What we Grow
We are passionate about growing and eating the absolute highest quality produce to satisfy your taste buds and nourish your bodies. We grow over 150 varieties of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and edible and decorative flowers. Their different shapes, colours, and flavours reflect their different histories and nutritional content.
How we Grow it
Integrated cropping and companion planting allows us to deal with agricultural problems naturally rather than relying on agrochemicals as in conventional farming. Crops are planted in succession to provide a diverse and continuous supply of fresh produce. As crops rotate throughout the season, what comes out of our fields, reflects our local climate and weather conditions.
What exactly is an heirloom?
There is no “exact” definition for this term. In fact, there have been entire books dedicated to this subject and still there is no agreement between gardeners as to what constitutes an heirloom and what does not.
First, lets try to cover what everyone agrees on. Heirlooms are always open-pollinated varieties. This means that if the seeds produced from the plant are properly saved, they will produce the same variety year after year. This cannot be done with hybrids, which are a cross between two separate varieties, as the seed produced from those plants will either be sterile, or start to revert back to the parent plants.
The next part of the definition starts to get a little fuzzy. Most gardeners agree that heirloom varieties should be at least 50 years old. But can a variety that is 48 or 49 years old be eliminated from this group, but then be eligible 1 or 2 years later? And what about an improved variety of an old favorite? We’ll let the so called “experts” argue about this one!
Lastly, many gardeners think there should be some history behind the variety, perhaps a story on a variety’s introduction, some ethnic background or a tie to a certain time in history. Part of the joy of growing heirlooms is discovering these stories behind the seeds. But in some cases, the early history of some seeds is not known.
Why grow heirlooms?
Heirloom varieties have been carefully selected for their flavor, appearance and adaptability to local climates. After a long absence from commercial markets heirlooms are rapidly regaining public favour. Many heirloom varieties were lost during agricultural industrialization when agribusinesses focused on high productivity, transportability, and shelf life, favoring merely a few hybrid varieties. This is reflected in the presence of only a handful of different fruits and vegetables on the shelves of modern big-box grocery stores.
Increasingly, these forgotten heirlooms are sought out by chefs and the public alike. Seed stocks are being restored to preserve their immense genetic diversity representing a wide array of colours, sizes, shapes, and flavors of the past. With a little extra care and planning, heirloom varieties can actually do just as well as the hybrids. They have magnificent colors from deep purple carrots to shiny yellow tomatoes. Shapes range from cylindrical radishes to dwarf stew carrots. These juicy and flavorful vegetables and fruits, rich in vitamin and mineral content, will brighten up your dinner table and are sure to be a crowd pleaser!
- Debbie Ryan on Garlic Scape Pesto
- Introducing : Rainbow Heritage Garden | The Wellness Group Blog on About Shares
- Cait on CSA 2011: End of Year Wrap Up!
- Monica on LAST WEEK: CSA – Wednesday October 12th, 2011 – Week #16
- Kalyn on CSA – Week #13 – Wednesday, September 21 (updated!)
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