Johnny's Selected Seeds

Johnny's in the News

Media Coverage of Johnny's Selected Seeds

2018
May 2018
WGME | Maine company makes unique vegetables using seed breeding
"Plant breeding is the art and science of developing new plant varieties," Dr. Lindsay Wyatt, Johnny's Selected Seeds plant breeder, said. "We're growing 50 to 100 or more of each type of variety of crop," Rachel Katz, product technician, said. They take the best characteristics of each plant and bring them to life. "We have about 6½ acres of squash and pumpkins. Over 900 different plots of each one, unique, that we keep track of and get data on individually," Dr. Wyatt said. To create "better-tasting," easy-growing and adaptable varieties all starts with the breeding program where they are looking at each plant's distinct qualities. "There [are] always changing environmental pressures, new pest and disease, different climate issues that we want to have new varieties that can do better in those conditions," Dr. Wyatt said. When the plant blossoms, a 6-week pollination process begins. "We'll transfer pollen and exclude the bees so we can certify and make sure exactly the pollen that's in that plant is what we want to use to make sure out breeding work is consistent," Emily Stark, pumpkin and squash breeding technician, said. Breeders then weed out the plants that aren't effective, and keep growing those that are. "We're really identifying each plant and keeping that genetic parentage consistent through our program. It's a lot of work and it's very detailed oriented," Stark said. To help perfect varieties, researchers get feedback from other farmers, gardeners, and even chefs. It is a long process. It can take up to a decade to get a new seed ready for customers, but breeders say it's worth it.…"
April 2018
martha • up close & personal | Starting Tomatoes from Seed
"There are hundreds of tomato varieties available as seed, and choosing them for the garden may seem daunting. When selecting our seeds every year, Ryan and I consider type, size, disease resistance and general growth success in our region…"

martha • up close & personal | Preparing and Planting the Season's First Crop of Peas
"Peas thrive in cool weather, and young plants can even tolerate light frosts. It's important to plant peas as soon as possible in spring in order to get a full harvest before hot summer temperatures arrive…"

March 2018
Idaho Statesman | Double-duty: Grow corn to support bean stalks too
"… The really complex part of this is the various hybrid sweet corns, whether it's se, su, sh2, syn, sh2 or ssw, identified on the seed packet after the species name. Cross-pollination between any of these results in tough, inferior sweet corn. Johnny's Selected Seeds' catalog, online, gives the best definitions of these types I've seen…"

Slow Flowers Journal | Spring in the Cutting Garden: What to plan & plant now!
"During each month of the year, I want my garden to supply botanical bounty for my floral designs. Harvesting from my own backyard is very important to me because it keeps me grounded in the seasons.…"
February 2018
A Way to Garden | seed shopping, plus growing eggplants and peppers, with craig lehoullier
"There's actually a whole lot of activity in the greens category in general. And if I pick, for example, a Johnny's catalog up, it's got pages and pages on all of these different things you can grow as micro-greens and ones you can sprout. And things that they call 'Kalettes' that are like little Brussels sprouts-kale things growing on a stalk, so…"
January 2018
martha • up close & personal | A Winter Harvest & Our New Dynamic Salad Spinner from Johnny's Selected Seeds
"Another wonderful bounty of fresh vegetables from my greenhouse … where I grow organic vegetables in the ground, using very little heat, all winter long … Recently, we received a large Dynamic Salad Spinner from Johnny's … big enough to hold eight heads of lettuce at one time. After our latest harvest, we were eager to give it a try…"

martha • up close & personal | Starting Onions from Seed at My Farm
"Onions started from seed generally grow larger and store longer. They can be planted closely together in seed starting trays, and because they are shallow-rooted, they can be pulled apart easily when ready for transplanting outdoors. Many of our seed trays and supplies are from Johnny's … by mid-summer, we will have lots and lots of beautiful, fat bulbs to harvest…"

Addison County Independent | From dreams to reality; making plans for your 2018 garden
As a direct result of the work at the Research Farm, Johnny's Seed Catalog not only offers a vast array of vegetable and flower seeds (including many that are organically grown), but it is also packed full of factual information to guide gardeners of all skill levels.

