Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Step 2: Get the Organic and Heirloom Seeds

So, yes, I do have that bag of Vermiculite towards my eventual Square Foot Garden, but the highlight of this pre-garden season is going to the Seedy Sunday event in Nanaimo.  We drove there with our dog and met our son Conrad just outside the doors to the sports complex in innercity Bowen Park.

Inside the building it's a little like what I remember from my childhood Fair days in the "exhibits" buildings.  Here you will find table after table of people (mostly farmers) selling seeds that they breed and/or collect themselves-- heirloom and organic being the words that you look for on the banner and seed packets.  There are also related items for sale, such as mason bee condos, jams, small plants, lily bulbs, flour varieties, honey, and garden ornaments.

Taking command of the place with unmatchable energy is the day's emcee, Dirk Becker.  Dirk and his partner Nicole are "backyard farmers" from nearby Lantzville.  They've run into some conflicts with their neighbours and their regional district around their operation-- is it or is it not legal for them to grow tons of vegetables to sell at Farmer's Markets on their hectare of land that is apparently within the city of Lantzville?  You can read more about it HERE and there are quite a few Youtube videos on the subject.  We attended Dirk's presentation and were thoroughly entertained, and as usually happens when one is relaxed and feeling high-positive, we learned a great deal about the joys of sustainable farming.
And then there is the matter of the seeds I bought.  Around $100 worth I think.  I also bought some for my friend's Dad.  I have a number of novelty seeds (some kind of silver beets, and a cauliflower that has spiraling leaves) and 3 heirloom asparagus crowns.  I bought a small Bay tree (as in Bay Leaf that you put in your stew), herbs, flowers, a lily bulb (yes, just one), and lots of beans, tomatoes, and the like.

Today I planted some pepper seeds, cucumber seeds and tomato seeds (3 varieties) in jiffy peat pots.  Here is a list of what I've planted (the number on top is the number of seeds I planted):

courtesy Wikipedia commons
cucumis sativus

Days to Harvest: 65

Chinese Cucumber. 12" long with traditional ridges and white spines that brush off easily. Trellis these prolific vines to grow straight cukes.

Crisp, non-bitter, almost seedless, great in salads and for pickling.

(from "Omega Blue Farms" Heritage Conservation  http://omegabluefarms.webs.com/aboutus.htm)

Medium-tall very productive plant from Romania. Many beautiful 4"X2" tapered pointed yellow fruit are produced early then ripen to red.  Romanians fry them in a skillet to bring out the flavour.  Start early indoors.  Transplant when the soil is warm.  IOPA/COABC Certified Organic #401 (from "Full Circle Seeds" www.fullcircleseeds.com)

Pale yellow fruits, 1 2/4" in diameter with a good mild taste.  Plants are compact and easy to pick.  Great in a basket with orange and red cherry tomatoes.IOPA/COABC Certified Organic #401
(from "Full Circle Seeds" www.fullcircleseeds.com)

Known as peach tomato because of its buffed smooth, furry skin and deep glove shape, these wonderful heirlooms are packed with flavour and just the right size for garden munching or salads.  Absolutely unique in appearance with flavour to match.  Introduced into this area by Marti Martin-Wood of Two Wings Farm.  They held up well into the late fall at ALM Farm.  Self-determinate.
IOPA/COABC Certified Organic #401
(from "Full Circle Seeds" www.fullcircleseeds.com)


Large. Beautiful. 5 in. fruit. Unusual milk chocolate colour.  Delicious rich taste. A sport of Cherokee Purple.  Mid-Late. Indet. Rare.
Certified Organic
PACS. #16-527

Go HERE to find a Seedy event near you (in Canada)

1 comment:

  1. Hey! I just noticed another message in another blog that seemed like this. How have you learnt all this stuff?
    That’s one cool post.
    Heirloom seeds


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