January is too early to start planting most seeds unless you have a greenhouse, coldframes or winter-sow outside in convered containers.

But that does not prevent us from one of the joys of January – sorting through seed catalogs to dream about spring and summer.

Martha StoodleyOne of the first seeds to start in late winter is frost-hardy greens and other early  vegetables. And a good source for those seeds is Seeds from Italy at

This specialty seed distributor is located in Lawrence KS and is the only US source for 100% Italian seeds. Why Italian seeds? Because they are so well suited to growing in our hot climate, the germination rate is terrific and you can get so many unique and delicious varieties.

Cima di Rapa is a lovely green vegetable that can be used in salads, steamed as a side dish, in soups and casseroles. Its other names include rapini or broccoli rabe, made famous by Rachel Ray. When prepared correctly with the ribs removed it is never bitter.

Cavolo Lacinato, also called Dinosaur Kale, Tuscan Kale and Black Kale, is the most popular cooking green in Italy. I have harvested the leaves as late as Feb and it re-seeds most years so when you find the little volunteer plants around the garden, you just have to move them where you want them to grow.

Try something new this year. Tuck one of these gorgeous green vegetables into your flower or herb bed and enjoy them at the dinner table.

Buon Appetito!

Martha Stoodley share her love of all things fresh and new at

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  1. I love looking at seed catalogs and dream of having a fairy like yard full of blossoms, but I have a black thumb up to my elbow. I have fantastic back and front yards, but alas, they do not get utilized. I have the best intentions, but I’m no gardener and lose interest. So feel free to come be my gardner. :o)

  2. Cathy Collar says:

    Our potatoes that we didn’t get dug up started to grow again. Then it froze them back down. It will be interesting to see if they are persistent enough to come back again this spring.

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