Posts Tagged ‘growing challenge’

We have grass again.

Saturday, April 5th, 2008

Thanks to the milder weather and rain this week, most of the snow has melted in our backyard.  Some of the tulips and daffodils are coming up, actually.  Spring is finally here!  That had caused some momentary panic - we still haven’t planted our seeds yet.  It’s been three weeks since we bought our seeds from Seedy Saturday, and they’re still sitting in the den.  We don’t even have the dirt to plant them in.  All we’ve got are seeds and some plastic milk bags (I read somewhere that milk bags are good for starting tomato seedlings because you can roll them up to add more dirt as the seedling grows.)  We plan to go to a local garden centre to get supplies and get those seed planted this weekend.  Only six more weeks until the “official” gardening weekend in southern Ontario - Victoria Day long weekend.


We have seeds.

Monday, March 17th, 2008

Tanny is finished her maternity leave and is busy writing lesson plans so I’m handling the blog tonight.

Seeds for sale Seedy Saturday

This weekend we all headed down to Seedy Saturday in Toronto. It was the first time for all of us and I was really blown away by how many people were there and the variety of vendors. We saw some familiar faces from the Dufferin Grove Market - the people from whom we buy our perogies and the sprouts guy and many other organic activists and entrepreneurs. We thought the stuff at the You Grow Girl booth was pretty clever and cute. She has a well written and established blog as well (as I write this I just noticed she also has a post about Seedy Saturday). Did I mention there were a lot of seeds for sale?

We talked to a guy from Seeds of Diversity. A very interesting project that is cataloguing, preserving and distributing heritage Canadian seeds. For a small donation we picked up a packet of Blanche Beaute tomatoes.

I had a very interesting chat with a women who was campaigning against terminator seeds. I must admit to being in the dark about the issue before and I’m determined to find out more information now. The quick summary from my conversation is that seed companies are creating GM seeds that will be sterile after one harvest. The upside for the seed companies is that people need to continue buying seeds year after year. You can imagine the effect of this on 3rd world farmers. For me the issue has similar ethics to big pharmaceutical companies patenting drugs. Yes, they need to be paid for their research, but at what cost? And seriously - didn’t they watch or read Jurassic Park? Those dinosaurs were supposed to be sterile as well! For more information (on terminator seeds, not Jurasic Park) see this link.

Tanny has ballet class on Saturday so we split our visit to the show into two (with lunch at Magic Oven in between). Unfortunately we didn’t get back until 2:30 and had only 30 minutes to dash around finding seeds we wanted to buy.

Here’s what we have:

  • Blanche Beaute tomatoes
  • McMullen tomatoes
  • Sweet basil
  • Black cherry tomatoes
  • Mammoth melting sugar peas
  • Mary Washington heirloom asparagus
    • Apparently you have to wait a year before you can eat the asparagus. :-(
  • Chanteny carrots
    • These carrots are 7″ long, 2″ wide. I grew really stubby carrots last year so I’m hoping for big ones now.
  • Harris model parsnips
  • Golden midget watermelon

As Tanny just mentioned to me, “we forgot we have a 5×5 plot”!

We also learned that “sweet peas” are not the same as “sugar peas” and are in fact toxic. My farmer roots are not showing here. No pun intended.