Albion, Maine: October 2, 2014 — Johnny's Selected Seeds warmly welcomes Dr. John Navazio, veteran plant breeder, agroecologist, author, and organic seed production specialist as manager of its plant breeding program. Dr. Navazio is a natural fit for Johnny's, renowned for its prodigious introduction of traditionally bred, award-winning new crop varieties to direct-market growers and avid home gardeners….
With a career path that clearly aligns with Johnny's long-term breeding goals, Dr. Navazio sees "an incredible opportunity in taking on the landmark traditional breeding work led for over four decades by Rob Johnston," Johnny's founder and CEO. "Some of North America's most important crop germplasm is being housed and developed right here in Central Maine…. Read more »
Fairfield, Maine: September 2014 — Lauded by foodies as the "new kale," KalettesTM are the striking result of a non-GMO cross between kale and Brussels sprouts. Johnny's Selected Seeds is pleased to introduce the new Kalettes seed this fall to direct-to-market commercial growers and avid home gardeners across the US and Canada, under an exclusive partnership with Tozer Seeds.
The launch of Kalettes is expected to generate strong demand from consumers and growers alike. With their appetizing visual appeal, delicate flavor, and powerful nutritional value, these versatile, conveniently-sized Kalettes will be 2015's must-have new vegetable. Direct-to-market commercial growers can be among the first to offer this exciting new kale–Brussels blend to restaurant chefs, specialty markets, local farmers' markets, and CSA customers…. Read more »
Rob's contribution to the world of horticulture includes helping produce varieties that in diverse climates have outstanding flavor, disease resistance, and garden performance. Under Rob's leadership, the Johnny's breeding team has introduced more than 50 varieties. Seven of these Johnny's-bred varieties have been honored with the prestigious All-America Selections award…. Read more »
This award is granted based on criteria that include pride in one's job, demonstration of exceptional customer service, local residency, and Chamber membership. Michelle not only meets but exceeds these qualifications. Gary Zemrak, Controller, at Johnny's Selected Seeds said in his nomination letter about LePage that her passion and influence on the company "would be hard to duplicate"…. Read more »
The Ultimate Efficiency Lettuce
Fairfield, Maine (April 2013) — Salanova is the newest innovation in lettuce for the salad mix market. Taking over 20 years for breeders to develop, Salanova's unique core structure allows fully mature, compact heads to be easily cut into individual uniform leaves. Because the heads are allowed to reach full size, they produce fully-developed flavor, texture, and color compared to baby leaf. For the first time, this line is available from Johnny's Selected Seeds to U.S. and Canada small, direct-market growers. Praised for its versatility, efficiency and yield, Salanova offers many benefits for the grower.
Salanova provides high yields at lower-cost. Field trials at Johnny's farm in Albion, Maine found that the number and weight of leaves that Salanova produced offers 42% more yield and revenue potential than traditional baby leaf. In addition, because fewer seeds are needed to plant the same area, Salanova can equate to 92% more pounds produced for each dollar spent. Wendy Reinemann, Director of Research and Product Development, at Johnny's Selected Seeds states, "Salanova is going to to give traditional baby leaf growers a higher value product in terms of flavor and cost." Salanova truly exceeds traditional baby leaf in efficiency, yield, and price…. Read more »
Today, Johnny's has grown from a fledgling business in a farmhouse attic to a national and international multichannel retailer that employs over 130 full-time and more than 50 seasonal employees. The company now regularly ships seed to commercial growers and home gardeners across the United States, and regularly supplies seed to over 50 countries around the world. The Albion farm remains the center for research and continues as a working farm, with more than 40 acres under cultivation…. Read more »