Franchi Seed Trials: Part 1

As the new owners of Seeds from Italy, we have committed to growing every variety of seeds we sell. That’s a lot of plants, and it will probably take us several years to trial them all. Luckily, winter doesn’t stop us because we are able to grow year-round in our three unheated hoophouses. In our first winter of growing Franchi seeds, we have been harvesting a steady supply of delicious vegetables. Here are photos we took on Christmas Day 2011 after we picked from the hoophouse and field. Continue reading

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Braised Rapa, Scuplit Greens, & Sweet Italian Sausage Crostini

Portions: 6


Sweet Italian Sausage 1 link

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVO) 3/4 C

Onions, small dice 1/2 C

Garlic 1 lg. clove

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2012 Catalog

SFI catalog – webedition

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Bill’s Newsletter Archives

Many people requested we archive the newsletters that Bill used to send out. While many of the issues are inevitably still caught up in the jumble of the new business, we’ve managed to find some of the issues.  As we discover more of the issues, we will make them available here too.

Bill’s Seeds from Italy Newsletter Archives

Volume 1, issue 2

Volume 1, issue 3

Volume 8, issue 1

Volume 8, issue 2

Volume 9, issue 1

Volume 10, issue 1

Recipes from Volume 2

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Retail Racks

Seeds from Italy now offers a retail rack program for independent garden centers, Italian markets, farm stores, gift shops, and other retailers. Click on the link below to view and print a 10-page brochure about our retail racks.


Seeds from Italy Retail Rack Brochure 2012


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Arugula and Butternut Squash

The fall crop of arugula has been abundant and so flavorful. We are always looking for new ways to prepare arugula, and were happy to find this recipe in our CSA bag this week. Any greens can be substituted for the arugula — spinach, chard, cima di rapa, etc.
Peel, seed, and chop 1 lb. butternut squash. Slice 2-3 cloves of garlic. Coat the bottom of a heavy skillet with olive oil and put it on medium heat, then add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Add the butternut squash and stir to coat with oil. Add 2-3 Tbsp of water, broth, or white wine. Cover the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring a few times and adding more liquid if it starts to stick. When the squash is tender, pile a large handful of arugula on top of the squash. Sprinkle with salt and put the lid back on for 1-2 minutes, just long enough to wilt the arugula.

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Summer Minestrone

Summer Minestrone

3 TBSP olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 TBSP sun-dried tomato paste
1 lb ripe plum tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped (or use canned)
1 lb zucchini, chopped
3 waxy new potatoes, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
5-6 cups chicken or vegetable stock or water
1 15-oz can cannellini or other white beans, drained and rinsed
1/5 cup chopped basil
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion. Cook until softened. Add the tomato
paste, tomatoes, zucchini, potatoes, and garlic. Cook 10 minutes. Add the stock, bring
to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for 15 minutes until the vegetables are just tender. Add
the beans and cook 5 minutes longer. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat
and stir in basil. Serve garnished with the shaved Parmesan.

Serves 4 as a main meal.

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Preserving the herb garden

One of the easiest and most fragrant ways to preserve summer herbs for use in winter is to make herb salts. Erbe Toscana (Tuscan herbs) is the classic combination of rosemary, sage, and garlic mixed with salt. It is widely available at butcher shops throughout Tuscany, and used in cooking pork, chicken, and fish. We also find it’s a great addition to olive oil for dipping, to sprinkle on steamed vegetables, or to boost the flavor quotient of almost any dish. You can make herb salts with other herbs such as lavender and thyme, or mix in fennel seeds, lemon … Continue reading

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Order form

SFI order form

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How to grow garlic

Download complete instructions for planting and growing garlic.


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