Lost a bit of time to computer troubles, but we seem to be back on our virtual feet again.
This abnormally warm West Coast winter is blending seamlessly into spring with an alarming showing of buds on bushes even as the snowdrops do their seasonal duty. We’re all thinking about seeds just now. The weekend before last the Gorge Tillicum Urban Farmers seed swap attracted around 50 GTUFers and other interested parties. It was a friendly and interesting time, comparing notes on what had grown well in our neighbourhood, and enlivened by the arrival of several cases of last year’s seed stock donated by a good neighbourly commercial seller.
Among my trophies, I collected seeds for:
- cucumbers (field and pickling)
- kohlrabi (one can never have too much)
- scarlet runner beans (some unusual & beautiful brown and cream coloured seeds)
- mammoth pot leeks (I have regretfully given up on onions – just don’t have enough sun in my garden)
- a Kashmiri brassica called Haak
And I left small quantities of a large number of different plants including broccoli, celery, amaranth, calendula, oca, bulb fennel, black radish and eight different kinds of tomatoes, sugar snap peas and the remains of some unneeded seed packs, like onion (my plant list is here)
On Monday I was invited to speak to the fruit & veg group of the Victoria Horticultural Society. Rather than try to cross secateurs with more seasoned gardeners I chose community seed banks as my topic, and a lively discussion (several in fact) ensued. The GTUF seed bank, like many in these parts, was started after Dan Jason’s inspirational article on the topic. A good way to build goodwill, seed stocks and, ultimately, food security in your neighbourhood!