Monday, June 16, 2008

Baby Beans

The seeds are germinating. We have baby beans, spaghetti squash, kale, and lettuce. I go up every day to check on how they are coming along. But I'm not the only one gardening. An article in the New York Times last week was about the renewed interest in gardening.

George C. Ball Jr., owner of the W. Atlee Burpee Company says that sales of vegetable and herb seeds are up over 40% in the last year. While he mentions several reasons for the huge spike, he thinks the main reason is the increases in the price of fruits and vegetables. But he also thinks some of the other reasons have more to do with a shift in attitude about what we eat and moving away from the industrial food chain. Concerns about food safety as well as global warming. Concerns about genetic engineering and the loss of plant variety.

My friend Deb had a wonderful experience recently in a seed store in Missouri that she wrote about in her blog, Zocalo de Mexican Folk Art. It is good to know that a company is concerned and working to save our heritage plants.

My friend Jennifer commented on my post about tomatoes, "But I did manage to score big last year by buying a small container of mixed tomatoes at Superama just for the seed, which I fermented and saved. And I'm now harvesting orange, three kinds of yellow, pink, green and grape tomatoes. I feel tomato-rich."

Are you growing "food?" If so, what are you growing and why?


Babs said...

Just mint, cilantro, lemons, avocados and pomegranates.........but I do have a friend growing a "secret stash" of okra in the country. Yuuuuuum

I LOVE your seeds! Beautiful....

Deb Hall ~ Zocalo Folk Art said...

I'm going for tomatoes, lettuces, squash and herb varieties not typically found in Mexico. Gardening is such a big pay-off because not only does everything taste better, but it's darn convenient. I look forward to heading out with my scissors to harvest fresh tender lettuces for my dinner salad. That works for me. (Billie, can you believe that I didn't "phone in" my comment?!)

jennifer rose said...

My purpose in gardening is not really to save money or to go organic, but a) to create what I can't easily obtain here in Mexico and b) to save time. It's a real nuisance to have to leave the house and go down the block for an onion. Bragging rights and getting to be Lady Bountiful come into play in the gardening thing. I love being able to share my crops with others who aren't fortunate enough to suffer the agony of excess snow peas. And I love complaining about having so many zarzamoras that I just don't know what do with them.

My motives aren't exactly pure.

pitchertaker said...

I'm growing my usual assortment of herbs -- chives, oregano, 2 kinds of basil, mint, thyme, etc. I have given up on tomatoes -- just not enough sunlight. But speaking of growing things to eat, I have started reading Barbara Kingsolver's new book: "Animal, Vegetable, and Miracle." Every cook/gardener should read this book. Read about it here:


Billie said...

P'taker, I'll have to get that book. Last year I read the Omnivore's Dilemna and I just finished In Defense of Food both by Michael Pollan. Although I know that some of the produce we get here in SMA is "imported" a lot of it is grown within about 150 miles of here. I've always felt we were eating better and closer to the land here. And another thing that makes me feel better about what we are eating is that trips to a "grocery store" are few and far between so we are eating less processed and artificial food. One of these days I'll get around to writing about artificial food.

Jennifer, I wished you lived closer. I'd be willing to take some of your overabundance of produce. And I would promise to be in proper respect of your Garden Goddess status.

Babs and Deb, I know how both of your enjoy the simple things of watching a plant grow. And I think you can actually see okra grow hour by hour. So Babs, if your friend needs to get rid of some of the okra, we know how to cook it. Okra and tomatoes, gumbo, fried okra....yumm, yummmmm.

1st Mate said...

Whoa! You ferment the tomato seeds? How do you do that? I'd love to grow cherry tomatoes here.