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New England Heirloom Seeds

Choose from eleven different varieties of heirloom seeds, including peas, tomatoes, peppers, parsley, chives and thyme. A wonderful way to jumpstart your kitchen garden for spring. Produced since 1811 in Wethersfield, CT. (more info)

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Passed down through generations of farmers and home gardeners, an heirloom seed is one that has been cultivated for at least 50 years. Reliable, dependable, and offering a spectacular range of flavors and shapes, these plants provide a glimpse into a time before widespread genetic modification and hybridization turned a trip to the grocery store into a far more predictable event.

Produced by America’s longest continually operating seed company, these classic vegetables and herbs are open pollinated, meaning you can start saving your own seeds to pass on to future generations.

Thomas Laxton Peas: Reliable, consistent, and sweet, these plants produce numerous and well-filled with peas of extra fine quality. Plants grow up to three feet tall, while pods reach about 3 to 4.5 inches.

Parsley: Sometimes called Italian Parsley, the leaves of this herb are flat, not curled. A delightful garnish and seasoning for soups, meats, sauces, and more.

Iceberg Lettuce: This classic lettuce was first introduced in 1894. It is a large crisp heading variety with fringed leaves.

Little Marvel Peas: A great little pea that is still one of the best on the market, this small podded variety is popular for its prolific habit and good quality. A very early producer, this delicious, fine flavored pea has been popular among home gardeners since 1908.

Paris White Cos Lettuce: Large oval heads which have an especially crisp texture and a pleasing mild flavor. Today, this type of lettuce is often referred to as Romaine.

Thyme: An aromatic perennial prized for both its seasoning and medicinal qualities. A wonderful addition to meats, mushrooms, salad dressings, and even cocktails.

Southern Giant Mustard: Usually cooked as "greens" in the same manner as spinach, these fine curled dark leaves may also be used in salads if cut when plants are very young. Particularly easy to grow.

Long Cayenne Pepper: A long, red, tapering variety, of dwarf growth, very hot and pungent. Used for pepper-sauce, and for seasoning. The fruits are green when young and deep red when mature.

Bonnie Best Tomato: This tomato is exceptionally good tasting, producing medium-sized, globe shaped fruit that are quite smooth and of a deep red color.

Chives: Perfectly hardy and should be grown in every garden, chives are cultivated for the slender tops which have a delicate onion flavor. Pretty purple blossoms also make a charming addition to flower gardens.

California Wonder Pepper: A large, late, thick-meated variety, unusually solid and heavy. Regular in shape, uniform in size, and very sweet.

Use & Care

Thomas Laxton Peas: A light, moderately rich soil free from fresh manure is best for peas. Sow very early in spring in rows 2 feet apart for the dwarf varieties or 3 feet apart for the tall varieties. Plant the seeds about 2 inches apart in the row and cover 2 inches with fine soil. It is desirable to stake up or furnish some support for the tall growing varieties when plants are 4 to 6 inches high. For succession, sow at intervals until midsummer.

Parsley: Plant seed as early as ground permits in rows about 1 foot apart and 1/2 inch deep. To insure quicker sprouting soak seeds in warm water for several hours before planting as they are slow to germinate. When large enough, thin out plants to a few inches apart. For winter use in cold climates, plants may be set in boxes or pots and kept indoors.

Iceberg Lettuce: Sow in rows 12 inches apart as early in spring as ground can be worked and cover with 1/4 inch with fine soil; when well up, thin the young plants to about 8 inches apart each way and cultivate frequently. For cutting when young, sow seed either in rows or broadcast and as plants begin to crowd, cut and use as desired. For succession, sow every few weeks as long as desired. Moderately moist, fertile soil is best adapted for growing tender and crisp lettuce. Varieties that do not head may be left quite thick and thinned out as required.

