Sowing Peas

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St. Patrick’s Day is the traditional pea sowing time in the Northeast, though usually there’s a pretty good chance that the garden is still buried in snow this time of year. Lately the weather has felt like late May and the garden is ready to go.¬†This year I’m growing two kinds of regular green shelling peas, Green Arrow and Laxton’s Progress No. 9, plus Sugar Snap and Blue Podded Shelling Pea. This last one was a last minute addition. When I went to the garden center on Saturday, I couldn’t resist browsing the seed racks and ended up picking up a couple more packets, even though I already have too many seeds. It’s a soup pea rather than a fresh-eating pea. I’m looking forward to making pea soup from homegrown peas next winter! Continue reading

Monsanto vs. the Seed Savers

Since the dawn of agriculture, farmers and gardeners have been saving seed. Now this fundamental human activity is being threatened by Monsanto and its genetically modified seed. In areas where GM corn and sugar beets are grown, farmers and gardeners who grow open pollinated varieties of corn and beets run the risk of cross pollination with GM varieties nearby. This means these growers can no longer save their seed because it may be contaminated with the genetics of the GM varieties. To add insult to injury, Monsanto has even sued farmers, whose seed has inadvertently been contaminated, with patent infringement. Continue reading

Seed Catalog Season

It’s a brisk 16 degrees here today, the perfect kind of day for staying inside with a pile of seed catalogs. I’ve been studying them all and making lists for the past two weeks. This weekend I got all my seeds organized and inventoried, narrowed down my shopping list, and placed my orders.

Here are a few of my favorite catalogs:  Continue reading