One of the most exciting times during our off-season is doing seed inventory then going through all the wonderful seed catalogues to order what we need and to see what's new.
New is sometimes a new open-pollinated variety (future heirloom) or an old variety that is making it's way back into mainstream. Every now-and-then we find a "new to us" seed company and discover heirlooms (and vegetables!) from other countries.
An important part of running a CSA is having income before the growing season to purchase seeds, seeding equipment, greenhouse equipment, etc. If you're thinking about joining please head over to our CSA info page and send in a deposit (if you can't pay the full share up front). It takes financial pressure off of us and we get a head-start on prep for the growing season!
Last season we successfully grew out 2 types of carrot seeds and parsnip seed. Potatoes are also saved every fall to plant out in the spring. We allow flowers to go to seed in the garden so when the conditions are right they'll pop up and fill our field with colour.
In the fall I pulled up a couple types of kale and an off-type oxheart cabbage and hung them (by the bareroots) in the coldroom to plant out this spring. The plan is to get a kale (any of the 3) to cross with the cabbage to produce a hybrid, that will then be grown out, selected for looks/flavour/days to maturity and stabilized to become a landrace (aka, Future Heirloom) of Vesta Gardens.
This is a nifty little diagram that shows one process of plant selection. Some others would be for flavour, cold/climate hardiness, and whether they stored well.
I'm looking forward to a great year! We hope you'll join us!
- Deb Krause (+ Juanita, Kristy, Zac & Londyn)