Little Marvel Peas: A light, moderately rich soil free from fresh manure is best for peas. Sow very early in spring in rows 2 feet apart for the dwarf varieties or 3 feet apart for the tall varieties. Plant the seeds about 2 inches apart in the row and cover 2 inches with fine soil. It is desirable to stake up or furnish some support for the tall growing varieties when plants are 4 to 6 inches high. For succession, sow at intervals until midsummer.

Paris White Cos Lettuce: Sow in rows 12 inches apart as early in spring as ground can be worked and cover 1/4 inch with fine soil; when well up, thin the young plants to about 8 inches apart each way and cultivate frequently. For cutting when young, sow seed either in rows or broadcast and as plants begin to crowd, cut and use as desired. For succession, sow every few weeks as long as desired. Moderately moist, fertile soil is best adapted for growing tender and crisp lettuce. Varieties that do not head may be left quite thick and thinned out as required.

Thyme: Perennial to 1 foot. Plants require full sun and rich, somewhat moist yet very well-drained soil. Start plants in containers indoors, covering seeds very lightly and keeping moist until sprouts appear. Set out after last frost of spring, spacing 6 inches to one foot apart. Or direct sow in the garden, about two weeks before last frost. Cut back the plants in early spring to encourage compact growth.

Southern Giant Mustard: Plant seed in early Spring as soon as ground can be worked. Cover 1/4 inch deep with fine soil, well pressed down, in rows about 18 inches apart. When plants are 2 inches high, thin to 6 inches apart in the row.

Long Cayenne Pepper: Peppers thrive best in very rich, light loams with plenty of moisture. Sow seed 1/4 inch deep in hotbeds or flats early in spring. When about 3 inches high and all  danger of frost  has passed, transplant into rows. Cultivate frequently and fertilizing when plants are in bud will increase the yield. Mild and hot varieties should not be planted near each other.

Bonnie Best Tomato: Sow seed in shallow boxes in the house where temperature does not fall below 60 degrees or in hot beds about 6 weeks before plants are to be set out, using rich, well prepared soil. When plants have 4 leaves transplant into other boxes, setting plants 4 inches apart. After danger from frost has passed, transplant to open ground setting plants about 3 to 5 feet apart each way in moderately rich, well cultivated soil.

Chives: Seed may be sown any time during the spring months, either broadcast or in drills, covering lightly with fine soil well pressed down. When plants are about 2 inches high they should be transplanted to 3 inches apart in rows which should be about a foot apart.

California Wonder Pepper: Peppers thrive best in very rich, light loams with plenty of moisture. Sow seed 1/4 inch deep in hotbeds or flats early in spring. When about 3 inches high and all danger of frost has passed, transplant into rows. Cultivate frequently and fertilizing when plants are in bud will increase the yield. The fruits are green when young and deep red when mature. Mild and hot varieties should not be planted near each other.

Production & Design

Joseph Belden first published an advertisement for seeds in the Hartford Courant in 1811. Since then, this seed grower based in Wethersfield, CT has weathered fire, numerous owners, and even bids to demolish the business in favor of modern development.

In 2010, under new ownership, an Amish crew from Missouri was brought in to help begin the restoration process of this company's historic buildings and barns dating back to the 1700's. The men carried dust-covered agricultural treasures out of the many attics so that they might once again be put on display, and eventually be restored to use. The company now strives to unearth and promote a diverse inheritance of heirloom seed varieties, too many of which are in danger of extinction.

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Please email support@kaufmann-mercantile.com.  We reply to every email promptly. Or call us at 347 529 5122.

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Specifications

Thomas Laxton Peas
50 seeds

Parsley
400 seeds

Iceberg Lettuce
150 seeds

Little Marvel Peas
50 seeds

Paris White Cos Lettuce
150 seeds

Thyme
800 seeds

Southern Giant Mustard
200 seeds

Long Cayenne Pepper
20 seeds

Bonnie Best Tomato
20 seeds

Chives
300 seeds

California Wonder Pepper
20 seeds
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