ll draw off all your worker bees! 

High Mowing Seeds Contact Information

Mailing Address:

76 Quarry Road, Wolcott, VT 05680

Local: 802-472-6174

Toll Free: 866-735-4454

Fax: 802-472-3201

Business Hours:

Monday – Friday: 8am – 6pm EST

Saturday: 9am – 5pm EST Jan through April