Seedy Business

The Morton Seed Library Garden is greeting spring with new compost, bamboo trellises for beans, crop rotation and the merciless banishment of weeds. This year we’ll be replanting old friends—Sammataro pole beans, All Stars kale, mixed lettuces, and arugula. We’ve got newcomers, too. Look forward to seeds from Provider bush beans, echinacea and Genovese basil in 2021.

Speaking of those heirloom Sammataros: Our friend and mentor Ken Greene, coowner of the Hudson Valley Seed Co., looked into the history of these delicious flat-pod green beans and found they’re a New World variety that wended its way to Rhinecliff via Sicily. Descendants of a handful of seeds carried here by boat were passed down through generations of the Sammataro family. The beans were introduced to the Rhinebeck Community Garden, then the Morton Seed Library garden, and now Ken plans to grow a crop on his farm with an eye toward including their seeds in HVSC’s 2022 catalog. Remarkable tale of abundance. We can’t wait to see the artwork on those HVSC packets!

—Margot Dougherty