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2017-09-26: This year, I am adding seed to the catalog as soon as I get it cleaned and tested. You may order any time that seed shows up on this list. I expect to finalize the list on about January 1st, 2018. Last year's seed list may give you a rough idea of what might eventually show up on this year's list.
The excess seeds grown on my farm are available to home gardeners, small-scale farmers, and public-domain open-source plant breeders. I am growing promiscuously pollinated (PP) locally-adapted landrace populations that are specially suited to thrive on my subsistence level farm with it's unique climate and pests: irrigated desert, super-dry air, sunlight-drenched, cold radiant-cooled nights, short-season, no pesticides nor fertilizers, sporatic weeding, high-altitude clayish limestone-based lake-bottom soil, and philosophy towards diversity. The more of those conditions you share with me the better my seeds are likely to do for you.Suitability
My seed is most suitable for growers who live close to me and share a similar climate and philosophy towards growing. All of my varieties have been developed for subsistence level growing conditions without the use of cides nor fertilizers. Home gardeners, plant breeders, and small-scale market growers who welcome diversity of shape, taste, texture, color, size, and maturity dates may love my seeds. My seeds are unsuitable for commercial farms or large operations that require uniformity, predictibility, or stability. My seeds are especially suitable for seed savers who want to develop their own varieties or to diversify their current landraces.Feedback
Due to the wide genetic diversity, these seeds make an excellent emergency seed stash. There is so much genetic diversity among my seeds that some family type or other is likely to thrive wherever they are planted. Save the seeds and select for those families that do best in your conditions. The foreign climate that has most surprised me where my varieties tend to do well have summers that are so blazing hot that vegetables tend to croak in the heat. My varieties are typically short-season, so when planted early in the spring or later in the summer, they may produce a crop before or after the worst of the summer heat and pests would ruin a longer-season crop.
I love grow reports, and taste reports. Recipes are lovely. Negative reports are particularly valuable to me because they give clues about what traits to work on during the coming years. If you post feedback in a public place, I may link to it or share it to bring more traffic to your post. Tagging me on Facebook, or posting to my wall is a great way for me to find your grow report.Pricing
Pricing is one silver dime, dated 1964 or earlier, per packet of seeds, or $5 paper currency. (No checks or digital payments.)Open Source Seed Initiative
usa shipping is $4 per shipment which covers postage and a bubble envelope.
If your shipment includes only a few packets of tomatoes, potatoes, mullein, breadseeds, and/or tobacco then a single first class postage stamp is sufficient postage. If your shipment includes 4 or more packets of corn or beans, or more than about 20 packets total, please send a few extra dollars towards postage.
Shipping to usa only.
I have lived under a vow of poverty for 17 years, and have operated a food pantry for longer than that. I welcome donations to help me continue feeding my community and being a subsistence farmer breeding new varieties to enhance food security through common sense and traditional methods.
Some of my varieties are pledged to the open source seed initiative: You have the freedom to use these OSSI-Pledged seeds in any way you choose. In return, you pledge not to restrict others' use of these seeds or their derivatives by patents or other means, and to include this pledge with any transfer of these seeds or their derivatives.Public Domain Seeds
All other varieties I offer are public domain. That means that they can be used without restrictions. I consider it immoral and unethical to patent traits that were discovered in public domain varieties.Sell my Seeds
You are welcome to grow my varieties and sell the seeds. No permission is needed. If you let me know that you are growing my varieties for sale, I may do some advertising for you. I ask a 5% royalty as a free-will offering to the plant breeder. If you are a market farmer and use my seed as the foundation for one of your crops, I ask that you remember the plant breeder with an honorarium.Status
I typically accept seed requests between January 1st and April 30th. During other times of the year, farming occupies my time. I expect a full assortment of seeds and plants to be available during May at the Logan gardener's market, and I typically take a box containing some seeds to market each week.
The list does not contain all of my breeding lines. If you would like seeds from one of my breeding lines, or from something you have read about that is not listed here, please ask.
If a variety carries my name, or the name of my village, or family, I have poured my money, my time, and my soul into developing that variety, and I believe it to be the best possible variety for my garden.
