They’re just 4 plastic bins, stacked up, and shoved against the wall in our barn.
But these bins represent much of our focus, our work, & our income for the coming season.
Inside these bins are seeds – a lot of seeds! Vegetables, herbs & flowers.
I love seeds & everything about them …
- I love the early winter task of searching through the seed catalogues & choosing what seeds that we will grow. There are always the tried & true – the ones we can depend on, and so we grow them every year including Big Beef tomatoes, Provider green beans, Ailsa Craig onions … And each year we try new varieties & new crops too. This season it’s a green bean that promises to be easier to pick – but how will it taste? Who can resist tomatoes with names like Lucid Gem, Cosmic Eclipse & Chestnut Chocolate? Customers have asked for Brussels sprouts, bitter melons … and maybe we’ll have better success with artichokes this time around. In total we will be growing close to 400 varieties of more than 40 vegetables, and around 40 herbs. Perhaps I got carried away?
- Sowing the seeds – the first ones indoors in the greenhouse, and later directly into the soil outside – is one of my favourite jobs on the entire farm. Onions & a few of the herbs are the first to hit the dirt, maybe this coming week. After that we’ll be seeding every week – probably right through until September. Some seeds are easy to germinate, while others take some effort. I like the challenge of growing Angelica for example. It’s a beautiful herb that we will seed this week in trays & put outside in the winter weather for 6 weeks. Then it’s brought into the greenhouse where it waits another few weeks until it decides to sprout. Eventually it becomes a beautiful 6′ tall plant with greenish-white flowers.
- It’s exciting to wait & watch for the seeds to germinate & poke up through the soil, and then grow into plants that yield vegetables & fruit.
- Lately I’ve put more effort into saving our own seeds. Some of the older varieties that we really like can disappear from the seed catalogues with no warning. Better to have our own seed to ensure we can continue to grow them. Plus, it’s a lot of fun! We’ve been saving Jarrahdale squash seed for a while now and selecting for a smaller & more consistent size with some success. Many years ago a customer from market brought us Scotch Bonnet pepper seeds from his family in the Caribbean. We continue to save the seed & grow these deliciously hot peppers each season.
Flynn & Oliver are in no hurry for us to begin seeding. They have claimed the greenhouse benches for their naps on sunny days!