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Gifts with seeds

For just £20 each, Garden Organic is offering four varieties complete with a packet of seeds that you can grow at home and help to protect.

Eat All pea

A mangetout variety growing to 1.5m with pretty bi-coloured flowers. Donated by J Simmonds of Halesworth, Suffolk who was given them by his grandfather. According to his mother his grandfather had grown them for at least 50 years; he died in 1939. Guardian Margaret Lingard found them “reliable and prolific”. Guardian Hilary Cartmel adds, “Hardy, vigorous, tasty, love it!”

Kew Blue

Originally from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, this variety has been handed down for at least three generations in the family of our donor, Mrs Kelly. The purple-pink flowers are complimented by purple-tinged leaves and stems, and followed by tender, purple pods. A healthy and vigorous vine, producing a prolific crop. Perfect for eating fresh, and when dried the beans have a rich, nutty flavour. Seed Guardian, Jackie Warner says, “This has changed my bad opinion of French beans. It has great flavour and, most importantly, good texture.”

Northern Queen

The donor, Sheila Smith from Sandwich in Kent, found these seeds amongst her father's gardening clutter. Further investigation revealed that this variety was originally sold by Finney's, a Northumberland firm with nurseries and trial grounds in Newcastle. Finneys closed during the 1950s at which time Northern Queen was the main outdoor variety, popular with both amateurs and commercial growers. A large butterhead variety with soft, mild flavoured leaves. The Eastry Horticultural Society reported it is tolerant of both frost and damp.

Paddy Cabbage

A very large heirloom variety developed by an Irish allotment holder who saved seeds from his largest specimen and shared them with his allotment neighbours. Spring sown for late summer use it is a vigorous grower, producing large firm heads that stand well until late autumn/early winter. Delicious raw, very crunchy with a spicy flavour. Retains both its texture and flavour when cooked.

Red Star tomato

Indeterminate. Cordon. Donated by John Yeoman it produces cherry sized (2-4cm), but beefsteak type fruits, which when cut in half are an unusual almost star shape. Very attractive in salads. Let us know what you think of the flavour.

Robinson's Pea

Donated by Michael Stanley of Melton Mowbray, who had grown them since the 1950s after acquiring seeds from a Mr Robinson, who had obtained them in Scotland. The vigorous plants (>2m) produce long, slim, slightly curved pods over a long season. Extraordinarily sweet, retaining their flavour even when frozen. HSL Member Mrs Harrington states, “In my opinion this is the star of the Heritage Collection.”

Please note: If your postal address is outside The EU The Heritage Seed Library may not be able to send you seed. Many countries require phytosanitary certificates for the importation of seed/plant material and you will need to check with your local Department of Agriculture to establish if this is required

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