Seeds from Italy

May 1, 2009

Do you travel to eat?  I do. My husband and fondly remember many meals…and when I say meals, I am not just talking about the time, the place the ambiance – though they are all part of it….but the actual food and the minute details of it.   Like once, on a snow boarding trip to northern Italy we had this dish made from Cauliflower (which my husband despises) that was so utterly amazing….cheesy, savory, and all together delicious.  The thing of it is, I don’t think even with a recipe I could re-create it at home, because that cauliflower was just different …you know what I mean?

I came across a post this morning at Lila Das Gupta’s Blog about Seeds of Italy, a company that distributes garden seeds of Italian vegetables.  Here is what Paolo from Seeds of Italy says about their seeds.

Every region of Italy has it’s own varieties, which like it’s recipes have been handed down from generation to generation. They are not standardized but authentic, regional, unique varieties with provenance. Go to a market and you can buy tomato seeds, tomato plants, tomatoes and everything made with the tomatoes. There is no separation between gardening and food– there’s just food, and the tomato will vary in shape, size and flavor depending on the region, along with all the other vegetables.

So Lila asked Paolo in her post “which 10 seed packets he would take to a desert island” — His answers are great…and you really should read them (go on—then come back)….but I wanted to imagine what his desert island garden would look like….so here it is….

Vegetables from Italy

1. Borlotto lamon beans, 2. Zucche non dichiarate, 3. Cavolo Nero from the Collingwood Children’s Farm Farmers’ Market, 4. Franchi Sementi Red Pear, 5. Scorzonera, 6. DSC02420.JPG, 7. marvel of venice beans, 8. Lettuce Leaf Basil from the Garden, 9. Beefheart, 10. Wisley April 2008073_edited-1

Seeds of Italy has been operating since 1783…seriously…this is from their website:

“By the time of the mutiny on the bounty in 1789, Giovanni Franchi was already 6 years into his business of selling seeds around the market squares of Parma from his horse drawn cart, and the company is still in the same family 226 years later with Giampiero Franchi at the helm. In fact, 1783 was a momentous year in which the great British landscape architect Capability Brown died, Mozart’s opera ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ opens at the Burgtheatre in Vienna, the American War of Independence ends and the Montgolfier brothers balloon flies over Paris for the first time. Franchi are the oldest family run seed company in the world and are much more than just seeds in a packet – they are a story of tradition, experience, quality, passion and excellence handed down over 7 generations that continues today alongside state-of-the-art technological solutions.”

– Does that make you want to buy seeds from them much as it does me? I have hope now for that cauliflower dish.

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  1. Germi says:

    Hi! I am drooling over your post … Amanda from Kiss My Aster (Horticulture mag) just tweeted about you and I had to rush over and catch up!
    Beautiful, as always – I want to simultaneously plant my kitchen garden and travel to Italy. If only I had a kitchen garden in Italy!

    Ivette the Germi

  2. Hello from Canada! Oh, I’ve fallen hard for your blog. I have enjoyed the last 1/2 hour reading it…more to read now! You are an incredibly talented woman. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with all of us.

  3. louise garwood says:

    Cant wait any longer! I am planting this weekend!
    See Bountiful Gardens website on sustainable gardening/ permaculture etc..
    See you in the garden my friends (with the bunnies)

  4. louise garwood says:

    And for those raised beds you cant quite seem to get built- this makes the job go quickly!
    Lets get growing!

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