If you have ever lingered in the entrance of ONF, you might have noticed a lovely display of seeds. Or, if you’re like me, you have an innate ability to sense ANY display of seeds in the area and simply cannot keep walking without looking. Either way, now is the time to start shopping.
The display at ONF is from High Mowing Seeds, a company that offers a wonderful variety of certified organic seeds. Additionally, they are working with Seed Matters, Open Source Seed Initiative, and the Non-GMO project to secure the future of heirloom varieties as well as new hybrids bred for disease resistance. There’s nothing wrong with plant breeding, cross pollinating one tomato with another to create a stronger tomato happens in nature. Genetic modification is crossing a tomato with a fish, which clearly cannot happen in nature. High Mowing Seeds is devoted to preserving the ability to grow our own food for future generations.
High Mowing Seeds is a big part of my 2013 garden. Here are a few varieties I’m particularly excited about:
- Cortland Onion- Onions are often divided into two categories: Long day and short day. In Arkansas, we need to plant long-day varieties. Cortland is a long day onion, an organic hybrid that has been bred to resist fusarium wilt. The thing that stood out to me about this variety is that it should store well until spring. I’ll plant this mid-summer to harvest in fall, and store over the winter for all our yummy soups and stews.
- Peacevine Cherry Tomato- I’m trying this variety to replace my usual Sweet 100. In fact, it is the de-hybridized version, which I hope to save seeds from next year in order to create a cherry tomato perfect for our area. I could save seeds from the Sweet 100, but because it is a hybrid, next year’s plants would not be true to the parent seed and the results would be unpredictable. I am hoping this variety proves to be as vigorous as my favorite.
- National Pickling Cucumber- This variety stands out to me for its “one size fits all” potential. It claims to be great for fresh eating as well as pickling (hence the name). Since I became obsessed with fermented pickles last year, I decided to try a new variety. I have at least 3 different types of green cucumbers going in the garden this year, but this variety is the one I’m most excited about.
- Oregon Sugar Pod II- I’ve never grown snow peas before, although I like to eat them fresh and include them in stir-fries. I think these fellas will be the first in the ground this year because they can be direct seeded as soon as the soil can be worked. Our soil in NWA doesn’t always freeze so they can be sewn really early. I don’t know about you, but I think some fresh snow peas dipped in homemade ranch sounds pretty good right now.
As much as I lament any time I cannot go out and work in the garden, I realize these cold days are useful for rest and renewal for me and the land, as well as to provide a time to plan. I’ve heard that seeds will sell out particularly quickly this year because of higher demand from new and expanding gardeners. Get your catalog from High Mowing Seeds here, order online, or visit ONF and get those seeds!