- New Items 2020
- Artichoke & Cardoon
- Bitter Melon
- Bok Choy
- Brussels Sprouts
- Celery & Celeriac
- Chinese Cabbage
- Endive & Escarole
- Fruit and Berries
- Grains & Cover Crops
- Greens, Oriental
- Ground Cherries
- Jelly Melon
- Live Plants
- Salad Blends
- Snake Bean
- Swiss Chard
- Wax Melon
- The Explorer Series
Except where noted, grow garden berries just like tomatoes, starting indoors 4 weeks before frost. Or direct sow about the time of last frost. Heirloom berry seeds are usually tiny, so be careful not to cover too deeply.
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Ashwagandha Garden Berry
Indian native plant that is indispensable in Ayurvedic medicine. Widely employed to ward off anxiety and as a sleep aid. The roots are the part that is traditionally used, being available the second year from planting, except in long-season, hot-summer areas, where they may be harvested the first year. The berries look like tiny tomatillos (to which they are indeed related) but are not considered edible, although they have been employed as a rennet substitute in cheese-making. Often referred to as Indian Ginseng because of the many beneficial uses ascribed to it for centuries.
(Fragaria vesca) It’s an alpine strawberry that makes runners! Ever-bearing type, yielding fruit on mother plant and runners in as little as 4 months from sowing. The ability to increase and rejuvenate a planting from runners is a great advantage, and the potential multiplication is very quick. Aromatic fruits are small but very sweet.
Aunt Molly's Ground Cherry
Baron Von Solemacher Strawberry
Black Goji Berry (Black Wolfberry)
(Black Wolfberry) This spectacular super food is native throughout Central Asia. The black goji berry is very rarely found in Western cuisine but has long been celebrated in the Himalayan region as a powerful medicinal and health food. The black goji is known to be more healthful and potent than the more widely known red goji, and we find the flavor sweeter. The tasty, inky black berries are exceptionally high in antioxidants and are said to boost the immune system and improve circulation. Thanks to their ability to fight free radicals, they have been hailed as a food to promote healthy, graceful aging. The potent berries create an outstanding blue color when steeped or added to foods. These tasty berries are quickly becoming a popular super fruit added to smoothies and brewed into tea. The dried berries are great in granola and muffins or snacked on alone; you can also eat the berries fresh off the plant. Steep the berries into a beautiful blue tea; adding a few drops of lemon will turn the tea a lovely purple/pink color. Gardeners will be pleased to know this exciting berry is highly prolific and easy to grow! Plants thrive in zones 5-10. It grows as a shrub reaching 4-6 feet in height, and the plants are self fertile. The fruit ripens from summer through early fall.
Cape Gooseberry Husk Tomato
(Physalis peruviana) This once forgotten superfruit is experiencing a resurgence in popularity. We are thrilled to see the scrumptious, pineapple flavored fruits in gardens and grocery stories across the globe. The cape gooseberry is native to Brazil and was grown in England by 1774. It was cultivated by settlers at the Cape of Good Hope before 1807. The delicious yellow-orange fruit grows inside paper-like husks that are easy to peel. They are great dipped in melted chocolate or made into pies and preserves.
(Cyphomandra abutiloides) Miniature version of the regular Tamarillo, and a close relative. But this one ripens smaller fruit in clusters. When fully ripe, each fruit is a deep golden-orange. Very sweet, fruity, tropical flavor, with overtones of pineapple—dwarf tamarillos are superb for juicing, whipped into smoothies, or eaten out of hand. The foliage is very fragrant, and at all stages the plants are very lovely and ornamental! This South American native produced well in our Missouri garden, but may need greenhouse cultivation in the North. In frost-free conditions, it eventually grows into a small tree. Super delicious and easy to grow!
(Solanum melanocerasum) An antioxidant rich garden berry that undergoes the most miraculous flavor transformation when cooked and just lightly sweetened! There is a stark contrast between eating the berries raw and cooked and sweetened state. The raw ripe berries have a tart flavor, similar to tomatillo, yummy for savory snacking and salsas. The cooked and lightly sweetened berries are reminiscent of blackberry or gooseberry. The garden huckleberry is native to Africa and is a solanaceous berry in the tomato family. The intense purple black hue of the berries indicates high levels of the antioxidant anthocyanin. We adore this nutritious, quick maturing annual which produces masses of fruit in a short season. For very best flavor it is important to harvest at the correct stage. Berries will be a shiny, green to black when under-mature; at this stage the flavor will be unpleasant and the berries may be slightly poisonous. The berries mature to a dull black color and should be slightly soft to the touch; at this point the berries are perfect to eat and quite tasty. The truly spectacular flavor of these berries is revealed when the berries are cooked and sweetened; this brings out a fruity, blackberry-like flavor that is simply sublime. We have seen these berries re-imagined into delectable jams, pies, syrups and fillings--easily one of the most rewarding fruit crops to grow!