I am a human being, sharing my babies. So if something goes awry along the way, I'll do what I can to make things right, as a human being cooperating with another human being. I'm not a business, so shipping depends on my health, and that of my family and tribe, the weather, my travel schedule, etc. I might only make the treck to the post office once a week.
Lofthouse-Astronomy Sweet Corn
su. Promiscuously pollinated. Multi-colored. Mid-season (~65 to 75 days). Selected for colorful cobs at milk stage and for resistance to predation by birds and small mammals. It has that fabulous old-fashioned corn taste: Chewy and flavorful without being overly sweet. A robust landrace that is reliable and easy to grow. Developed for subsistence level growing conditions without cides nor fertilizers. An excellent choice for tough growing conditions and for people wanting to save their own seeds or to develop their own variety of sweet corn. I consider this to be the best sweet corn I have to offer for an emergency survival stash. Descended from Alan Bishop's Astronomy Domine Sweet Corn which is descended from hundreds of varieties of heirloom and modern sweet corns. It has been in my garden for a long time, and has drifted significantly away from the original, so a new name seems appropriate. Very tolerant of cold spring soil. I plant 3 weeks before average last frost date. OSSI-pledged. ~100 seeds.
Lofthouse Landrace Dry Beans
A landrace containing hundreds of varieties of dry beans. Bred to mature quickly in a cold mountain valley. Contains old heirlooms and new segregating hybrids. Growth habit tends toward bush beans or short-vines which don't climb poles. Plants with super-long or twining vines are culled. The beans mature in about 75 to 90 days. I often harvest the food crop about ten days after the plants are killed by fall frost. These have been selected for easy threshing using human scale techniques like beating with a stick or stomping with feet. I typically harvest and thresh at the same time by pulling up the dry plant and beating it against the inside of a garbage can. These are great used in chili, bean soup, or refried beans. When used in soups, some seeds stay firm no matter how long they are cooked while others disintegrate to make a rich broth. I plant a week or two after the last expected spring frosts. This variety is a plant breeder's dream. There is so much diversity that something is likely to do well anywhere that it is grown. There are plenty of traits, colors, textures, and tastes from which to select while using this as the progenitor of new varieties. Selected by Joseph Lofthouse to thrive under subsistence level growing conditions without pesticides nor fertilizers. OSSI-pledged. ~100 seeds.
Lofthouse Landrace Fava Beans
I recommend planting Favas in Cache Valley, the day the snowcover melts in the spring, about the second week of March. Three week old seedlings may also be planted out at that time. Favas don't set seed well in hot weather, so the quicker they get established in the spring, the more likely they are to set seeds. Planting so that they have mid-day or afternoon shade may help productivity. I'd love grow reports about plantings in mid to late summer, and whether they can make a crop before fall frosts. Growers in warmer climates, USDA Zone 8 or warmer, may get best results by direct seeding in the fall. This year's selection tended towards more broad beans, and fewer horse/pigeon beans. Bred by Joseph Lofthouse. ~25 seeds.
Lofthouse Landrace Tepary Beans
Short season, landrace tepary beans. I have selected for pods that do not shatter in the field, but that shatter easily after harvest. To harvest I recommend pulling the plant whole and hitting it against the inside of a garbage can. Avoid picking individual pods due to shattering. I also harvest by cutting the vine off just above ground level, finish drying on a tarp, and then beating or stomping the vines to release the seed. Selected by Joseph Lofthouse. 1/2 Tablespoon, ~50 seeds.
I only offer hulless varieties of grains.
That is because I think that we should be able to grow, harvest, and cook
food using ony human scale tools and methods. The grains that I offer are easily harvested,
threshed, and cleaned using only the human body.
Gloves, sticks, tarps, secatueurs, and buckets might help with some tasks, but they are totally optional.
If you grow any of my grains, please consider joining and/or submitting grow reports to the Rocky Mountain Heritage Grain Trials Project being conducted by the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance and collaborators.
