You sure can find some interesting things in the garden if you look around! This little baby above (and below) is the Egyptian Walking Onion just unfurling it's head on the top of it's stalk. You plant these onions and you will never have to plant them again...they will come up year after year and we didn't even cover them in the winter! Great to slice the fresh stalks into salads or anything you cook to give if that oniony flavor! Use like you would green onions...
When my husband and I first got married and I started to cook meals (not just pizza buns, kraft dinner, and chili) I had no clue about seasonings and spices (except for chili powder, salt and pepper)! Some of the things I tried even our golden lab wouldn't eat! Sigh...it's taken many years and lots of "tries" to get where I am finally comfortable in the kitchen and where I can throw this and that into the pot and ... yes, it does taste amazing!
The secret you ask? Very simple...Herbs, Spices, Peppers, Onions, Garlic...all the spice of life! And it really isn't all that difficult! We grow the herbs in our backyard, snip them off, dry them and use them all winter to throw into the "pot"! You can use fresh all summer as well. We do have a dehydrater but we didn't to start with...all you need is your oven set to the lowest setting...although I do recommend that you get a dehydrater eventually. Snip the leaves off the herbs, being careful not to get too many sticks in with them. Spread the leaves on a cookie sheet and stick it in the oven on the lowest setting and stir them every so often. Within a few hours all the water will be out of the leaves and you can crush them, store them and use them all winter!
Basil and oregano in rice, spaghetti sauce, pizza, beef soup, and stew...thyme, sweet marjoram, and savory in chicken dishes, rosemary in any potato dish and I tried it in scrambled eggs the other day and it was amazing! And of course my dried peppers and onions in almost everything...MMMMM Yum!!!
Spring is probably THE BEST time of the year...you get to start over if you are a gardener...everything is new and exciting in the yard! You get to see what survived the winter and what didn't...and yes...what is THAT new plant? Did someone plant it or did a new seed blow into the yard? Or is it just a weed? No, it's Rhubarb!
Out in our yard, we have a Victoria Rhubarb growing...Now most people, I am sure, (if you are like me) take things for granted. Rhubarb comes from root stock, or it has always just been there, right? Not so.
Our rhubarb (top left), in it's second year, put out a flower (above middle), grew seed (above right), and we collected that seed (bottom left), let it dry, cleaned it, and voila...packaged it (bottom middle), and brought it to you on our webpage! And, of course, we missed a few seeds and have it growing again in our garden (bottom right)!
Wonder what else I can go find in the garden this spring?
Hey everybody, just a couple of events that we will be at....."Seedy Saturday" is on March 25th at Southminister United Church in Lethbridge from 1:00 to 4:00 in the afternoon! Lots of cool things to see and do, and seeds to pick up as well. We are bringing some squash for our table, like this blue hubbard you see below guarding our pumpkins this last fall! Also some recipes and how to grow squash even in a small city backyard! Click on Seedy Saturday to read about it! Hope to see you there!
Also, keep April 22 free for Earth Day at the Lethbridge Public Library! We will have a booth set up there to teach people the value of Heirloom Vegetable Seeds! More to come on that after Seedy Saturday....
Well, here we are and it's March 5th! Spring should be just around the corner...except here in Lethbridge we just got another 2 inches of snow this morning...sigh. Oh well, we know it's just a matter of time and green will become the predominant color instead of white!
So people always assume that (and this has been suggested many times) because it is winter, it is our "down time"! No folks, we don't have down time in this business! As you can see by the pictures below, this is what we have been doing since after harvest...
Extracting the Seed Seed Cleaning Drying and Curing Seed
Labeling the Packages Weighing & Filling Sealing the Packages
Filling the Racks ...and Voila...finished product!
It is just as busy a time as planting, weeding and harvesting!To date, we have 20 retail outlets with filled seed racks, and another 4 to go. So when you wonder what we do on our "down time" this is it! Meanwhile, spring is coming...
It is 2017 and we hope that all of you had a spectacular Christmas and New Years' season and we wish you a fabulous year ahead! We want to thank all of our valued customers for your support in 2016 and strive to continue to provide you with the quality and quantity of seed that you require to grow your gardens and feed your families in the coming year! We are excited to offer you 60 new varieties this year and will have them up on the website shortly...they are currently at Biovision Seed Labs in Grande Prairie being tested as I post this blog!