Golden Alexandria Strawberry
The perfect patio strawberry, looks amazing in mixed plantings. The high contrast of gilded foliage against scarlet red berries makes this regal alpine type strawberry a superb edible ornamental. The golden foliage looks excellent planted in the border, especially against traditional forest green alpine varieties. These tidy plants are a uniform size and do not produce runners. A heavy producer of super sweet fruit. Everbearing variety, often fruits in the first year, hardy from zones 5-10 and reseeds easily.
Ground Cherry (Strawberry Husk Tomato)
Hardy Orange (Poncirus Trifoliata)
(poncirus trifoliata) An orange plant that is hardy down to frigid subzero temperatures may sound like a modern innovation, however the hardy citrus, has been cultivated along its native range from Northern China to Korea for thousands of years. This ancient plant has been employed for everything from livestock fencing to medicinal panacea and was first introduced to the U.S in Colonial times. Less prominent today, the hardy citrus is most frequently grown as an unusual ornamental, adding an exotic look to gardens. Flowers are highly aromatic making it a top choice as a scented hedge and popular with pollinators. The fruits are described as a cross between lemon and grapefruit, making an impeccable marmalade; we used these to make a fantastic ice cream. Trees will reach from 8-20 feet tall, but are easily kept short and tidy with pruning. Hardy from zones 6-9, the fruit laden shrubs add an incredibly novel vibrancy to the winter landscape. Â Growing Tips: Needs to be started within a few days of arrival or kept cool and moist in the fridge for up to two weeks. It's recommended to soak the seed for up to 24 hours before planting, to help raise the germination.Â
Litchi Tomato or Morelle De Balbis
(S. sisymbriifolium) The most intriguing garden berry we have ever seen, and with superb creamy and mild cherry flavor. A totally unique fruit, it is delightful to imagine litchi tomato into myriad culinary interpretations from mock cherry pies to chutneys and pickles. Its Latin name is Solanum sisymbriifolium, but it goes by many aliases, Vila Vila in Latin America, litchi tomato in the U.S and in France, Morelle de Balbis. It is a favorite fruit here at Baker Creek and has even been seen growing in the home garden of Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau. While the alien like plants may seem like a new innovation, litchi tomato was celebrated in seed catalogs of antiquity as an exotic and delicious fruit. The 1896 Wilson’s Seed Farm catalog featured a plant referred to as (Solanum anthrophagorum) it was described as a bright red fruit that lends well to pies and sauces. The Wilson’s catalog also told of the fruit being used as a condiment for a cannibals meal of human flesh in Fiji. Botanists believe the litchi tomato to be native to South America, yet early accounts mention it as a plant growing in the islands of the South Pacific. Large plants grow to 5’ and are covered with thorns; sweet red fruit and large white flowers. Lovely to look at, but be careful with the thorns! The fruit is about the size of a cherry and taste like a cherry crossed with a tomato. A very pretty and attractive plant that originated in South America, but has been naturalized in many countries. You can grow litchi tomato just as you would grow regular tomatoes.
Mango Melon (Vine Peach)
Grow your own delicious fruit for pies in 70 days! Fruit taste of honeydew melon and peach when cooked in desserts. The 3-inch fruit is the size of a peach, with a yellow rind and fruity-tasting white flesh. This variety was very popular in Victorian times for making sweet pickles, pies, and preserves. Developed in China and introduced into America in the 1880s. You can find easy recipes for melon pie online.
Mary's Niagara Ground Cherry
ROUGHWOOD/EFN EXCLUSIVE. We're very excited to be offering this variety to the public for the very first time. The original seed came from fruit purchased at a roadside stand in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, some years ago by the Experimental Farm Network’s Nate Kleinman. Mary was the name of the woman selling them, and she said at the time that she had been growing these and saving her own seed for more years than she could remember. The fruit were particularly sweet and flavorful, so Nate brought them back across the border (receiving permission from border guards!), dried a few seeds, put them in a plastic bag, and promptly forgot about them for many years. Upon growing them out for the first time a couple years ago, the plants quickly impressed with their earliness, their reliably sweet fruits, and their especially low profile: each averages roughly a three to four foot spread, but with the sprawling branches hovering only a few inches off the ground. A bed of 'Mary's Niagara' appears so flat it almost resembles a an actual bed. They are a good candidate to be attempted in short-season areas where other nightshades like tomatoes, peppers, or egpplants, might be challenging. Productive, precocious, and delicious, these ground cherries might just become the new gold standard! Seeds grown ecologically in Elmer, NJ, by the Experimental Farm Network Cooperative.