A family heirloom that was developed on my family's farm by my great-great-grandfather. It was first released in 1890. The family story is that James was walking through his wheat field and noticed one plant that was growing better than any of the others. He marked it and saved seed from it to grow in his home garden. At one time, it was the most widely planted wheat in Northern Utah and Southern Idaho. Can be spring planted. For highest yield, plant in early fall. Bred by James Lofthouse in the 1880s. 1 teaspoon, ~80 seeds.
Cache Valley Rye
Collected along about 40 miles of back-roads in the northern Utah wheat growing belt. Landrace. Grows about 4 to 6 feet tall. This would make a great thatching straw. Can be grown as a spring crop. For best results, plant in late summer or early fall. Selection criteria included: Growing feral without irrigation or cultivation; Ease of threshing; Less shattering. Selected by Joseph Lofthouse. Plants grow 4 to 6 feet tall making harvest a joy. 1 teaspoon, ~150 seeds.
Sin Et Pheel Ancient Wheat
An ancient landrace variety from Iraq. Triticum polonicum. Tetraploid. The first time I grew this variety, I felt startled by the huge heads and large seeds. Very productive in my garden. Hullless, and threshes easily. A spring wheat. 1 teaspoon, ~50 seeds.
Amber's Hulless Oats
Hulless oats. Plant in spring. To maintain varietal purity and good agrinomica and cullinary traits, I recommend only replanting seeds that thresh easily. Seed heads are about waist high for easy harvest. 1/2 teaspoon, ~70 seeds.
Burbank Hulless Barley
Plant in spring. Very productive in my garden. Short plants, so I have to stoop to harvest. 1/2 teaspoon, ~40 seeds.
|Spices, Medicinals, & Herbs|
Papaver, somniferum. Not for sale, but I'll include a packet as a gift if I'm already sending a packet of something else to you, or if you send me a first class "forever" postage stamp.
Commonly used as a garden flower, for floral decorations, and to add a great taste to baked breads. These have a glorious flower which is very attractive to honeybees. Packet size is approximately 1/16th teaspoon.
Bulbils from garlic clones that have been known to produce true pollinated garlic seeds in my garden. Bulbils are susceptible to freezing in transit during super cold weather, so I don't expect to ship them after mid November. I am only offering bulbils because they are less likely to carry diseases and pests than cloves or bulbs. They are expected to grow into full sized bulbs in 2 to 3 years. They may flower as early as the second year. I don't ship these to Idaho. Please don't request garlic if you are in other localities that prohibit import of garlic for planting.
|Egyptian Walking Onion Bulbils
This variety was collected from the yard of my great grandfather before I was born. Bulbils are susceptible to freezing in transit during super cold weather, so I don't expect to ship them after mid November. I don't ship these to Idaho. Please don't request these if you are in other localities that prohibit import of onions for planting.
A genetically diverse sample of tubers is available until about mid-November. (Until weather turns super cold.) Please include $7 for shipping.
Lofthouse Sunroots (Helianthus tuberosus) originated as a cross between an improved population of feral sunroots collected in Kansas, and a commercial clone. They have been selected for vigor, productivity, and good agronomic and culinary properties like ease of digging and cleaning, larger seeds, bigger flowers, shorter stolons, larger tubers, etc. Because they are a genetically diverse population they set seeds prolifically, weather permitting. Collecting lots of seeds may require bagging the blossoms soon after petal drop to prevent predation by birds. This variety was developed for subsistence level growing without the use of fertilizers or cides. They are winter hardy in a cold mountain valley in USDA zone 4b. Sunroot tubers are very susceptible to dehydration, so roots are best stored in soil, or refrigerated in plastic. Plant seeds about the time that apple trees are blooming. Sunroots stored overwinter in the ground can be harvested whenever the soil isn't frozen. I typically cut stems off about a foot high in early winter to prevent winds from levering the tubers out of the ground. These are reliably winter hardy in USDA zone 4b. Bred by Joseph Lofthouse. OSSI-Pledged.