Tri-City Herald | Garden Tips: Here are the best places to go to get your seeds
… [M]ore and more gardeners… shop online for vegetable and flower seeds. However, this just is not the same as browsing through a gardening catalog and dreaming about the coming season's garden … Johnny's catalog is … packed with … growing information and charts that compare different varieties… and gardening supplies.
2017
December 2017
SeedWorld | Johnny's Selected Seeds Announces New Summer Squash
The classical plant breeding team at Johnny's Selected Seeds announces the release of its third Johnny's-Bred summer squash. The yellow crookneck squash, called 'Tempest,' was bred by Janika Eckert specifically for organic growers. Now retired, Eckert transitioned her summer squash breeding program to Johnny's Plant Breeder Dr. Lindsay Wyatt, who has cooperated with growers, university partners, and culinary experts throughout the US to get feedback on the variety's flavor and performance under organic conditions. "Tempest is special because it's both beautiful and tastes great, making it an excellent example of the type of variety we strive to breed here at Johnny's," says Wyatt…
November 2017
The Packer | Johnny's Selected Seeds Wins Two Awards
Johnny's Selected Seeds, Albion, Maine, has been honored with two All-America Selections Committee awards for its vegetables. The company's Red Ember cayenne pepper and Valentine grape tomatoes were selected as 2018 winners, according to a news release. Red Ember, bred by Janika Eckert, is a cross between a cayenne and sweet pepper. The company has been breeding the pepper since 2010, the release said.

"Red Ember is truly a unique pepper unlike other cayennes," Emily Rose Haga, who took over the pepper breeding program from Eckert, said in the release. "The flavor is sweet and fruity but not overly hot, and the wall thickness gives it a lot of versatility compared to traditional cayenne types…"
August 2017
SeedWorld | Lindsay Wyatt (Johnny's Selected Seeds) Transitioning from Grad School; Business Side of Plant Breeding
Lindsay Wyatt (Johnny's Selected Seeds) talks with Shawn Brook at the 2017 NAPB Annual Conference from August 7–10, 2017 at the University of California, Davis.
July 2017
martha • up close & personal | A Visit from Johnny's Selected Seeds
"As many of you know, I am an avid gardener and am always on the lookout for innovative, sensible and easy-to-use tools and supplies. One of my favorite sources is Johnny's Selected Seeds… Not long ago, a team from Johnny's Selected Seeds came to visit my Bedford, New York farm. My gardeners, Ryan and Wilmer, guided them through the vegetable and flower beds and talked about how well our crops have done over the years. Our visitors also brought some of Johnny's newest tools and supplies for us to try — it was a very informative and enjoyable visit…"
June 2017
Live & Work in Maine | MaineLife Episode 9: Johnny's Selected Seeds
This great Maine-based company is 100% Employee Owned! Johnny's Selected Seeds mission is helping families, friends, and communities to feed one another by providing superior seeds, tools, information, and service.…

martha • up close & personal | Planting in the Pumpkin Patch
"…Pumpkins grow on vines, which means they take up a lot of space. I always plant my pumpkin patch in a roomy bed that can accommodate a large crop of big, colorful fruits. … This year, the majority of our seeds are from Johnny's Selected Seeds. Whenever I can, I also like to use seeds I've saved from interesting or tasty pumpkins I've enjoyed …

Lubbock Avalanche–Journal | Peffley: Chard will withstand Lubbock's summer heat
The leafy greens of Swiss Chard variety 'Bright Lights' are a nutritional powerhouse and the multi-colored petioles make for an attractive ornamental in the garden…
2016
September 2016
Bangor Daily News • Homestead | Tasting Event in Unity Showcases 'New and Improved Vegetables'
"… Pastry chef Kim Rodgers, who works at Portland restaurants Hugo's, Honeypaw and Eventide, said that when she was asked to create a dish from the 'Clementine' and 'Cherry Bomb' tomatoes, she wanted something that would be easy to transport and she settled on the sodas — one for each hybrid. She'd made unusual sodas before, she said, but discovered something in the process of making them for the seed-to-table tasting event.

" 'You think a tomato's a tomato, but they're actually drastically different,' she said. 'It was really fun to find that out.' "
August 2016
Seed World | AAS Salutes Industry Achievers
At its annual awards banquet in Janesville, Wisconsin, All-America Selections (AAS) recognized Jim Nau of Ball Horticultural Company and Janika Eckert of Johnny's Selected Seeds, two "horticulture luminaries" …