Mother Mary's Pie Melon
A favorite in our vegan restaurant. Here's a really different little melon! Tart little fruit is about softball sized or slightly smaller, weighing to about 6 ounces. Smooth, occasionally netted bright yellow-orange skin contains the white flesh. The fruit is fragrant, tangy and moderately sweet. Original seed was preserved by W.R. Lorence, whose Minnesota grandmother a century ago made pies from a combination of this melon and apples. Our cooks turn these into incredible pies, crisps and cakes. Enjoy wonderful melon flavor in your summer baking and preserves!
(Solanum quitoense) A very unique fruit from the Andes. Delicious sweet-and-sour taste, orange flavor; 2-inch fruit is round and yellow-orange in color, perfect for making delicious juice. In 1760, Mr. J. de Santa Gertrudis Siera called it “nectar of the gods” and “the most delicious that I have tasted in the world.” This plant takes at least 6 months to bear and is quite attractive as a potted plant. This year we started plants indoors about Feb. 1 and started to harvest fruit by mid-September in the garden.
New Hanover Ground Cherry
Ground cherries are close relatives of tomatillos, considered a type of “husk tomato.” The flavor is often more tangy than sweet, and tastes more like a vegetable than a fruit, but not the New Hanover: it’s sweet, fruity, and addictive. It can be hard to save seeds from these because you’ll want to eat every fruit! Preserved by the late Katie Hoffman Slonaker (1903-1983) in New Hanover, Pennsylvania, until becoming a part of the Roughwood Seed Collection; this variety is likely to become popular once again. We think it tastes better than common cultivars. At a tasting held by the American Institute of Wine and Food, it beat all other ground cherries tested!
Orange Master Pomegranate
Bonsai Pomegranates! Here is an extra-dwarf pomegranate that’s perfect for small containers. Early-flowering plants are good for bonsai. This small, ornamental fruit will take light frosts but should be grown indoors in cool climates. We have had a plant for years and are always amazed at the amount of flowers and fruit it produces. Easy to care for and requires less water than most plants.
Otricoli Orange Berry
(Solanum nigrum) 70 days. Here’s a most unusual nightshade plant, collected originally by the Gettles in Umbria, Italy, in the ancient Roman site of Ocriculum. It was found growing along the Tiber River, growing with the common black nightshade, (S. nigrum). Plants reach 2-3 feet tall, having typical nightshade leaves and white flowers. The small berries have a lot of visual interest being a bright orange—not at all the dark purple that you might expect. At maturity the plants are covered in clusters of brilliant orange! This species has been used as food for millenia, use only ripe fruit for eating.
Pawpaw, Premium Giant Mix
Grow a champion pawpaw! Once a staple in Native American and early settlers’ diets, the pawpaw is now considered a rare delicacy. This tropical flavored treat is the largest fruit native to North America. Most available pawpaw seed is obtained from wild, small, random seedling sources of greatly mixed and questionable genetic quality. Not our seeds! We offer a mix of domesticated pawpaw genetic lines for optimal cross pollination that results in large size (average 8-16+ ounces), excellent flavor, and premium quality. Peaceful Heritage Nursery is a rare fruit tree nursery and mini-farm located in Stanford, KY. Seeds are shipped in special controlled conditions for easier germination. Includes detailed growing tips.
(Solanum muricatum) One of our all-time favorite fruits! This eggplant relative produces fruit that ranges in size from a chicken egg to a large goose egg, with a cream-colored rind that often has beautiful purple stripes. It has a sweet, mild flesh that is very melon-like. Use fresh or cooked. Beautiful, glossy ornamental plants require a fairly long season and are grown like eggplants. We had an abundant crop of these delectable fruits this past season here in Missouri. This fun plant can be grown indoors. Pepinos are popular in Peru, New Zealand and Australia and have just recently started to become common in U.S. markets. This plant is native to the Andes Mountain region.
(Musa velutina) Lovely, small banana plants produce the most stunning, glowing, brilliant pink banana you will ever see. They are edible, but very seedy. Plants have large leaves that grow up to 24 inches long and add a wonderful tropical effect to your yard or patio. This species is relatively hardy, taking a few degrees of frost fairly well. Ripe fruit will start to split open when ready to eat. Showy and fun to grow! Can be hard to germinate, but is then easy to grow.
