29 July 2006

New Seed Varieties

A couple of weeks ago I once again ordered seed from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.  My parcel arrived today (well, yesterday, probably, but we only checked the postbox today) - much excitement and renewed enthusiasm about the coming season.

I cannot say enough good about the Baker Creek folk.  Apart from the key role they play in keeping heirloom varieties going, their service has been impeccable every time I have dealt with them.  There's a little "something extra" in the pack, and I am wondering how the hell they got the order here so quickly.  I can't get stuff through the SA postal system for local delivery that fast.  The seed has been excellent, the only disappointment being a packet of Golden Beet seed taht had very poor germination.  Nothing daunted, I have ordered it again this year, having heard such high praise for this variety. I am aiming to save seed from it over next Winter.

If we have another Winter.  The weather is so unseasonably warm that I am thinking of starting Chillis and Tomatoes soon, though I (still!) haven't got a greenhouse built.  I have Tomato plants popping up all over from last year's beds, so maybe I won't need to worry too much with doing seed trays.

Along with the Golden Beets, I got some old-time Mammoth Red Mangel Beets.  These were highly valued as fodder crops in times past, and I wonder whether they might be useful as sugar Beets.  Its old varieties like this, that I feel an urgency about having handy as we start down the slippery slope of the oil crash.  Just the slightest bit of oversight and - oops! - we've lost them forever.

I also got in a couple of new varieties of Turnips to try.  Probably a bit excess, since Purple Top is so commonly available here and still a nice turnip, and I also have Navet des Vertus Marteau that someone brought from France, and whose seed I saved successfully last year.  (Note to self: Time to plant more of them!)

Also trying a couple of varieties of Eggplant - some of the smaller Eastern varieties, as well as a few squashes, in the eternal search for squashes that better resist the dreaded Fruit Flies of Late Summer.  I am aiming to sow some Squash seed within the next few days/week in the hope of getting them going very early to try and beat the Fruit Fly season.

So here I am, as usual not enough beds prepared in the veggie garden, so feeling "Spring Pressure" already, and its not yet August!

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