Thursday, 9 April 2009

Sprouts and seed swapping

Everything is sprouting this week! Down on the allotment today, cauliflower and brussels newly through; tomatoes two leaves tall, celery tiny yellow tinted white worms, and black-eyed susan (Thunbergia) thrusting up like beans on the windowsill at home; and in the greenhouse, Victorian Purple Podded Peas showing their first leaves just a fortnight after planting.
I have some different varieties of seed to grow this year, a new initiative as until now I've been happy to buy whatever's available from local garden centres. Reading around, I'm persuaded that I could be doing more to preserve old varieties and promote diversity, even on my little plot.
I was particularly inspired by
who writes lovely reviews and photos of traditional varieties and makes saving and using one's own seeds seem very simple.
It seems there is a growing blogger seed swap network, and by following links from I found which has lots about allotment gardening and a variety of seeds.
Generous Miss Fuggles sent me two varieties each of peas, dwarf beans, runners and tomatoes in exciting little origami packages. I hope I can return her kindness next year...

I've also purchased a stunning selection from the Real Seed Company
They have a mix of unusual varieties as well as traditional favourites such as Parsnip Tender and True, which I recall my grandad growing! Despite a slightly reproving little message on the website about it being the busiest time of year, and to expect some delay in fulfilling my order, it arrived within five days a month ago - excellent service.

Finally, my friend Nick from Colliers Wood sent me some rocket seeds from his organic garden which I plan to plant out this weekend. So I'm really looking forward to some different flavours on our dinner table later this year.


EB said...

We get our veg seed from the Real seed company too - I think they're great. I will follow up your other links here too, atlhough by now it's more seedling swapping I could do with!

mangocheeks said...

They are beautifully packed.