seedy enthusiasm runneth over

Laughing Frog Farm’s new re-organized Seed Pages are up, with new varieties added from last summer’s growing season. In the heirloom tomato realm, check out smoky Cherokee Chocolate, the prolific apricot-sized-and-colored Jaune Flamme, and the low-acid Lillian’s Yellow. We’ve got the reddest lettuce, and a recipe for positively addictive kale chips. Thank you Sharon Jokela for elegant web design and a shopping cart feature that works.
We’re about to go from our seedy gardens to seedy heaven – the Organic Seed Growers Conference sponsored by Organic Seed Alliance, this year in Port Townsend on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. A long day’s bus tour of organic seed production farms, followed by two days packed with workshops on every topic from basic seed production to breeding for positive microbial interactions. Plus speakers, a trade show, the seed swap of seed swaps, and even a dance with music by the Pheromones.
This year’s theme is Strengthening Community Seed Systems, and I’m looking forward to learning ways to organize more seed growers in this little pocket of paradise. Everyone knows rural Mendocino County is full of gardeners. So many scattered patches of cultivated land, ideally suited to saving seed without concerns over isolation distances. Some gardener can take on saving and improving Painted Mountain corn, say, and provide seeds for others, and in the same season be able to trade with growers of other varieties and have sweet corn to eat. Or something like that. I hope to hear how different communities are approaching this issue. And I’m sure we’ll come home with a few (dozen) amazing varieties to try out this year.