Saturday, April 18, 2009

13 things in my garden this year...

Okay well.... 13 things is a bit of an under-exaggeration. But I just read a neat little note on another blog about cool things people were putting in their garden. And I must say, there are some things I am so excited about too.
So for all you CSA people out there, here are some things to look for.
Number one item that has me anxious to get into the garden is a cool little carrot from Tunisia. Without any exaggeration at all, I will say I have been trying to get seed for this for more than 5 years, without success. And now it is here! In Wellandport!
So what is so great about this carrot? It is a tri-coloured carrot- that is right, 3 colours in one carrot. Not a weird hybrid , a very old heirloom Tunisian carrot. Orange , purple and black. Can't wait to see it! It is taking the prize spot in the garden and I will save seeds most definitely. I'll never come across seeds to purchase again.
Tomato-wise, some excietment. White Wax, a waxy skinned white tomato, Goldmans' Italian American (is this Franchi Red Pear?), a cool pleated bi-colour,.
Herbs I can't wait to see would be Tree Basil, Ajwain and Toothache plant with blossoms that explode in your mouth. Thanks to Mark Picone for his interest in that one!
Now we will explore a bit more with Pirricaba, a broccoli like plant, a beet grex of multi-colours and mini yellow, white and red strawberries.
Very cool too will be the seeds I brought back from the Salinas California farmers market...purple and green tomatillos the size of my fist. Huge.
Some new physalis family members, one of my true interests....ground cherries, or cape gooseberries. Love 'em. How about Marrowfat Greens from England?
Okay I am there, that's 13. So, so many more things to be excited about, but we'll rest with that.
Stay tuned as things go in the ground! But first, we transplant....thousands of plants to do before I can be a serious planter in the soil outdoors. Gearing up for the big sale on May 23-24, counting down.... only 5 weeks to go!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

It is Spring, and the certified blues....

Halleluliah- I love spring. What a fabulous time of new possibilities and growth, especially in the garden.
It is pretty busy right now . Yesterday I planted about 30 or so different brassicas, in the greenhouse for transplanting of course, and the day prior lots of different basils. I got a few of the basils from England, hadn't seen them here. One is Tree Basil, and other is New Guineau Basil. Tasting notes will follow in August, seems a long time to wait, but of course gardening isn't instant gratification.
Right now the greenhouses are producing many greens and lovely blossoms for culinary uses. I'll take samples of 14 different greens to the garden club meeting tonight (Lettuce, Turnip and Wine Club), Wildflower at 6:45. Hot, cabbag-y,crisp,mild-flavours are all over the place. Soon though, out it all comes for new crops. Tomatoes in one house, transplant sales in the other.
Getting caught up in the growing is the best part of what I do. Sometimes though I get upset about the politics of organics. Of note of course is the fact that I am no longer able to use the word organic anymore..silly, the word is even in the dictionary. Am I organic? Sure am- in the very truest sense of the word as it was used by the Rodales many, many years ago. But if I am not certified now, I can't use it.
I appreciate that many people do go to the trouble and expense of getting certified. That alone makes them different from me, but their growing methods do not. If anyone can think of a new word for me,let me know. Or perhaps it will just be Tree and Twig produce and I hope people will recognize that as a sign of my integrity.
I received an email too a few days back telling me I should consider being a "certified " farmer, for a cost. This would be so I could display my "authenticity" when I attend farmers markets. Well, I am a farmer, the government considers me that and hey, I am okay just telling people that too.
How silly, how silly. I just shake my head. I can think of 5 organizations that want to "certify " me, again for a cost. I am sure, 100% sure, that there are more.
Now organic, local food is in vogue, the wolves are circulating to get their share. As a farmer, I work really hard, and I won't be parting with my cash for these purposes anytime soon. I really would rather buy new seed, or even donate the money to some wonderful organizations that support me as I am. The National Farmers Union, Seed Savers Exchange, Seeds of Diversity, who are true to their causes.
And if you wonder HOW I grow your food, I'll tell you. Or better yet, come visit.