Sunday, February 22, 2009

seedy excitement

(Sad, sad kale, but still putting new leaves out after being abandoned in december. Kale is a biennial, so I'm hoping it will come back to life with new vigor when it comes out of its deep freeze.)

Last Thursday I was wandering around Dufferin Grove Market, picking up some sprouts and carrots, when I happened upon a beautiful oasis (in the form of a seed display set up by Urban Harvest). I completely forgot they were going to be at the market this week, and was SO excited. I'm sure my friends will mock me at the excitement I felt to see rows and rows of growing possibilities, but after I started my first full-size garden last year, I really just can't wait to get back outside and dig my hands into the dirt. The only thing that gets me through the dreary, dreary Toronto January-March hump is dreaming about new varieties of winter squash and lima beans. Especially when all that beautiful white snow has turned into frozen grey banks filled with cigarette butts. Spring is less than a month away! Soon my garden will look like this again:

(salad greens from last year's garden) 

Here's the seeds I picked up:

Cape Gooseberries - I've never even eaten gooseberries, so this will be a surprise! They're a member of the tomato family, have husks, and look kind of like tomatillos

Hearts of Gold Melon - a heirloom from 1895, with 1kg fruit

Christmas Lima Bean - I only bought this because the woman selling them told me to. She had me hooked on "tastes chestnutty and has the texture of baked potatoes." Heirloom from 1840. I needed something to replace my Kentucky Pole Wonder Beans from last year - which were ok, but not my favorite.

Marketmore Cucumber - dependable. I haven't grown cukes before, but the butternut squash last year was so easy, I can't wait for more vining plants.

Tatsoi - a green with an interesting name! use it in salads, or by itself.

Matt's Wild Cherry Tomato - the possible precursor of the modern day tomato! tall vines, many tomatoes - apparently they taste like raspberries. I will get back to you on that. You hear about this tomato everywhere, and I can't wait to start it off in a few weeks. Dates to 1889!

New England Pie Pumpkin - I have recipes already planned for these babies: some gluten-free pumpkin waffles, a delicious pumpkin loaf my mom made me last year, and some of those nifty pumpkin-as-soup-tureen recipes. You cook the soup/stew right in the pumpkin! From 1860.

Mammoth Melting Sugar Snow Peas - Don't heirlooms just have the best names? Seriously, they can make the vegetable-hater just want to give it a try. Mammoth melting? Who wouldn't want to plant these? My peas were not the most productive last year, but I have my fingers crossed.  


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