The 5th Annual National Heirloom Expo

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September 6th-8th Santa Rosa, CA –  The 5th annual National Heirloom Expo is coming up in less than three weeks! This is the place to be if you want to learn everything there is to know about heirloom produce. Over 75 knowledgeable speakers from across the globe will be discussing heirlooms for three full days, with topics ranging from Blue Ribbon Vegetable Gardening to the Future of Heirloom Seeds.

Don’t miss these other opportunities at the Expo –

•Colossal Pumpkin Contest and Show

•Kid’s Heirloom Fetival

•Fruit Tastings

•Heritage Poultry Show

•Vendors

•Local Food Fair

•Folk Music Festival & National Fiddlers Contest

 

My Top 5 Heirloom Seed Companies

seedcataloguevintageYes, I admit it! I have a seed addiction.  People often ask me where I like to purchase my seeds. Here are five of my favorite places to procure seeds.

1. Seed Savers Exchange

Seed Savers Exchange is a popular place to purchase seeds. Founded in 1975, Seed Savers Exchange is a registered non-profit and the reason why heirlooms are so popular today. Heritage Farm in Decorah, Iowa is the headquarters of this organization. Here you’ll find their seed collection, display gardens and walking trails. They carry seeds for herbs, vegetables, fruits and flowers.

2. Seeds of Change

Seeds of Change offers 100 percent certified organic seeds and plants. They grow all their own seeds on their research farm or within their network of organic farmers. All of their offerings are open-pollinated, and they specialize in traditional and heirloom varieties.

3. Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company

Baker Creek Seeds offers unique heirloom, non-genetically modified seeds. Baker Creek’s store in Petaluma’s historic Sonoma County National Bank building is a beacon for gardeners, foodies and tourists. If you’re ever in that part of California, have a look at the Baker Creek Seed Bank.

4. Territorial Seed

Territorial Seed was founded in 1979 by Steve Solomon. The company was later sold to Tom and Julie Johns in 1985. Since then, their main focus has been on making it possible for gardeners to improve their self-sufficiency and independence by enabling them to produce an abundance of good tasting, fresh from the garden food. Territorial Seed carries vegetable seeds and plants, along with garden supplies.

5. High Mowing Organic Seeds

Celebrating their 20th anniversary, High Mowing Organic Seeds started as a one-man operation, and  is now a thriving business. Over 600 heirloom, open-pollinated and hybrid varieties of vegetable, fruit, herb and flower seed are made available to home gardeners and commercial growers.

 

Time for Seeds

2016-01-27-10.01.45.jpg.jpegWith spring not too far away, it’s time to start thinking about what you’re going to put in the ground this year. It is the time to try new seed varieties, and be adventurous in your garden planning!

This is always an exciting time for us here at Flora Vista Farms. This is the time where your input from the previous year comes to life. Many of you, over the years, have requested specialty seedlings. Most of you are especially interested in unique tomato varieties. This year we will carry more tomato seedling varieties than we ever have!  Keep an eye out for our upcoming posts, with updated lists of available items. We strive to bring you the best quality produce and goods here locally.

8th annual Santa Barbara Community Seed Swap

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Join your community for this free event, and share seeds and knowledge with other like-minded folks. There will be music, speakers, and local information you will find nowhere else.

This is my favorite event of the year! And, as I overheard last year from a fellow attendee, “This is where all the cool people hang out.”

Sunday, January 31st, 2016 11AM to 3PM

Santa Barbara Public Library

40 E Anapamu St.  Santa Barbara, CA

Suyo Long, to other cucumbers.

wpid-20150801_095246.jpgThe Suyo Long cucumber is one of my favorites to grow. They are easy to care for and seem to do well in our micro-climate here on the Mesa. This wonderful Chinese variety produces fruits 10″-16″ long.

The fruits are spiny when young, and become smoother and less ribbed at maturity. The cucumbers tend to curl on one end, which makes for a unique looking fruit. I trellis mine, and for the most part they grow straight.

For those of you who purchased Suyo seedlings from me this year, I hope you are enjoying them! For those who did not, and would like to purchase the actual cucumber, keep an eye on my blog or Facebook for updated lists of vegetables for sale.

I will leave you with a simple recipe for the upcoming warm summer evenings.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
A dash or two of sesame oil
2 Suyo cucumbers, seeded and thinly sliced
1 small Thai chili or Black Cobra chili thinly sliced

In a medium bowl, mix together the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sugar, oils and chili slices. Mix in the cucumbers, chill before serving.

Seeds of Progress: Seed Savers Exchange Celebrates 40th Anniversary, Plans to Keep it Growing

The Seed Savers Exchange, known to many of you as the leader in the heirloom seed movement, is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2015! The SSE was founded in 1975, and is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and sharing heirloom and open-pollinated plant varieties. SSE is looking ahead to a year full of progress and celebration, while continuing to grow and maintain a collection of more than 20,000 seed and plant varieties at their Iowa headquarters.

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More information about the Seed Savers Exchange can be found here – http://www.seedsavers.org/