Garden Ready

Spring is my favorite time of year. I'm ready to get out of the house, the lawn is desperate for attention and the garden is calling my name. Here, in the Midwest, it's been a wet spring so far and few people have their gardens in. I'm one of the many that's been waiting for the sun to shine to get to work. I was excited to start my heirloom tomato seeds indoors a few months ago, however, my excitement was halted by the sight of my puny, spindly plants. I sadly accepted that I was destined to grow the "improved" gmo versions instead. But no! I got a call on Saturday from McKenzie (who used to work here) and she had found a greenhouse with heirloom tomato plants. My garden growing season just got a little brighter. To appreciate my excitement you have to realize where we are. Our office is in a town of 126 people...needless to say, we're in a very rural area and it can be difficult to find "specialty" items. So I made the hour-long drive to a Mennonite greenhouse called Hillcrest Farms and couldn't be any happier with my purchase. I spoke to the owner, Robert, for a while about their heirloom plants. I was actually shocked at what he had to say. They have a difficult time selling heirloom plants, he said that people just don't want them. They had oak leaf lettuce for sale which is an heirloom plant from the 1800's and produces ALL summer, even through the heat. He displayed it with the other lettuce varieties and ended up giving it away for free because nobody would buy it. Heirloom plants are not hybrids, they are the same plants that our ancestors grew. When you consume produce from heirloom plants, you're essentially eating a slice of history. So, when you head to the nursery or greenhouse to buy your plants just remember: heirloom = awesome! If you have a green thumb there are several online stores that sell heirloom seeds. Since my green thumb has apparently wilted, I'll stick with the plants that are ready to be put into the ground. Here's to wishing all the gardeners an abundant year! Good luck and good health!


McKenzie said...

Great post, Megan! I'm so glad we finally found a place to buy heirloom plants. We'll have to work harder to educate people about them - I can't believe the free lettuce thing!

Kelly the Kitchen Kop said...

Hello to Megan AND Hi to McKenzie, too! I hope you're doing well!

I also got some heirloom plants that we'll get going soon, I'm so excited!

Thanks for joining in on RFW, Megan... and McKenzie, if you're reading this, please post something for RFW from your blog, too - you always have great real food recipes! :)