Well, we had a busy and bountiful harvest season this fall (above right) and were pleased to offer some of that bounty in Spruce It Up Garden Center in Calgary (above left) and Green Haven Garden Center in Lethbridge (above center)! We do love our squash...
Right now we are crazy busy packaging for the website and our retail outlets (have picked up some more stores...soon to be announced here on the website) all over Alberta and into Southern British Columbia! And before you know it spring will be here and we will be back in the field to do it all over again...Can't wait!!!
So thought I would share some interesting info about a question I have been asked more than once...where do carrot seeds come from? It's true that when you grow your carrots you don't see the seed...so where is it? Well, it turns out carrot is a two year plant or biennial...if you overwinter the carrot (leave it in the ground) in spring it will come up again in a totally different way! The plant will send up stalks that produce large white flower heads that mature (see pictures below)...and voila, carrot seeds!!
Well, spring is over and summer is waning...It has been a very busy time, from laying mulch, to planting, to watering and weeding! Now harvest is almost upon us! Hard to believe!
First things first, we have some catch-up to do! Way back in spring we posted a blog regarding some seeds Marie Mundie sent us from back in the 1930's. Well, we tried germinating them, Marie, and could not get them to grow! Unfortunately, the seeds were no longer viable...it was a long shot, and we were hoping that it would work...Thank you anyway, Marie!
So, this year we have a new field (above) that we have planted as well as the old one from last year! All told it is somewhere between 6 and 8 acres. The mulch really helps ( the black plastic you see above right) to keep the weeds at bay, as well as raising the soil temperature to optimize growing, and keeping the moisture in (we use drip irrigation under the mulch). The photo above left shows the transplanter in action planting seedlings...thanks again to Lyndy for sitting on the back and dropping seedlings into the cups!
Below, you can see the new field and all the various vegetables that we are growing this year! It really is a sea of green!
As a child I was a picky eater...many of you can probably relate. I would never have put something as "gross" as a beet in my mouth! Now that I am older and wiser however, and having tried many different varieties of beets, I have to say that one of my all time favorite veggies is the beet, especially, baby beets. And don't forget the beet greens, steamed and with lots of butter and salt and pepper...yum!
We are finding that beets are a big seller too. Certain varieties, such as Detroit Dark Red, Golden Grex, and Cylindra sell very well. The Lutz Green Leaf Beet (middle photo) and Bulls Blood Beet (upper right photo) not quite as well and I am thinking that is because they are just not so well known as the others and maybe the Bulls Blood Beet just doesn't sound very appetizing (don't know who would have thought that one up!). So today I am promoting the Lutz Green Leaf beet.
To begin with beets are VERY healthy for you. They are high in fiber, vitamin C, manganese, magnesium, potassium, copper, iron, vitamin B6, phosphorus, and folate, as well as having antioxidant, anti inflammatory, and detoxification properties...in a nutshell... really good for you! Soooo...Lutz Green Leaf Beet...what can I say...probably the best tasting beet I have ever tried! It is definitely one of the sweetest I have eaten. And the best thing about this variety? We were picking and eating them in October. October?! Yup....they were big and ugly looking, but they did not get "woody tasting" like so many other varieties do! Definitely one of my top picks!
We had an interesting phone call the other day from Marie Mundie who discovered and sent us 5 packages of seed, pictured below, and some unpackaged and undated pea seeds.
The packet of lettuce seed (above left) has a date on the back of 1961, the Chinese Cabbage (middle) is dated 1948, and the two (above right) are dated 1932 and 1933. These packages are written in French and come from Quebec! One package is Cerise De Terre (ground cherry) and the other is Solanum Nigium (we have not been able to identify it as of yet).
The White Cos Lettuce (above) is dated 1933. The question is...Will these seeds germinate?There are several factors that affect the shelf life of any seed...temperature, humidity, and sunlight. All seeds are living organisms that require oxygen to survive. Proper seed storage is paramount to ensuring a good germination vitality. Marie was curious to see if these seeds would germinate and so are we! So we are going to plant them and see what happens!! Stay tuned.... And thanks Marie!