Thursday, March 10, 2011

In the beginning.....

...there were seeds. This year, I am growing more heirloom and saved seeds instead purchasing started plants at a nursery. Nursery stock is just too expensive and I can't get the wide variety available in seed form. Gerry and I have already been to one Seedy Saturday and have two more to go before the end of the month. These great events provide a wide variety of seeds, plants, and learning as well as connecting you with the amazing people growing things in your community. Here in the Cowichan Valley we are especially blessed by the numbers of people who are passionate about small scale food production and their efforts pay us all big dividends.

So far I have planted Amish Paste, Purple Calabash, Red Pear and Yellow Pear tomatoes and a green Tomatillo. The Purple Calabash apparently can thrive in shade so I will give a couple to my daughter downstairs to put out on her deck. I love tomatoes for their variety and their versatility, even though I am not terribly fond of eating them raw. Put them in a sauce or salsa however, and I'm in!

The seeds have gone into little window sill starter greenhouses that I found a Buckerfields and I am going to experiment. Two of them are placed in close proximity to the Aerogardens that provide our winter fresh tomatoes and herbs (and the great picture of a tomato blossom in March that leads this blog posting) while one will be put in an actual windowsill. I want to see if there light from the Aerogardens really gives plants a boost.

My heavy lifter (gardener) was here today scoping out the cedars that I want removed and this weekend I will gather a couple bare root apple trees for planting. Bob and Verna Duncan at Fruit Trees n' More are the growers from whom we purchased our Meyer Lemon, Desert King Fig and Bearss Lime trees last year. This year, they are providing a Cox Orange Pippin, a Courtland apple and six Tea bushes. I have been looking for these Tea bushes for a while so that we can replace store bought tea with home grown. I am just ecstatic about finally finding a supplier -- Yea Bob and Verna! Tea bushes are actually the camellia sinensis bush and I know of another grower in our area who has planted them. I am going to put them along the house so that they have some protection from weather.  I will have to bring in soil to boost the pathetic skimming of it that is on our property otherwise the trees will stress out and likely die. Sometimes living on rock just isn't easy.

If you are ever in the Deep Cove area of Sidney BC, check out their place. They have a citrus orchard that will amaze you and even sell marmalade made from oranges, lemons and limes grown on their propety! All this from a moderate zone climate that has lots of winter! Amazing.

After the difficult spring and summer we all had last year, I am looking forward to a season of life, growing, warmth, and joy.


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