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Franchi seeds are the only seed brand that are approved by Slow Food UK and Slow Food launched an initiative a few years ago called ‘The Ark of Taste’ to showcase varieties that have been lost or are at risk of being lost to motivate people into action, before it is too late. If a variety or food is on the ‘Ark of Taste’ it is endangered either because it is grown in only a tiny geographical area or by very few producers and in small quantities and perhaps only distributed in a local area.  Use them, or lose them. Forever.
How can I help? Can I really make a difference?
Simply by growing them you are supporting Biodiversity. By using these specific varieties and the other two hundred plus ‘6%’ varieties, the producers will continue to produce them. If they become unviable and unprofitable, they will go. Simple as. So here is a list of the main ones currently on offer from Franchi seeds.

  • Spinach Monstreux de Viroflay - 16th century, produces numerous large delicate leaves
  • Carrot Parisier Market - Not as productive as modern varieties so not favoured by market farmers anymore. Ideal for clay soil and containers.
  • Pumpkin Lunga of Naples - Mainly grown now only in gardens, loves clay, sweet flesh, 20kg fruits. 
  • Yellow French Bean Cornetti Meraviglia of Venice Crops heavily. Climber. Melts like butter in the mouth. Great in summer beans salads. 30g. Sow Apr-Jul.
  • Cucumber Melon Carosello - These rustic Puglian varieties are produced only in 4 areas. They have a slight melon sweetness, delicious in salads. 
  • Variegated Chicory of Castelfranco - A good variety for forcing. Sow summer for winter.
  • Priest’s Hat Pumpkin ‘Berrettina’ - Ancient mid sized variety from Parma.
  • San Marzano 2 - Neapolitan plum tomato used for Passata, Ragu and Pizza. It’s tasty but not watery so reduces well for a thick sauce!! 


Franchi Endangered Vegetable Seeds

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