Row 7 Seed Co.

Row 7 Seed Co catalog 898 squash

From the Row 7 catalog.

Each year in the backyard garden we like to try growing something new, a little bit different, or maybe even a little weird. So this caught our eye...

Blue Hill chef Dan Barber and Cornell plant breeder Michael Mazourek have started a seed company -- Row 7 -- aimed at developing new varieties of vegetables with a focus on taste, and then selling the seeds so anyone can grow them.

The company's website is offering seven varieties, ranging from beets to a (heatless) habanero-style pepper to an experimental cucumber. And there's info about the background of each vegetable, along with growing instructions and recipes. From the page for the "Upstate Abundance" potato:

Second-generation potato breeder Walter De Jong knows a winning potato when he sees one. Which is why, when he first spotted trial "NY150" among his field plots in 2004, he immediately took note. Walter's goal at the the time was to breed a more resilient potato--high yielding and attractive in the field, and resistant to diseases plaguing potato growers in the Northeast, such as Potato Virus Y (PVY) and late blight.
Walking the rows, Walter was surprised to discover one experimental line that yielded an unexpected bonus: an abundance of golf-ball-sized potatoes with bright white flesh. By conventional market standards at the time, they were a little too small, but Walter and his field manager, Matt Falise, thought that NY150 was something worth pursuing--a suspicion confirmed when they first tasted it.
Over the years, still deemed "unmarketable," NY150 earned a quiet cult following, first within Walter's lab, and then beyond. Growers praised its uncommon size (naturally small, even at normal seed spacing), and cooks coveted its exceptionally creamy texture and nutty flavor. ...

Here's more background on the seed company -- the NYT on its roots in a type of squash, and a conversation with Barber on Eater.

Hudson Valley Seed Co.
By the way: If you're looking for interesting, different, or odd varieties of vegetables and flowers that grow well in this part of the country, the Hudson Valley Seed Co. is a good place to start. We were gawking its new-for-2018 varieties just the other day.

In case you didn't know, late February is seed catalog season.

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