There are days lately when February seems unending and spring still seems so far off. It's been a cold long winter, with more snow that we've can remember in a very long time, and a conversation today with a seasoned local organic farmer confirmed for me that it looks like it's going to be a cold March and late arrival of spring. A cure for the winter blues? Putting your hands into warm, rich earthy-smelling soil on a chilly February morning...so that's what we have been doing.
All winter long we grow trays of sprouts - mostly pea shoots, sunflower greens and buckwheat greens - which keeps us active in the soil every few days if we get our rhythm right. The sprouts take about 10 days in a cool house in winter season to grow from seed to edible sprout size. Every few days a new jar of seeds is soaked overnight, for planting the next day so that we have ongoing greens ready to harvest.
In the coming weeks it will be time to start the seedlings for this year's garden - tomatoes, basil, eggplants, kales, and more! Our arrivals of seed packages into the house has brought a steady sense of joy and anticipation. Some wishes for this year's garden include trying new varieties of spicy lettuces, new (and old favourite) heirloom tomatoes, purple peas, loads of beans and more beans, and more Asian greens, and rainbow carrots...
Our favourite seed suppliers that offer heirloom and organic non-GMO seeds include Cottage Gardener; Hope Seeds; Hawthorne Seeds; High Mowing; Urban Harvest; and Greta's Organic Seeds. And we've been buying our sprouting seeds (for eating and juicing sprouts) for many many years from Mumm's in Saskatchewan!
Check out our Planting Guide here for details on when to start your own seedlings at home. If you don't get a chance to plant everything you need, or are looking for unique and heirloom seedlings, come on out to our Annual Seedling Sale on Saturday May 24 morning!