Aptos (March – July)
A variety of organic herb and vegetable seedlings — heirloom and hybrid. Herbs: hot and spicy oregano; holy basil; African blue basil; rosemary; chervil; sweet marjoram; shiso; tarragon; thyme; sage; chives; parsley — curly and Italian; lemongrass and mint (only available in containers). Vegetables: tomatoes; lettuce; heirloom squash — Tromboncino and Costata Romanesco; cucumbers — Persian, lemon and English; dinosaur kale; rainbow chard; arugula; mizuna; spinach; eggplant; onions and Padron peppers.
Upstarts Organic Seedlings
Sarah and Basil Machado
P.O. Box 7176
Santa Cruz, CA 95061
Wife and husband Sarah and Basil have been growing and distributing organic seedlings since 1989, which is when they purchased the business from original owner Suzanne Richards who founded the nursery in 1987 in Santa Cruz. The Machados relocated the business to Watsonville and have two large greenhouses near the Monterey Bay.
The nursery’s primary focus is supplying seedlings to wholesale buyers at nurseries in the San Francisco, Napa Valley and Monterey Bay areas. The business joined the MBCFM in 1996. One of the first bedding growers to be certified organic in the state of California, Upstarts has been certified by the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) since 1991.
The varieties that Upstarts carries are either heirloom or hybrid and are selected for their flavor and high quality. Consideration of the local growing conditions, as well as the vigor and disease resistance of the seedlings — often called starter plants, also play a part in their selection. The Machados keep an eye out for trends in both the nursery and culinary industries and add new plant varieties accordingly, enjoying opportunities to bring hard-to-find plants to the farmers market.
Started from seeds or cuttings, the seedlings may be transplanted when their growing needs require it. They are available for purchase in 6-pack containers and 4-inch pots, ready to be taken home and planted in either containers or prepared beds.
The Upstarts farmers market crew welcomes the opportunity to educate customers on the variety of young plants best suited for their growing conditions as well as sharing the importance of heirloom varieties and organic gardening, as a whole.
Certifications: Upstarts is one of the first bedding growers to be certified organic. They have been certified by CCOF since 1991.