I'm very excited that I have finally been able to increase Icicle pea enough to be able to offer some in the 2017/18 seed shop this year!
This is a fresh eating pea with edible fleshy pod. Very light in colour hence the name. We love them fresh but also chopped up and frozen for winter use.
Below are two new to me dry peas. On the left is a lovely pea from La Societe des Plantes called Charlevoix and the other is called Gold Harvest. It may have come from Salt Spring Seeds but my packet said Orange. It has an unusual pastel bi-coloured flower, small pods and flattened shape. I'd like to look into its history further. I intend to grow both out in longer rows next year so that I can try a real sample of both in the kitchen for 2018! Working with plants, is definitely a longterm endeavour.
There are variations in the amount of savoy and purple as to be expected in this f3x2 (the biennial nature of the project means there are overlapping generations. I also have f3x1 in seed right now. I could grow f4 overwinter and both an f3x3 and an f4x1 next year along with an f3x2 in seed. Increasingly bonkers yes.).
Some have buckling which may be caused by some dreaded gal causing thing or as I like to interpret it (according to another farmer - stress... I have seen this occasionally before on kales and whatnot without any more untoward symptoms. By fall, I may see some head rot and that's something I am going to start strongly selecting resistance as well. I'm expecting this year to be challenging given the swinging temperatures and flooding rain.
I'll report back in October.
Overwintering outside and spring 2017 project update.
Interested in channelling your five year old love of bugs instead of bracing yourself ever time you see a new beetle in the garden? Well I have a workshop for you.
Not only that but I'll have all so-far collected seed for sale on the same date at last year's prices. So $3.00 for all perennials. As of this September, prices will be raised to reflect current pricing among small seed companies.
The plants have been slow to acquire any foliar disease and are growing rapidly. I'm trying to decide what to do, in terms of crossing, next. It's been suggested that I grow out some self'ed fruit. I've been thinking of also doing some crosses between siblings and maybe one other cross with another tomato.
Huge thanks to Our Farm's Katie and Kate and Blackstar Urban Farm's Karen (1) for their hard work so far. All crops are in the ground, subject to mother nature for the West Carleton Calorie Crop Breeding Project. She has been busy helping us select plants this year. We have been experiencing a very wet spring and early summer, delaying planting for many people.
Year 1 is to grow out sweet potato for true seed from short season varieties. All three farms have had a great start though a hail storm or two have tattered leaves and I've had golden tortoise beetle though numbers are not overly high. Aster Lane Edibles also has a selection of True Sweet Potato Seedlings that are catching up to the slip planted varieties.
I'm particularly impressed by how gloriously the sweets are growing at Our Farm in their heavy clay soil, especially in this soggy year.
butternut squash landrace - farmer select
true potato seed
Some nice looking potato specimens growing from the Blue Leslie x OP seed kindly sent to me.
(1) Are you the sort of farmer that might want to help grow calorie crops in the nearby Ottawa Valley area? We are looking for two more farms next year. Learn about true seed growing of tuberous crosses and experience the fun of looking at underperforming rows or plants and saying "great selection year."
(2) True Seed, in this context, refers to plants grown from sexually reproduced seed when they are typically grown vegetatively. This reshuffling of genes allows for selection and production of new varieties.
the dried goods growing club
we grow edibles to eat right?
If gardening is my (so-called) profession (vocation would be more accurate at this point) then cooking is my hobby. I've been having a lot of fun creating a number of chufa based recipes and hope to post about them soon. I've also started to grow in longer rows, in what is called the Chef's garden, a few of the perennial edibles that show particular promise so that they can be used in bulk recipes that profile their flavour.
experimental grow op
I'm always learning while growing. Learning to love the land, learning to admire the complex dynamic ecosystem of life, learning to work efficiently with minimal equipment and input. This includes the first crop of edible weeds, quick turning beds, animal helpers and more.
I enjoy turning this observational and experiential knowledge into seminars, workshops, and written materials. It's always interesting to see ours gardens, in their chaotic glory, through others' eyes.
Often, when I do a camera tour of the gardens, I am sad that I can't capture the noise of native bees buzzing through the nine bark or the scent of pine. There is so much more to this landscape then what a photo can portray. I wish I could virtually share with you the hearty salads, the freshly picked asparagus quiche and the chufa chocolate cakes but this is the best I can do.
But there's more
All about growing, selecting and using edible plants in the Ottawa valley.