Last month, I attended the Bejo Seeds (http://www.bejoseeds.com) Open House and Demonstration Event. We were lucky enough to pick a few onions and tomatoes at their research division in Geneva, New York. During that hot summer day, I joined one of the many tours with our tour guide, Ken McCammon.

McCammon noted that they were currently moving a lot of production into the greenhouses to help prevent plant damage from weather and diseases. Our group learned a few interesting things along the way, like how black rot disease forms on cabbage and is transmitted. At night, the dew forms a bead of water on the end of the leaf. The disease, flowing through the night air, lands on the dew; throughout the day the plant absorbs the dew and attacks the plant. Addressing another topic, many on the tour had no idea that dandelion greens are a delicacy in France.

Bejo is a trial site and judge for the All-American Selections (AAS). The mission of AAS is “to promote new garden varieties with superior garden performance judged in impartial trials in North America.” They featured the AAS trials throughout the demonstrations, including Bejo’s regional AAS winners, Mountain Merit tomato, Rivoli radish, Bopak Pak Choi, and Hestia Brussels sprouts. The National winners are Avalanche white beet, Roxanne radish and Purple Haze colored carrot. Bejo Distributors – Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Seedway and High Mowing Seed Co. – all had demonstration beds in their Home & Market Garden. Throughout the day, the vintage shuttle bus brought attendees to their Main Range to check out their Commercial Demonstration trials and fields.

Within the Home and Market Garden Trails was a beautiful relaxation spot surrounded by a white picket fence, featuring benches, perennials, annuals and decorative vegetable plantings, “Christine’s Garden Park.” This was a place to sit and absorb the fresh breeze on the hill.

Walk across the yard to a beautiful stone patio at the back of the house that featured an amazing cooking area including a wood-fired outdoor oven. Karen Miltner, who has been Bejo’s cooking guru for many years, made fresh flatbread pizza for the guests; ingredients featured an array of vegetables.

Before leaving the event I had the pleasure of meeting Noelle Allen from Bejo Seeds Inc. before she had to take a redeye flight to another event. She was glad to be able to enjoy the few days in the area and to see everyone.

Rest assured that Bejo Seeds has great ideas in the works. It will be interesting to watch it unfold. Be on the lookout for upcoming news as it is released. Growing will be there to share in the details.

ALL PHOTOS BY STEPHANIE SCHARTNER