Tuesday, January 13, 2015


There are many things a gardener can do at this time each year, besides sitting by the fire dreaming of spring. I'm not knocking sitting by the fire--or dreaming of spring, but with the heirloom seed craze spreading throughout the gardening world, a seed swap seems like a grand idea.

I actually went to a seed swap last week at the meeting of our local Down to Earth Organic Gardening Club. As I expected, I swapped my seeds--many of them heirloom tomatoes with my fellow gardeners for other heirloom seeds of several varieties.

I just had to have these High Mowing Sacred Basil seeds. After a bit of research, I found that these seeds are from the High Mowing Seed Company. They have large leaves and were evidently worshipped at one time. While I clearly am not going to worship my basil, I do find basil a delightful herb to use when cooking. It's my favorite herb, in fact. So far I have loved Genovese basil but I think there is room in my herb cabinet for Sacred Basil.

I also picked up some brown cotton seeds. The grower said you can just plant them without removing the cotton and yes, this looks dirty but it grows this color. They grow it to attract bees and I think I would like to attract bees, too. It is worth a try.

Lettuce. There is nothing like fresh lettuce picked from the garden an used straight-away in a big wonderful salad. Red lettuce if my favorite and I enjoy trying this variety, then saving the seeds for even more lettuce during the year.

I know I will enjoy the Bok Choy but what really caught my eye was running okra. I have never seen okra growing on a vine. I will certainly try it because we just can't grow enough okra in my family!

I was happy to come home with these Seminole squash, also called Seminole pumpkin. These pumpkins are featured in Baker's Heirloom Seeds. They are supposed to be very good with a deep colored flesh and they are supposed to be resistant to many bugs. I love winter squash and pumpkins so I think this will be a great variety of squash to try. It originated in the everglades and I think that is interesting. It might just love our hot, humid summers. It's an heirloom so I know I need to separate it from my other squash so that next year my Seminoles won't exhibit strange growing behaviors.

The only heirloom tomatoes I found were these Stump of the World Pink Heirloom tomatoes. They are supposed to be large pink heirlooms and good slicers. They shouldn't grow as large as Brandywines.

The last one is Tatsoi, Brassica narinosa or Brassica rapa var. rosularis. I love Bok Choy and this is a mini Bok Choy. I think it will be a pretty salad green.

I do have a huge pile of seeds, new and leftover and right now I am dreaming of seed starting. It's that time again!!

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