HortiDaily | Janika Eckert receives 2016 All-America Selections Breeder's Cup
Johnny's Plant Breeder Janika Eckert was awarded the All-American Selections (AAS) Breeder's Cup at the annual summit held in Madison. Eckert has produced four AAS-winning varieties: 'Diva' spineless sweet cucumber, in 2002; 'Carmen,' an early sweet red Italian pepper, in 2006; 'Escamillo,' an early sweet golden Italian pepper, in 2016; and 'Cornito Giallo,' a half-size sweet golden Italian pepper, in 2016 … "One has to be both an artist and a scientist. First of all, you have to dream up something — a new vegetable variety. The fun then starts, in figuring out how to create the variety that you have envisioned — you could think of that part as the science…"
July 2016
CivilEats | Could CRISPR Gene Editing Change the Future of Ag? | We talked to traditional plant breeders about the new technology
" Despite its somewhat vague status within the USDA, gene editing is currently not allowed in organic seed production, though it's being hotly debated. Many breeders see it as a potentially valuable tool for developing completely novel plants for the organic farmer. Others maintain that it is more or less unnecessary.

"Lindsay Wyatt, squash breeder at Johnny's Selected Seeds, agrees.
'Vegetables are really great in that we can make a lot of gains using traditional plant breeding out in the field just looking at the plants and making selections' …"

UPS • Longitudes | How Education Builds Customer Loyalty
A Maine-based seed producer bet big on customer service as a consultancy. The result? A crop of lifelong customers. Here's what you can learn from their strategy…
May 2016
Maine Biz | Plants aren't the only thing growing at Johnny's Selected Seeds
" Walking around Johnny's… research farm, one expects to see rows and acres of commercial seed-producing plants. But most of the seeds sold by Johnny's are produced in the parts of the world where they grow best, and then are harvested by Johnny's… Yet, in Maine, Johnny's is a beehive of activity…"

Bangor Daily News | Pingree, chefs, business pros head to Cuba on an organic mission
Pingree's office came up with the idea for the four-day trip, organized by the Washington nonprofit Center for Democracy in the Americas. The group of leaders in organics, such as Luke Donahue of Johnny's Selected Seeds from Maine, left for Cuba April 30 to see what can be shared, gleaned and put into place. With commercial pressure from U.S. pesticide and fertilizer companies looming, Pingree feels the window is closing for healthy agricultural practices…
March 2016
martha • up close & personal | Starting from Seed
" We start sowing seeds indoors a couple of months before the last frost in this area… thousands of seeds… Starting from seed isn't difficult. They can be planted closely together in seed starting trays, and then pulled apart easily when ready for transplanting outdoors. Many of our seeds, seed trays and other supplies are from Johnny's Selected Seeds. Here are some photos, enjoy…"
February 2016
Down East Magazine | All Grown Up | Rooted in the counterculture of the 1970s, Johnny's Selected Seeds is flourishing with the locavore movement, by Edgar Allen Beem
" 'The most important secret of success is to just keep doing it. It's continuity,' says [Rob] Johnston. 'Every year, we hope we improve on what we do. Selling beans is how we make money to develop more beans.' "
January 2016
Mother Earth News • Organic Gardening | The Vegetable Seeds Have Arrived
"Johnny's Selected Seeds is an employee-owned seed company and one of the original signers of the 'Safe Seed Pledge.' "

Growing Produce • American Vegetable Grower | 9 Watermelon Varieties You Need to Know for 2016

Growing Produce • American Vegetable Grower | The Next Big Developments In Vegetable Seed : Rob Johnston & Lindsay Wyatt, Curcurbit Breeders

Portland Press Herald | Eero Ruuttila's years of growing lead to seed company gig Influences on the new research station manager at Johnny's Selected Seeds have included the poet Allen Ginsberg
"… 'Every field is blocked out on a row-by-row basis. It's a big blank slate.' Using GPS imagery, they create the map, then plug in information like soil formulation, any past disease issues and recent crops (for rotation issues). 'We are starting to plug in the blanks'…"

Portland Press Herald | Maine Gardener: Catalogs seed desire for new flowers & vegetables Potates developed at the University of Maine should catch the eyes of garden catalog browsers
"… While spending the winter's first snowy day perusing our 6-inch stack of gardening catalogs, I noticed Caribou Russet first in the Pinetree Garden Seeds catalog. Johnny's Selected Seeds had both Caribou Russet and Pinto Gold…"

Times Colonist | Helen Chestnut: Seed catalogue's lettuces irresistable
"… Lettuces and lettuce blends are something of a specialty ... I find the JSS pages — and pages — of lettuces irresistible."

