We planted seeds over the weekend. We were so incredibly surprised to see how quickly the zucchini and cucumbers have emerged and tripled in size over the past few days.
These plants are special, and a part of a larger movement to reintroduce old variety seed stock back into the market. Heirloom quality vegetables are just that – a vegetable with a history. Like stories, the seeds are passed down from generation to generation within a community. This heritage preserves the qualities of the vegetable. With the vegetable comes a story, and a link to the past.
We purchased these seeds from Seed Savers Exchange, a large family farm in Iowa that is committed to preserving heirloom seeds. I first learned of Seed Savers through the Ravelry group, Crafty Gardeners. From there, as I continued to read Barbara Kingsolver’s amazing book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life I learned more about the amazing qualities of heirloom seeds. We ordered a large batch of the vegetable seeds. We are hoping for the best. This sprouting is a good sign that all is well and there are some fresh juicy cucumbers and zucchini (among others!) to come this summer!
The cucumbers are a variety that was picked up by the larger distributor Abbott and Cobb in the 1920s. This particular cucumber was introduced in 1928 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The cucumber seeds were part of a larger package of seeds called the Heritage Farm Favorites. [you wanna see something beautiful? check out these beets from Italy propagated in the 1840s!]
We selected plant varieties that are well-adapted to our region. We have pumpkins and tomatoes from Pennsylvania and beans from Maryland. As frost is still possible, we have our seedlings protected indoors. However, we are preparing the soil for their arrival. Blessed with sunny skies for the two previous days, Kris and I expanded our existing vegetable plot in the backyard. We diligently shoveled, mixed, and tilled. Tonight’s rain will prepare the soil further for the seedlings arrival. By early May, we should be able to transplant them outdoors.
I am quite happy that we have transitioned into the Earth element for Project Spectrum. I guess you could say I am *ripe* with inspiration for this two-month span. As you can see, gardening will be an important part of this element for me. With these fresh vegetables, I hope to create some delicious “earthy” fresh foods. I hope to also practice more weaving, and maybe stashbust knit a few accessories. I also have some idea for a collaborativeproject for Earth Day and Arbor Day later this month. I would love to hear what you have planned too!