A local broccoli variety has made the big time: a listing in the Seed Savers Exchange 2012 Yearbook.
The "Calabrese G+G" broccoli seed stock is nurtured and maintained by Dell de Chant, a New Port Richey organic farmer and religious studies instructor at the University of South Florida. Carefully preserving seeds from each season's crop and replanting the following season, de Chant grows a broccoli variety that has become adapted to the Florida climate.
Calabrese is an heirloom variety that Italian immigrants brought to the United States in the 1880s. The "G+G" refers to de Chant's experimental Community Supported Agriculture project, called TBN Gardens & Groves. The project focuses on growing and distributing heirloom vegetables, collecting and distributing seeds, promoting organic urban farming and developing sustainable communities.
With the listing of his broccoli variety, de Chant joins 642 other listed growers in the Seed Savers Exchange 2012 Yearbook, only 12 of which are from Florida.
The Seed Savers Exchange began in 1975 and is dedicated to preserving and expanding the diversity of North America's seed stock.
The exchange collects, catalogs, field tests and distributes organic heirloom seeds and encourages all growers to use them. It is not just a seed bank and repository, but also an active exchange. Seeds are available from the exchange and from growers in all 50 states and 12 other countries.
For information or to order seeds from the exchange, visitseedsavers.org.