Archive for February, 2012

Since Spring IS just around the corner, it’s now time to start planning your garden. Even if your garden consists of only a few pots on the porch or the roof, you are still engaging in an act of food sovereignty, for which you can be proud. At this point, the conscientious gardener, if she hasn’t managed to save seed herself, will ask, “where can I get good seed where I will not inadvertently be supporting some corporation that is engaged in practices that run counter to my values?” Many of you are aware of the inroads the Monsanto corporation has made into the seed business in recent years. With their acquisition of Seminis Seeds several years ago, Monsanto suddenly came to control a large share of the vegetable seed market, becoming the biggest seed company in the world overnight. You can read an in-depth analysis of this unfortunate event at Rodale’s website:http://newfarm.rodaleinstitute.org/features/2005/0205/seminisbuy/index.shtml

FEDCO Seeds, based in Waterville, Maine, is a co-op that has opted to not source any of their seed from Monsanto, and has taken a pledge to not knowingly carry any GMO seed. They regularly test for GMO contamination, and have on occasion had to reject seed due to contamination by GMOs. If you wish to read their eloquent explanation of the decision to boycott Monsanto, you can read it here: http://www.fedcoseeds.com/seeds/monsanto.htm

One cannot overstate the importance of seeds to our future. They are a miraculous life force that has sustained humankind for as long as we have existed. According to FEDCO, “the current industrial seed system rests upon the unholy trinity of biotechnology, corporate concentration and intellectual property rights.” By purchasing seed from FEDCO, you are participating in the movement to get off
“the seed grid,” and encouraging the crucially important germination of a movement towards food sovereignty that is not subject to the tyranny of patent-happy corporations.

I am very pleased to offer a selection of 28 best selling organic varieties of FEDCO seeds at my Central Market stand. They are:

  1. Provider Bean
  2. Maxibel Bean
  3. Indy Gold Wax Bean
  4. Luscious Sweet Corn
  5. Marketmore 76 Cucumber
  6. Costata Romanesca Zucchini
  7. Zeppelin Delicata Squash
  8. Waltham Butternut Squash
  9. New England Pie Pumpkin
  10. Winter Luxury Pie Pumpkin
  11. Danvers 126 Carrot
  12. Early Wonder Beet
  13. Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce
  14. Red Salad Bowl Lettuce
  15. Merlot Lettuce
  16. Forellenschluss Lettuce
  17. Greens Mix
  18. Arugula
  19. Golden Chard
  20. Red Russian Kale
  21. Matchbox Hot Pepper
  22. Brandywine Tomato
  23. Orange Banana Pase Tomato
  24. Sweet Basil
  25. Caribe Cilantro
  26. Flashback Calendula
  27. Autumn Beauty Sunflower
  28. Tiger’s Eye Mix Sunflower

May you flourish in the coming year, meet every obstacle with grace and make the best lemonade imaginable out of the lemons you encounter!

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Despite the fact that it already feels like Spring in South central Pennsyltucky, Spring really IS just around the corner, officially beginning on March 20. Veteran gardener Martha Sangree told me once that peas won’t amount to much if you don’t get them in by St. Patrick’s Day. I duly stored away in my noggin that nugget of gardening advice, and it remains one of the few facts that my struggling brain has managed to tenaciously retain.

On Wednesday, I had the good fortune of having my friend Gordy come over to help me. Gordy is back from the Great American Desert visiting family for a few weeks. With Gordon’s encouraging help, we conspired to plant the very first snow peas of the year along the one side of my high tunnel. We also dug about 90 feet of garden bed, and sprinkled it with compost. After that, we finished digging a trench in the middle of the high tunnel, which we filled with a mix of horse manure, hay, and wood chips. This will compost over the comingĀ  weeks, giving off some heat and hopefully providing a good spot over which to set trays of seedlings.

Yesterday, with the mercury reaching a balmy 60 degrees Fahrenheit, I rushed home from market, got out the trusty old Ariens rototiller, and prepared a patch of well-drained, shaley ground for some peas and fava beans. By dusk, I had the soil worked just right, and then I got out my trusty Energizer headlamp that I got for about $12 at the Amish hardware store in Ronks. It will be interesting to see when the plants pop their cute little cotyledons up through the soil in a week or two, whether I managed to get my rows straight, and evenly spaced. Heading in to the house around nine o’clock, I felt satisfied at making a good start to the growing season, having successfully sowed Windsor fava beans, Early Frosty and Green Arrow shell peas, Oregon Giant snow peas, and Sugarsnap peas BEFORE March makes its entrance. We got a little rain overnight, and more is possible today, so it is quite satisfying to rest from my labors a bit, bask in the providential heavenly watering, and call the whole scene “good.”


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<a href="//widgets.distrify.com/widget.html#543-17985” title=”BIG BOYS GONE BANANAS”>BIG BOYS GONE BANANAS

Check out this new documentary about Dole aggressively trying to shut down a documentary film maker. Makes you wonder… What have they got to hide?

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