Thursday, April 15, 2010

Heirlooms and Peppers

One of my chief aims for this blog is to rave about my favorite heirloom or open pollinated vegetables.  I'll do this in no particular order--just whatever I'm thinking/dreaming about.

For instance, even though I've hardly gotten any of the normal early spring veggies planted (besides my peas) I put out my sweet peppers last night.  I have 22 of them and they're still tiny things but we have a crafty little mouse that climbs onto my shelves of seedlings via the dresser next to it and snips the tops off of my peppers.  What a crazy thing!!  I've been moving the shelves into the middle of the room now before bed but I was afraid that I'll forget and lose more of my peppers.  So yesterday evening I put them out into the garden with empty 2 liter soda bottles placed over top of them (I cut off the bottoms and removed the caps) making their very own personal mini greenhouses.  (And no, I didn't "harden" them off like I'm supposed to.  They are in a sheltered part of the garden and the 2 liter bottles make a coldframe of sorts so they should be safe.)

Let's see if I can remember what all is planted now...
  • 6 California Wonder
  • 2 Chocolate Beauty
  • 4 Diamond
  • 3 Golden Treasure
  • 1 Golden California Wonder
  • 2 Orange Bell
  • 4 Purple Beauty 
I love the wonderful array of colors of these peppers--and my dill relish and salsas look just gorgeous!!  I always go for the unusual and unique in my garden.  I can get everyday vegetables at the grocery store if I want them but if I'm going to take the time to grow it myself, they've gotta say "Wow!!" in looks and taste.  And I always choose heirloom or open pollinated first!

Why heirloom or open pollinated?  I love being able to save my own seeds and not be dependent on having to buy new seeds every year.  Don't get me wrong, I love buying seeds.  I just buy those that aren't hybridized (and don't even get me started on GMOs) so that if I like them enough I can save the seeds and grow them again, year after year.  This is just one of the ways our family practices self-sufficiency.  

One of my favorite things to do is get onto eBay when I have a few minutes to "play" and search "heirloom" in "Yard, Garden & Outdoor Living".  It's amazing how many "new" things, that I find that are in fact quite old, that I've never seen before.  Amazing.

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