I only posted the most glamorous and abundant seeds to this list. If you want other seeds, scions, or cuttings, or things from my breeding projects, or that I could collect from the wildlands, send me a message. Because they are small seed lots, and experimental, I don't do germination testing on seeds from the wildlands nor from my breeding projects other than planting them for my own use.
I am thankful for the donations of seed, equipment, and funds that have made it possible for me to develop so many glorious varieties. I love the tastes, smells, and colors of the vegetables. I am thankful that being a subsistence farmer, and living under a vow of poverty, allows me to donate tremendous amounts of food to those in need. I love you for your ongoing support and encouragement, as we collaborate together, to enhance food security through common sense and traditional methods.
Locally Adapted Landrace. Great biodiversity and well adapted to my garden. Phenotype fairly consistent from year to year.How to get seeds
A grex: Mixed cultivars and heritage. Not grown long enough in my garden to be considered a landrace.
Promiscuously Pollinated: More biodiversity than an open pollinated cultivar. [Not locally adapted and/or not enough diversity to call it a landrace.]
An open pollinated (inbred) variety. Low genetic diversity.
Breeding project: Ustable seed
Ancestors included seeds obtained from the Hog Wild Seed Swap
Ancestors included The Long Island Seed Project
Ancestors included Face of the Earth Seed from Bishop's Homegrown
Ancestors included Peace Seeds by Alan Kapuler
Ancestors included GRIN: Germplasm Resources Information Network
Pledged to the Open Source Seed Initiative
By Mail: To obtain seed samples send one silver dime, dated 1964 or earlier, to my post office box for each variety desired. That was the retail price of a packet of seeds in 1860 when my great-great-great grandmother started farming in Paradise. I'm still farming in the same village and asking the same price more than 150 years later. I accept other denominations of silver coins dated 1964 or earlier, and modern silver eagles that are 0.999 fine. Include four dollars cash per shipment to cover the shipping costs. [Please, if you send anything other than paper put it in a padded or bubble envelope, or tape dimes securely to a piece of cardstock inside an envelope.] Silver dimes are readily available at pawn shops and on eBay. My vow of poverty precludes me from having a bank account so I don't accept checks nor electronic money. Frugal shoppers will notice the bargain pricing available for paying with silver (real money). My mailing address is in the photo at the bottom of this page.
In person: Drop by the Farmer's Market in Logan, or look for me at local seed swaps during the winter.
By Donation: If you have experienced a disaster or family emergency (such as unemployment, flood, or divorce) let me know about it. I'll put together a package of seeds for you: My choice of varieties, whatever I have too much of. It might even include commercial seeds that I don't expect to plant.
By Swap: I would be glad to swap for any of the following seeds, especially if they are from your own breeding projects. I do not want commercial seeds, and especially not seeds with poison on them. On swaps, I ask that you pay the postage going both ways. I get so many requests for swapping that I can't afford the postage. I end up gifting most of the seeds that I receive in swaps to local seed exchanges or collaborators, therefore I am rarely able to give grow reports.
- Zea diploperennis (a variety that is not day-length sensitive)
- Turmeric seeds
- Sweet Potato seeds (not plants or tubers)
- Tetraploid Watermelon
- Wild tomato species
- Hybrids between domesticated tomatoes and wild tomatoes
- Interspecies hybrids of any sort, particularly sunroots, and squash
- Hybrid beans/peas or recent descendants of hybrids
- Soybeans, Lima beans
- Dryland rice
- Day neutral or short season chia species
- Bush squash: Acorn, Delicata, Festival, Golden Pipin, and similar -- commercial seeds welcomed
- Tetsukabuto Squash -- commercial seed welcomed -- Home grown descendants warmly welcomed
- Other dryland suitable vegetables, medicinals, herbs, or flowers that I'm not currently growing, if you grew the seed yourself, or know the name of the specific human that grew it. In other words, I want to foster human to human interactions, not customer to corporation. Tell me a story about the species and it's grower. I might be enticed to accept it in swap.
Blog: Mother Earth News -- Landrace Gardening.
If sending eMail I'd really like it if you used encryption. Here is my public key.
I have found GnuPG easy to use.