A Way to Garden | Power-shopping the seed catalogs, with Joseph Tychonievich
"… And I love Johnny's, because they don't have the biggest list, but it's like it's curated — you know they've done the testing. They have such a research department, and I feel like the varieties they've listed are consistently really good choices."
2015
December 2015
Floret Flower Farm Journal | Behind the Scenes at Johnny's Selected Seeds
…I've been a big fan and loyal customer of Johnny's since the very beginning of my flower farming journey and was excited to finally see their operation — and particularly their famed trial gardens and plant breeding programs — firsthand…

Bangor Daily News | 'Armchair gardening': Seed catalog season tantalizes gardeners
November 2015
CNN | Gourds saved by ancient ancestors
Probing ancient mastodon dung, scientists discover early humans had a lot to do with saving Thanksgiving dinner.

Perishable News | Kalettes Receives 2015 Innovator Award
Tozer Seeds has exclusive marketing agreements with select companies to grow and market Kalettes … Kalettes seeds will be sold by Johnny's Selected Seeds to small farmers and home growers

Growing Produce • American Vegetable Grower | The Quest for the Perfect Vegetable Variety
Rob Johnston & Lindsay Wyatt, Curcurbit Breeders
August 2015
NPR | One Small Bite For Man: NASA Astronauts Eat Space-Grown Food
Update on the Johnny's-supplied 'Outredgeous' lettuce being cultivated in space … (See also article published Feb 2014.)

NPR's The Salt | Cherokee Purple: The Story Behind One of Our Favorite Tomatoes
July 2015
One Hundred Dollars a Month | Tour of Johnny's Seeds in Albion, Maine
Imagine the ultimate garden. Big, straight rows of multicolored vegetable and flowers… The grass between the plots is thick, lush and mowed perfectly…


Country Folks | Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association holds tomato talk
A few weeks ago, a consortium of local vegetable growers gathered at the Albion, Maine research farm of Johnny's Selected Seeds with one task in mind: to discuss the obstacles and opportunities related to growing tomatoes in the New England region…
April 2015
Produce Grower | Making Green with Microgreens
Lettuce is a valuable crop in the US, and more growers are turning to hydroponic ways of producing it. Here are some consumer preferences and potential challenges to growing these leafy veggies…
March 2015
Christian Science Monitor | Impatient to Garden? Start Some Seeds
Buying plants is pricey, and variety varies. Seeds are cheap, if you plan well…

House Speaker Mark Eves | Agriculture in the Spotlight on Central Maine Jobs Tours
Lawmakers visit Johnny's Selected Seeds on first stop of day's tour…
January 2015
Kennebec Journal | Unity Food Hub on Track to Open in Spring
A pilot program that delivers farm produce to employees at their workplaces and plans to help farmers sell more wholesale products, are part of the work already being done at the new food hub.
2014
December 2014
Kalettes Hit Market for Vegetable Growers
It's a newer vegetable that's making early inroads into commercial production… Johnny's Selected Seeds introduced the new Kalettes seed in the fall to direct-to-market commercial growers and avid home gardeners across the United States and Canada, under an exclusive partnership with Tozer Seeds…
October 2014
PPH | Kalettes May Be Coming Soon to a Garden — & Dinner Plate — Near You
Johnny's Selected Seeds in Winslow has been selected to sell this new hybrid cross between Brussels sprouts and kale.
April 2014
Seed Research: Breeding Pedigreed Peppers
An interview with Johnny's Plant Breeder Janika Eckert, by Rebekah Fraser for Growing Magazine
2013
August 11, 2013
Hardy Vegetables Weather Outdoors Come Frost or Freeze, by Diana Lockwood for The Columbus Dispatch
June 2013
Heirlooms & Hybrids: Finding the Right Plant for your Garden, featuring an interview with Johnny's Plant Breeder Emily Haga, by Amy Grisak for A Garden Life

Grafting Tomatoes: A Beginner's Guide to Grafting Tomatoes, by Amy Grisak for Organic Gardening
May 29, 2013
In Defense of Grafting, by Anne Raver for The New York Times
March 6, 2013
January 2013
Tool Review: The Quick-Cut Greens Harvester, by Jean–Martin Fortier for Growing for Market

Maine Gardener: Invest seed money in startups like these, by Portland (ME) Press Herald gardening columnist Tom Atwell
January–February, 2013
A Spring Seed & Planting Primer, in Mother Earth Living, by William Woys Weaver
2012
November 15, 2012: Johnny's Begins 40th Anniversary Celebration
November 13, 2012
Spring Forward: Four Great Seed Sources to Inspire You This Winter, by Meagan Francis, HGTV Gardens Growing Blog
July 11, 2012



CONTACT MEDIA RELATIONS

Amanda Terenzoni

Johnny's Selected Seeds
T: 207-238-5347
F: 207-238-5388