Winter is a time to reflect, to question and to envision a path forward. I found insight in this talk by Italian ethno-botanist Andrea Pieroni at the MAD symposium in Copenhagen.
Pieroni speaks about the language of food, science and culture. He believes science needs to step back and learn from traditional knowledge, that the scientific taxonomy of plants doesn’t tell us the human stories about communities of people, plants and their relationships. How plants are celebrated, prepared or eaten is often narrated in the context of traditional names of common plants. Andrea states that the cultural information becomes lost in the language of science.
Andrea’s challenge to build a platform to educate young people and all of us about where our food comes from inspires us.
We have built our vision of this educational platform on our farm, check out the 2015 workshops. Now we need you to share the vision, help us make 2015 Quillisascut Farm workshops the best ever! Sign-up, tell your friends, the table is set.
Here is Andrea Pieroni at the 2012 MAD Symposium.
My sister has a lovely garden, last year she decided to try transplanting some of the tiny carrot plants. Some of you may have had this idea. Carrot seeds are small and planting a row can be tedious, maybe transplanting could solve the problems of weeds crowding out the baby plants and the need for heavy thinning later when the plants are established. I asked her to share her carrot transplanting experience with us.
Training Your Carrots To Sit
Don’t Transplant Your Carrots
Not all carrots will sit. One must practice patience and balance. Sorting through the carrots after they are clipped and scrubbed, the better students will show themselves. Don’t even try to train the hugging, the kicking, or the straight (where did THAT one come from?) carrots. Set them aside for other displays or possibly for eating.
To gain the properly trained carrots for sitting, plant your carrot seeds as usual. When they are about an inch to an inch and a half high, dig them up with a knitting needle. Poke a new hole for the transplant and place the baby carrot down in the new hole. Guide it in with the knitting needle. Because the hair-like roots have been moved, the carrot will grow in a new and unique shape. Early fall dig your special vegetables. Sort them carefully to find the ones bent at a 90 degree angle. These will sit the best. Be advised that the carrots must be screened and censored for X-rated forms and positions.
As Janae said, all carrots are not as well schooled in sitting here are some of the rejects (or x-rated).
Every garden year a new variety comes along and becomes my obsession. I saw a photo of Glass Gem Corn on Pinterest, my friend Sylvia See had pinned it from Native Seed Search. I fell for it, hard, I NEED to grow this corn, so right away I looked it up on their website. At that time they were taking reservations for this years seeds, and I signed-up via their online list.
Yesterday Native Seed Search sent out a special email to the 7000 people who were on the list, opening up the sale of this years Glass Gem corn seeds. They are listed in a secure section of their website that can only be accessed with a special code, with a limit to one packet of 50 seeds per person. I quickly selected a packet and loaded it in my shopping cart.
Then I went about selecting a few other seeds, a gardener can never have too many seeds. Native Seed Search has an incredible selection, here are the packets I purchased: Tabasco peppers, for lacto fermented Quilli-basco sauce come this fall, Wenk’s Yellow Hots, which are very productive and one of our favorite hot fresh or pickled peppers and Del Arbol de Baja California Sur, a chili I have read about but never grown. Also, a pack of King Richard leeks fit for a king.
The Glass Gem corn looks like it should be kept in a jewelry box. If we have a productive crop from these seeds, if the corn can mature in this northern climate, I promise to have seeds to share with you next year. I will keep you posted how it goes. Of course I don’t yet have the seeds in my hand and as every gardener knows there are many variables to a healthy harvest.
You will have to wait on any photos, but I promise to keep you updated on how the corn does in this region. If you want to see images and read more about the history of Glass Gem Corn follow the link to the Native Seed blog.