The Seed Bank Project is a collection of seeds that have a proven record of growing well in the Volusia County area. The idea is to have a variety of seeds, stored to retain viability, and able to be reseeded year after year.
The Seed Bank is contained in a sealed quart paint can (a canning jar would also work if kept in the dark) that contains a desiccant packet to reduce moisture. It should be kept in the refrigerator. When removing it, allow it to come up to room temperature before opening to avoid moisture condensing inside the can.
Requirements for inclusion:
- Must have been successfully grown by Volusia County Prepping members for multiple years.
- Must be open pollinated
- Must have been successfully grown from seed from the previous year.
Misc. Items Needed:
- Empty Quart paint can, sold at Lowes in their Paint department for $3.18.
- Silica Gel Desiccant, one 10 gram pack per can (Amazon). These will be available (free) at the meetings – just bring your Seed Bank can.
- Printed copy of Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide.
Kentucky Wonder (Old Homestead) Pole Snap Bean
(28 g = ~75 seeds)
65 days. [Pre-1864, first known as ‘Texas Pole.’] Popular since its introduction, though it has undergone some change over the years. Resistant to bean rust. 8 in. pods, stringless and tender when small. Use fresh, for canning and freezing, or as a dry bean. Pkt (75 seeds)
[These do very well on a trellis such as a cattle panel. Pole beans are a better choice since they continue to produce throughout the growing season. Bush beans were developed for mechanical harvesting, and they produce all at one time.]
Homestead 24 Tomato
(asc, cf, cr, fw1) 80 days. (Semi-determinate)  Developed for hot humid coastal areas, especially Florida. Often grown in the Mid-Atlantic region, where it reliably sets fruit at high temperatures. Red 8 oz slightly flattened globes. Pkt.
asc = Alternaria stem canker
cf = Cat facing
cr = Crack resistance
fw1 = Fusarium wilt, race 1
[Tomatoes usually require additional calcium for the soil found in this area to prevent Blossom End Rot.]
Pkt (3 g, ~28 seeds)
(C. moschata) 105 days. [Cultivated in Florida by the Native Americans in the 1500s.] Keeps up to 1 year at room temperature! Small fruits are sweeter than Butternut and have firm, deep-orange flesh. Large vines bear bell-shaped buff-colored fruits averaging 6 in. in diameter. Resistant to vine borers. Excellent Downy Mildew resistance; a good choice for hot, humid, disease-prone areas. Give it ample water and room to roam. Also good as a summer squash when picked young.
Parris Island Cos Romaine Lettuce
Pkt (0.5 g, 400-600 seeds)
68 days. [1952, named after Parris Island, SC.] Parris Island Cos has steadily gained in popularity since its introduction. It has resistance to tipburn, tolerance to mosaic, and is medium-to-slow-bolting. 10-12 in. heads of slightly savoyed leaves with a creamy white heart.
[Allow some plants to bolt at the end of the growing season to collect seeds.]
Clemson Spineless Okra
Pkt (4 g, 64-86 seeds)
56 days. [1939, Clemson/SC. AAS winner.] 4-7 ft. plants with few side-branches. Ribbed pods (1¼ x 8 in.), harvest when pods are 3 in. or smaller. Spineless characteristic makes this popular variety easy to pick.
[Dependable producer in hot weather. Plan on picking every second day.]
Carolina Wonder Sweet Bell Pepper
Pkt (0.3 g, 36-60 seeds)
75 days. (green > red) [Introduced by SESE 1999.] The best nematode- resistant bell for home gardeners. Foliage, fruits, and yields are very similar to California Wonder. This variety is a potentially valuable line for developing other nematode-resistant bell peppers. It is also less prone to developing fungus in the seed cavity. The premium-grade, 3- and 4-lobed, fruits weigh ¼-1⁄3 lb and measure 3 x 4 in. Sweet flavor even when green.
[Peppers usually require additional calcium for the soil found in this area to prevent Blossom End Rot.]
Tromboncino Summer Squash
Pkt (3 g, 29 seeds)
(C. moschata) 80 days. [Italian heirloom] Light green fruits grow long, curving to a bell at one end. Vining plants can be grown on a trellis. Harvest at 8-10 in. long when the flavor is fine and sweet. Vigorous moschata plants can bear all season in areas where insects are a problem for other summer squash. If left to mature, skin will ripen to tan like a butternut squash. Grower Richard Moyer notes that the male squash blossoms sell well at market.
[This is the only squash we have found that is generally not bothered by bore worms or other pests.]
Florida Highbush Eggplant
This is an old variety bred in Florida in the 1940’s for use in commercial fields. Named for its large upright plants that keep fruit off the ground, the truly special thing about this variety, however, is its enormous eggplant. Glossy blackish-purple eggplants are oval to oblong in shape and can easily become 10 inches long. Fruit sets throughout a long season and are perfect for grilling, frying, stuffing, baking or any other eggplant use. 85 days.
Eggplant is not a high value vegetable when it comes to calories or nutritional value; however it is dependable and easy to grow, and adds variety to your meal planning.
Currently being tested, and looks promising
Peanut, Virginia Jumbo Champs
If these don’t work out, the next variety that will be tested is Tennessee Red Valencia. A source of vegetable oil will be needed at some point, and peanuts are a good option. In addition, there are several experimental olive plantations in Volusia County. These are being tested as an alternative to the dependence on citrus and its problems with the Citrus Greening disease.