Queen of Malinalco
(Physalis ixocarpa) 70 days. A unique and delicious heirloom treasure from the mystical town of Malinalco, in the southwest of Mexico. Botanical Explorer Joe Simcox searched high and low for the fabled “queen of Malinalco” tomatillo, revered for its extra large fruit that have a sweet, almost fruity flavor. The unbelievably beautiful fruit is completely sheathed in papery husks like other Physalis species. The fruit grows up to 4 inches long, and the plants are very productive. The fruit is used to make salsas; it can also be cooked up like tomatoes or simply eaten fresh. This is a stunning rare find from Joe and his team, and we are delighted to be able to offer this great rarity!
Regina Alpine Strawberry
(Fragaria vesca) (Also known as Reine des Vallees) Intensely red, sweet and very richly flavored. Fruit is wide-shouldered and much larger than most alpine types. Heavy cropper that yields all summer. This standard European variety is seldom seen in America, but deserves much wider recognition here. Sumptuous!
Scarlet Goji Berry
(Scarlet Wolfberry) Chinese native perennial shrub with slender stems growing up to 6.5-13 feet high if not pruned. From June to September, the shrub is decorated with pale violet, fragrant flowers. The fruit will then appear till the first frost and is rich in vitamins, trace elements, antioxidants, amino acids, and essential fatty acids. This superfruit traditionally has been used to help improve eyesight, inhibit the synthesis of cholesterol, regulate the digestive system, to reduce inflammation, and is said to slow the aging process. Naturally drought tolerant, highly disease and insect resistant, and tolerates temps down to -18 F. The tender fruit appears in two years, and a mature plant can produce almost 7 lbs of berries under good conditions by the third year. Add the fruit to tonic, soups, rice or herbal tea. The tender shoots and leaves are used as a leaf vegetable and are cooked 15 minutes in soup. May interfere with blood thinners and other medications metabolized by the liver.
These have an incredible sweet-taste, simular to real blackberries. Attractive 2- to 3-foot plants yield clusters of pea-sized black berries. Brought to Kansas by Volga German immigrants about 1875, and still appreciated by their descendants, who grow and use them in such traditional recipes as Kuchen, Maultaschen, Klump and Knebel. Eat only fully ripe, dark blue-black berries.
(Chenopodium capitatum) An old-fashioned plant that is poised for a comeback! Native to moist mountain valleys of North America, but also popular in Europe dating back to the 1600s. Plants are fascinating; the arrow shaped leaves remind us that it is a relative of spinach and the flavor and nutritional profile are reminiscent of spinach as well. Perhaps most intriguing quality is its small bright red berries! Young under ripe berries will be mild in flavor and appropriate for salads and savory applications, allow the berries to fully ripen to a deep crimson for juicy sweet flavor. We find the ripe berries to have a watermelon-berry flavor, addictive for snacking and irresistible for deserts. Like its spinach cousin, the leaves are high in oxalates so those with sensitivities to oxalates should take note. The delicious edible berries contain small seeds that in very large quantity may haves some toxic effects, but are considered perfectly safe when consumed in relative moderation. The very easy to grow and adaptable plants grow in a similar fashion to their wild cousin, lambsquarter. The original seeds for this particular variety were found in a monastery garden in Europe.
This British variety bears medium-large, super scrumptious berries in abundance. This compact plant will produce berries in the first year from seed. Fruit is much larger than alpine varieties. These tidy plants are perfect in beds and containers; they do not readily set runners and remain tame, not prone to taking over the garden. Berries are more firm than alpine varieties; the flavor however, is better than many other large, commercial varieties.
You will be pleasantly suprised to see these beauties ripening in their first year planted from seed. Tresca is a super early, garden strawberry variety from Poland that can be planted from seed and harvested in the first year! Fruit is picture perfect, shining bright red and bursting with flavor. This is not a particularly aggressive variety, so you do not need to worry about the plant sending runners to the far reaches of your garden; an excellent choice for containers. Said to be naturally disease resistant. We love this naturally sweet fruit for a filling in perogi, a traditional Polish treat!
Tzimbalo Melon Pear
(Solanum caripense) Fruit is small, comparable in size to grapes, but shaped and marked similar to Pepino. The delicious little fruit ripens yellow or pale green, with similar longitudinal striping to Pepino, but it’s much more juicy. Flavor is similar to Pepino but is often described as tangier and more complex. Tart, with subtle overtones of cucumber, melon and other fruit flavors. This South American native is suited for both greenhouse and garden cultivation in most of the country, and plants may be overwintered indoors in pots. This is a very rare plant that is started indoors like tomatoes and bears a heavy yield from early August until frost in our Missouri gardens. Harvest when fruit starts to soften. Very exciting, fun and SO delicious.
Yellow Wonder Wild Strawberry