In the past years of our growing a garden, not a whole lot of thought was given to the types of seeds that were planted. We planted what we liked to eat. A trip taken to a local garden center, browsing the seed racks, choosing a variety of what could be planted for the area, waiting until the planting season started, plopping them in the ground. Out of necessity, we have started researching farming practices in our locale, as well as what is produced elsewhere. As we have strived to learn more about organic, as well as all natural farming, more questions than answers have been found. As our knowledge of farming and gardening has broadened, so has our interest in the origins of what we are planting in our soil. The word Heirloom appeared constantly. The only Heirlooms that were familiar to us were Granny Venna's crocheted pillow cases and doilies. Heirloom seeds were as foreign as Russian Vodka! With increased knowledge comes the inclination for change. The more that we read about Genetically Modified Organisms, ( the words themselves are creepy) or GMO seeds, the greater the aversion to the freaky, petri dish bits, sold as super duper, better than ever, new and improved seeds. The question is: How can you improve on perfection? Seeds have exhisted since the beginning of time. Hundreds and hundreds of generations have planted and harvested seeds to survive. Man begatting man, seeds begatting seeds. Somewhere along the way laziness crept in. Right along side was greed. Somebodies decided that acres upon acres of all kinds of crops should be planted on the prairies and grasslands( don't get me started on the cause of the dust bowl), because families decided to watch TV instead of work a garden....., and they need to eat, so now a weekly trip to the supermarket, paying outlandish prices, buying whatever big agribusiness wants to raise for them to eat. Furthermore, it takes way to much time and physical labor to till the weeds from all of these crops, so the next plausable step was to create edibles that can be sprayed with killer spray and not die! How bizarre is that? We are spearheading a revolt against tainted seeds. This planting year closer attention will be paid to the fruits and vegetables that will fill our market baskets. A good share of the plants that we will be growing will be the cherished Heirloom varieties. We have dabbled a little, now are going to dive in head first. As an added bonus, we are going to establish a seed cache for next year, as one of the benefits of Heirlooms are the ability to propogate themselves.Upon delving into the beginnings of many of our seeds, sure enough the majority are Heirlooms undercover. Marglobe tomatoes, Hales Best melons, Snowball Cabbage, California Wonder bell peppers, to name just a few! It is not a complete conversion yet, as there are a few hybrid that we have grown fond of, but surely we will find comparable Heirlooms as we continue to search and discover old/new varieties . As a defense, it is said that even the bees and wind create hybrids, so they can't be all bad. (Note: Carol's definition of a hybrid is a cross of two perfect species, to create a more or less perfect species ). A challenge is put forth to all gardeners...... novice and expert alike and all of those in between. Join the revolt, if you haven't already.Turn up your nose to funky, ill bred seeds. Find some Heirloom seeds and start some traditions in your gardens. Let a couple of plants of each variety seed out. Harvest the seeds and save them for next year. Who would not think that this was an excellent idea? Yummy food and free seeds! From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!
I am supposing that in the planning stages of the Garden of Eden, there was not much thought given to what would grow in Arctic temperatures, so in the aftermath there was not a huge selection of edibles in comparison to what would grow in the balmy, temperate climate that was indicated in the Good Book. But all was not forgotten and a pretty good assortment of palatable veggies seem to have made themselves known as the hearty crops that are impervious to the winter cold. As we are preparing the earth for the early Spring crops, signs of growth and new vegetation were apparent on last falls broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. The greens in the greenhouse have survived the below freezing temperatures, getting bit back a smidge, but rallying with a little sunshine and water. Soup and salads are the main fare at our dinner table this time of the year. Nothing like a broccoli cheese chowder and a leafy green salad, with crusty bread. The potting greenhouse is ready for the seed trays. We are sorting seeds, getting ready to plant the trays for this years crops. I am seeing glimpses of the bottom of the nut and fruit freezer as the final batches of preserves are filling the market shelves. Hopefully I will be filling the freezer bins back up with pecans, as we are still gathering and cracking the nuts. MARKET HOURS: Friday from noon until 4:00 PM. Saturday from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM. Special appointments can be made throughout the week for dairy pickup. From our farmstead to your table thank you for all of your support!!!
I know that I should be ever so grateful for the beautiful ripe tomatoes that were mounded in boxes in the store room, with fresh red, ripe tomatoes in January, but I cannot fib and say that I am sorry that they are finally dwindling in numbers. It was a good tomato year all in all. We will have a few weeks reprieve, then evenings will be spent pondering seed catalogs, deciding what varieties to plant for next year. The Farmer and Son are getting antsy, wanting to make preparations for the new year. The drenching rain we just had soaked well past the first layer of ground, making work a little soggy, but we needed it so no complaints here. The Stagecoach Water Well is now hooked up and running. In front of the market is an old hand dug well that has been there for decades. As the stories go, it was used by passers by, as the water was clean and the well was shallow enough to drop a bucket into. The old homestead that was here long before us, used the well for all of its household needs. The Farmer assessed its volume of water by putting a small pump into its contents and pumping it until it pumped no more. He measured about 650 gallons. Not bad, he thought, but the almost magical, mystical discovery was the next day......., it was full again! We now have the well water piped to all of the greenhouses, the orchard, the animals, and the kitchen garden. A special thank you to whoever dug, and dug, and dug some more, and carefully arranged all of the layers of stone to secure the walls. The market will be opening again this weekend. It is our slightly off season, but we do have plenty of cow milk and cow milk products. We are stretching the honey supply, hoping it will last until first harvest, in the early summer. The baby chicks we hatched out have joined the others in the main chicken yard. I will be glad when the hens start laying full throttle. Taking some hogs to the processor this week, so we will have some breakfast sausage in a couple of weeks. The mama does are just being fat and lazy. The cows are reveling in their popularity at this time, proudly giving all they have got. The goat milk supply will resume in February. MARKET HOURS: Friday- Noon until 4:00 PM. Saturday 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM. Special appointments can be made throughout the week for dairy pickup, just contact us. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!