Heirlooms Disappearing

This year I have never seen so many heirloom varieties disappear from the seed trade. Two apparent casualties worthy of resuscitation are Kyoto Long Cucumber and Touchon Carrot. Carrots and cucumbers require careful isolation so it is hard to produce more than stock seed on our own.

Seed Savers do a fine job of retaining varieties, but often not in commercial amounts. What should we do with an heirloom vegetable we love? Grow it, buy it, eat it, and ask for it at nurseries and farmer’s markets.

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Nichols Plant Day 2008

Our annual Nichols Plant Day is Saturday, May 17th 2008 this year. It has been a busy week preparing for our annual event, readying the gardens and planting our annual garden. We are just north of Albany, OR and an easy exit off I5. I’ve planted new straw bales, we’ve built a new bed using the Nichols method how to grow carrots without a spade or hoe, our herb display garden is beginning to flower. We’re also fixing a few herbal recipes for you including our lavender ice cream and saffron lemonade.

When this is finished I’ll have time to post and plant my own garden. After a long cool spring, we’re expected to reach 95 today. This is not the energizing pre celebration weather we requested. Oh well! If you are traveling in Oregon you should know we have a display herb garden, an AAS display garden and garden demos. We’re closed Sundays, open Monday through Saturday and visitors are always welcome.

The Bountiful Container

I’m happy to announce the fourth printing of McGee & Stuckey’s, The Bountiful Container is now available. This 432 page book is a complete guide growing container gardens of vegetables, herbs, fruits and edible flowers. We’ve included recipes for using your home grown goods. Maggie and I researched soils, containers, fertilizing and every aspect of what gardeners encounter when growing in containers. I love experimenting with new techniques and varieties using pots and small space gardening. If your garden is horizontally challenged, think vertically! If you only have space for herbs, a few salad greens and a tomato in a large pot think how much flavor and variety you’ll add to your household.

This weekend, May 10th, I’ll be speaking and signing books at the Oregon City Farmers Market. Saturday, May 17, is the annual Nichols Garden Nursery Plant Day. If you’re in the area, drop by and enjoy light herbal refreshment, gardening demonstrations, tours of the herb garden and a great sale on plants and other gardening items.