Media Coverage of Johnny's Selected Seeds
"… 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.' "
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 …."
"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' …."
"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….
"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…."
" '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.' "
"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."
…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 »
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
Maine Today | Carve a Cooler Pumpkin This Halloween » (Featuring many of our favorite varieties!)
NPR's The Salt | Cherokee Purple: The Story Behind One of Our Favorite Tomatoes »
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…
LEMELSON CENTER BLOG | Inventing the Modern Organic Farm »
Grafting Tomatoes: A Beginner's Guide to Grafting Tomatoes » by Amy Grisak for Organic Gardening
Enriched in Organic Soil, Johnny's Selected Seeds Grows Seed Stock for the Future » by Melonie Magruder for Seedstock
Maine Gardener: Invest seed money in startups like these » by Portland (ME) Press Herald gardening columnist Tom Atwell
Johnny's Selected Seeds donated $40K to the Maine Farmland Trust in May 2009. The money was split between two of Maine Farmland Trust's buy/sell/protect projects:
- River Road Farm (now Stonecipher Farm) in Bowdoinham
- Charleston Dairy Farm
(now Stonecipher Farm)
Learn more about Stonecipher Farm »
Read article on Stonecipher Farm from the Brunswick Times Record »
Watch TV news clip »
Johnny's Selected Seeds on TV & Radio
Listen to a recording of the show »
Watch seed-starting episode »