Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Albion, Maine, has been honored with two All-America Selections Committee awards for its vegetables.
The company’s Red Ember cayenne pepper and Valentine grape tomatoes were selected as 2018 winners, according to a news release.
Red Ember, bred by Janika Eckert, is a cross between a cayenne and sweet pepper. The company has been breeding the pepper since 2010, the release said.
“Red Ember is truly a unique pepper unlike other cayennes,” Emily Rose Haga, who took over the pepper breeding program from Eckert, said in the release. “The flavor is sweet and fruity but not overly hot, and the wall thickness gives it a lot of versatility compared to traditional cayenne types.”
In 2011, the company began creating the Valentine tomato with the help from Dr. Majid Foolad, a professor at Pennsylvania State University and public plant breeder. Together they combined tomatoes with blight-resistant and high-lycopene germplasm to create the new variety.
“Valentine is like the queen of hearts for grape tomatoes,” Haga said in the release. “We hope the increased lycopene content not only makes healthy snacking choices more appealing to consumers but also provides healthful benefits from the boost in antioxidants.”
Both products can be purchased online at johnnyseeds.com.