Friday, February 15, 2013

Heritage Harvest and the Rare Bean

I know I've mentioned this before, but I adore the catalog of Heritage Harvest Seed! I placed my first order last week, hopefully they'll still have in stock what I ordered. I left it later than I like. The tough part was decided from 12 pages of tomatoes which to order! We already have 3 or 4 different kinds of tomato seeds here, but I want to add to them this summer. So from 12 pages in the catalogue, I wrote out about 20 different kinds, and then put it aside until better sense could take over. Then I whittled the list to 4, I think. I wanted early harvesters, as well as determinate type so we could grow them again from any seed we saved. I was proud of myself for only ordering those tomatoes! I also ordered red celery, and rhubarb.
I have high hopes for this order!
I'm sure I'll be thrilled with it. I like that these folks grow this seed themselves, they don't just get it from someone else. They've been in business for 10 years no, and they're proud of the fact that they don't deal in hybrids or GMO's. Many of their seeds are either heritage or heirloom, and many have fascinating histories! Like the beans passed down through three generations within one family, until being forgotten in a bag somewhere until they made their way into the hands of one of the owners of HHS ten years later. Wouldn't you know, a number of them sprouted! It makes me smile to think that an extremely rare bean seed that I might order has such a history behind it!

Their catalogue makes for more fascinating reading than most seed catalogues that arrive at the end of winter. Not only are the pen and ink drawings charming, they include little tid-bits like this:
"The Hidatsa, Mandan and Arikara Indians dried squash to keep over the winter. The squash was cut about 3/8" thick and placed on willow rods called squash spits. The slices were spaced slightly on the rod so air could circulate around them. The squash spits were then placed on the upper rails of the drying stage to dry."

If you live in Canada, or know a gardener who does, I encourage you to check out their website, or even order a catalogue. Peruse it, fall in love with it like I did and rest assured that we're preserving some very rare and endangered seeds, and those that would like to.
You won't be sorry you at least looked.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Strawberry Dreams

Today I’ve started Strawberries from seed, “Patio Temptation”
I’ve recorded the plant requirements, and started the seed in peat pellets. Once the plants are almost outgrown the peat pellets, I’ll cut the netting on these and move them to the strawberry pots we have. I’ve grown strawberry plants before quite successfully, but in very rich soil and from started plants, never from seed.
So this should be an interesting journey!
Added: 11 seeds were put in damp paper toweling to assist the germination process.

We started 11 seeds; let's see how many we actually get to sprout!