Varieties Offered

Seeds are for sale on our SeedWise page, where you can view all our current offerings. Otherwise, take a look at the print catalog here: CWS2016Cat_web2. If you have any questions or if you prefer to not order online, you can give us a call at (540) 223 5861.

We are releasing several new varieties this year! Here are a few highlights. Available starting in December.

DMR 401    dmr401 DMR 401 is the next generation Downy Mildew resistant cucumber from Michael Mazourek’s breeding program at Cornell. Like DMR 264, DMR 401 has foliage that will resist Downy Mildew pressure at levels that kill any other standard slicing cucumber plant. DMR 401 is earlier, more productive, and has longer fruits than DMR 264. Our 2015 trials of eight DMR cucumber lines from Cornell pointed to DMR 401 as the winner. Edmund contacted Michael Mazourek with the results, and he confirmed that DMR 401 also did the best in the Cornell trials. Cornell was able to spare 200 seeds for us to start production in 2016. Not commercially available elsewhere. To be sold in packet size, and in a small bulk size early in the sales season while supplies last.

South Anna Butternut     southannabutternut    Edmund Frost has been working on this Downy Mildew resistant butternut (Cucurbita moschata) since 2011, starting with a cross between Seminole Pumpkin and Waltham Butternut. In 2016 (with help from a SARE grant) he intensified the selection work, growing 108 plants, all trained and evaluated separately. He is selecting for the best DMR, productivity, eating quality, brix, dry matter, keeping quality, and butternut shape. While improvements will continue through 2018, we are quite excited about the progress made to date. Expect 90% butternut-shaped fruits, with good productivity, Downy Mildew resistance, and rich sweet flavor. South Anna will avoid the crop failure that can occur in years when Downy Mildew comes early, and will provide higher yields in years with average DM pressure. The healthier foliage also leads to better fruit quality, with sweeter, riper fruits of a rich tan color. When used as a late planting, South Anna grows strong until frost, allowing for later harvests that will keep better into the winter and spring. Named for the South Anna River, which flows past Twin Oaks Community in Central Virginia. We’ve pledged South Anna as an Open Source Seed Initiative (OSSI) variety. OSSI is a movement to help protect seed from corporate monopolization. Read more at Not commercially available elsewhere. To be sold in packet, ½ oz and 1 oz sizes.

Tai Nang 2 (PI 436531)  tainang2 The sweetest melon in Twin Oaks’ 2014 SARE-funded Downy Mildew trial, with 11.8 median brix in conditions of high DM pressure (median brix for Athena was 7.4). Also had excellent foliage ratings for DM. Sweetness is a good indicator of DM resistance, as plants with dead leaves don’t make sweet fruit. Small fruits (1.5 pounds) with medium to light netting. Average tolerance to Bacterial Wilt, so consider using row cover on young plants to control cucumber beetles that transmit the disease. Not commercially available elsewhere. Available in a packet size.

Chinese Tropical Pumpkin    chinesetropicalpumpkin      

We offered this variety in 2015 and 2016, but only in small sample packets. This year we will have regular packet sizes and a ½ ounce bulk size, of an improved selection. Chinese Tropical Pumpkin (from Crowning F1, Cucurbita moschata) is amazingly rich and sweet, with high dry matter and brix readings, bright orange interior and a bright flavor. It is Edmund and Sapphyre’s favorite. At harvest, fruits are a mottled mix of pink, green and blue, with a white bloom (like the white outer layer on some blueberries). During storage they ripen to a deep tan color. The ribbed pumpkins average 4.5 pounds. This seedstock comes from a Taiwanese hybrid called Crowning. We have mostly only seen mild segregation however (at first we didn’t think it had been a hybrid). Occasionally some necked fruits or darker fruits appear, but with the same excellent flavor and eating quality. In 2016 at Twin Oaks, as part of our winter squash SARE grant, River Oneida grew 40 plants, training and evaluating each one separately and selecting for eating quality, productivity and Downy Mildew resistance. Chinese Tropical Pumpkin has good DM resistance and was one of the top performers in Twin Oaks’ 2014 Downy Mildew trial.

More Standout Varieties:

Seminole Melon: A small sweet orange netted cantaloupe, and the most downy resistant entry in Twin Oaks’ 2014 melon trial. Developed from a volunteer plant at the University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station in Sanford, FL and released in 1960. Currently unavailable commercially. We learned about this variety from Michael Mazourek at Cornell. Fruits average 2.5 pounds. DSC_0351Seminole
Jin Yang Cucumber (From USDA Plant Introduction 618907): This Chinese trellising cucumber was the best yielding of hundreds of varieties in NC State’s 2008-2009 downy mildew-focused cucumber trial, and one of only two that did as well without fungicide as with it.DSC_1505Jin Yang
Stocky Red Roaster is a prolific red Italian frying pepper that stood out in our 2014 sweet pepper trial for its flawless fruits, productivity and sweet flavor. Bred by Frank Morton of Philomath, Oregon.
DSC_0470Stocky Red Roaster
African Drum Gourd: This year at Twin Oaks Seed Farm we trialed 29 varieties of hardshell gourds. Most of the varieties were drastically impacted by downy mildew, which killed most of the foliage by September. African Drum is one of a small handful of varieties that grew well all season. These are huge gourds, up to 30 inches in diameter.lochandgourds

DMR 264 Cucumber: Excellent Downy Mildew resistance, surpassing any other green slicing cucumber that we know of. A new release from Cornell University. Bred by Michael Mazourek, whose breeding program at Cornell focuses on breeding for organic conditons. DMR-264 has been a top performer in Twin Oaks’ Downy Mildew trials, yielding three times more than Marketmore 76 under conditions of heavy DM pressure. 10-15 days later than Marketmore 76. This variety makes cucumber production possible in August, September and October when other varieties die from Downy Mildew. These are smaller than a standard slicer and should be picked at 5 inches.


Bule Gourd: Clearly the most Downy Mildew resistant gourd in our 2015 trial. Good production of volleyball-sized gourds on vigorous vines. The plants stayed beautiful and green until frost, when over 2/3 of the varieties in the patch had been dead for over a month. These are covered with warts like an Osage Orange fruit; when dried and washed they turn an attractive chestnut brown. The shell is exceptionally thick and is good for making sturdy wooden-like bowls. We used a band saw to cut them in half, but you can also use a hand saw. The contrast of the smooth inside and the warty outside is striking. They also make nice vases and containers. Takes a long time to cure – most aren’t ready till January or February.
Original seedstock came from Seed Savers Exchange.


Sweet Bullnose Pepper: A red bell pepper that is consistently sweet and citrusy, but not at the expense of productivity, appearance, keeping quality or size. Twin Oaks Seed Farm has been selecting stock seed for three years with noticeable
improvement for our conditions. Original seed from Baker Creek. This is the best-tasting red bell pepper we have found.