Solanaceae: eggplant and others


Eggplant: (Solanum melongena)

BLEND-Eggplant Mix

Interesting mix of a dozen kinds, not only Black Beauty and Florida High Bush but many exceptional kinds from Europe, India, the Caribbean and the Orient. White, purple, pink, green, striped, long and round kinds. Not included are the smaller kinds from southeast Asia which we have not worked with.  Save the best performers to work on developing your own collection.   Pkt. (30 seeds)

CV:  Florida Highbush

We find that the tall very productive plants perform better here in our gardens than the standard OP Black Beauty. Late. Large fine purple market quality fruit.  We offer this cultivar since it seems to be getting rare as seed producers embrace hybrids. Pkt. (30 seeds)

Our goal is to introduce breeders to some of the diversity in eggplant by maintaining a collection of many kinds.  There are many web sources of cultural information including these:

A visit to worldcrops can open up one to new ideas:

Physalis and other Solenaceae

Husk Cherry - (P. pruinosa)

CV- Cape Gooseberry

This is a kind of perennial ground cherry which is tropical.  Needs a long season or greenhouse for best production of sweet fruit. Propagate by cuttings once you have established plants. Can grow a meter high and wide. Pkt. (20 seeds)

web source about the cape gooseberry:

  CV- Long Island Ground Cherry

Self sowing ground cherry that produces well branched bushes to 18", husks turn green to tan and drop, the firm yellow fruit inside are sweet with what most agree is a refreshing pineapple flavor. Produces earlier if you start the seeds indoors like tomatoes 4 weeks prior to the last spring frost date and then wait another two weeks before you transplant into a warm soil.  This ground cherry may have originated in Europe but it has become naturalized and reseeds on Long Island.  Pkt. (30 seeds)

Tomatillo  - (P. ixocarpa)


BLEND-Tomatillo Mix

Seeds collected from the best of our farm trials; included are flavorful little green tomatillos, medium sized sweet yellow kinds and very large green kinds and one or two purple types.  We enjoy them chopped up into salsa.  Folks often comment about the rampant vining plants of some varieties with the inflated balloon-like husks.  Harvest when husks start to dry and lose green color. The ripe fruit generally will drop. Pkt. (30 seeds)

CV-Tomatillo: Little Green

Very small green tomatillo with a distinctive flavor.  Very nice in salsa. Pkt. (30 seeds)

  CV- Tomatillo:  Golden Sweet

A large green to golden tomatillo with pleasant sweet flavor. Pkt. (30 seeds)

Information on tomatillos:


Garden Nightshades

  CV-  Garden Huckleberry (Solanum nigrum var. melanocerasum)

Sure, it's Black Nightshade.  Does it make us feel unethical distributing seed of it?   Maybe, a little.  But many folks tell us how much they enjoy this edible variety of black nightshade for it's big berries produced in piefuls by sprawling plants when cooked with a squeeze of lemon, a handful of sugar and a pinch of baking soda.  Raw?  I didn't become sick but I certainly didn't enjoy these berries.  Call me a food snob, I live for real huckleberries.

Sample Pkt. (20 seeds)

web source on the garden huckleberry:

just so you don’t become too glib regarding nightshades:

  CV-  Burbank Sunberry (Solanum burbankii)

Historically interesting and a controvertial plant said to be an interspecies nightshade hybrid developed by Luther Burbank.  The Sunberry has a very similar taste to the Chichiquelite.  The berries are also small but rather dull.  The low growing Sunberry hides it's berries well under the foliage and are a bit more difficult to harvest than other edible nightshades.  Both the Sunberry and Chichiquelite are very rich in anthocyanin.  Sometimes known as wonderberry.  Sample Pkt.  (20 seeds) 

  CV- Chichiquelite  (Solanum nigrum var. guineense)

The small, pleasant flavored nightshade fruits have some fruitiness and an odd complexity.  Probably Solanum nigrum var. guineense - L. from western Africa but introduced to Mexico.  This is presumed to be one of the parents of Luther Burbank's Sunberry.  The berries of the Chichiquelite have been used for pies, cobblers, sweet preserves and even wines. Sample Pkt.(20 seeds)

CV-  Jaltomata  (Jaltomata procumbens)

A large berry that resembles the garden huckleberry but with an interesting calyx that falls from the fruit when ripe.  We have not found any way to enjoy these berries and although the ripe berries are edible I am convinced that only people who have lost all sense of taste could possibly enjoy them.  Offered as a curiosity.  Sample Pkt. (20 seeeds)

Chinese Wolfberry/Golji Berry

Mixed Wolfberry Seed (Lycium spp)

Thanks to John Farina (a modern day Nikolai Vavilov) and his treks in search of Gogi Berry diversity, we have some extra seed to share with those who are interested in selecting from this diverse material from many sources. Once you have established plants you like propagate by cuttings.  Pkt. (30 seeds)

Solanaceae: Tobaccum

Mix- Native Ritual Tobacco (Nicotiana rustica)

Potent green flowering rustica tobacco which has been used by tribes of native Americans for ceremonial purpose.  Of ethnobotanical interest. Pkt. (40 seeds)

web source on rustica tobacco:

CV- Variegated Tobacco (Nicotiana tobaccum)

Variegated tobacco plants have irregular patches on the leaves that vary in color from creamy-white to yellow-green and give some leaves on the plant a marbled or mottled appearance. These plants attain a size of 3-4 feet, produce small pink flowers, and produce seed.  This is the same species of tobacco which is used to produce smoking or chewing tobacco but may be a less desirable variety for that purpose.  We have used it to produce a nicotine tea for greenhouse aphid and whitefly control since it biologically degrades in a very short time. Pkt. (40 seeds)

CV- Robert Johnson Delta White Burley (Nicotiana tobaccum)

Alan Bishop who is a young and energetic farmer-breeder in Southern Indiana describes this tobacco he bred as a, "beautiful, small burley which lends itself well to a flower garden, ornamental hedge or even pot culture. One of the best multi-purpose tobacco, great for those who want to roll their own. Named after Mississippi Delta blues guitarist Robert Johnson." Why is it that I am so fascinated with tobacco that this non smoker grows it year after year? It's a magnificent plant with an incredible history! Alan Bishop explains it better than I could. See "Alan's Blog 'Tobacco' " Alan pays homage to past generations of tobacco farmers with this "new" tobacco variety as well as his interest in keeping traditional tobacco processing methods alive. Breeder Seeds. Pkt. (40 seeds)

Mix- Alan’s Tobacco Blend (Nicotiana tobaccum)

A mass cross of many kinds of tobacco that collector Alan Bishop maintains on his historic family tobacco farm.  Breeder Seeds Pkt. (40 seeds)

Growing and curing tobacco:

Updated 2-1-10


Eggplant Seed, Cape Gooseberry, Ground Cherry Seed, Tomatillo Seed, Garden Huckleberry Seed, Gogiberry Seed, Tobacco Seed