Organic Gardening; Heirloom Seeds V/S Hybrids

 

It’s spring, even though it’s still pretty cold in some parts of our country. Here in southern Nevada it’s definitely time to plant some seeds. If I decide to plant my vegetables from seed, are all seeds equal? Will I get similar results? What is a hybrid? And what is a heirloom?

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.

– Marcus Tullius Cicero

If you buy vegetables at the grocery store they are usually hybrids. A hybrid is a cross bred vegetable, that is modified to grow a big crop, be resistent towards diseases, and yield a harvest that is as tolerant as possible. Fruit and vegetables sold at the store often have to withstand extensive travel to get there, and of course most consumers like them to last as long as possible before they go bad. They can be modified with help of humans, or naturally in nature. (Genetically Modified Organisms are always created in a lab, and that is not the same thing as a hybrid.)

A heirloom vegetable on the other hand comes from someone that saved a seed from their favorite vegetable, and planted it again. It’s not unusual that heirloom seeds are hundreds of years old. Most gardeners would agree that they are non-hybrids, and open pollinated. If you save a seed from a heirloom vegetable, and plant it next year, and save a seed from that vegetable to plant the year after that…..and so on, you are always going to get what you first started out with. That is not the case with hybrids. If you ever tasted a heirloom vegetable, you never want to eat a hybrid again. They taste a million times more, and comes in varieties most people are unable to imagine. For me the choice is simple, if I take the time to grow my own vegetables (which I love to do,) it’s definitely going to be both organic and heirloom varieties. If I like them, I save the seeds for future use. It’s a great idea to build a seed bank of your own. Have you ever tried saving seeds? It’s pretty cool!

I planted some cherry tomatoes with the kiddos at work today. I’m pretty sure it was the first time they planted something from a seed. I can’t wait to see how they react to the process of seeing their seeds turn into a delicious harvest. I’m going to have them help me take care of the plants every day.

Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity. – Lindley Karstens

The seeds we planted today are going to be part of a container garden. It’s the beginning of my favorite season! Extra exciting this year since I am in a new area, and gardening is likely going to be pretty experimental this first season. Do you have exciting garden plans? Tell me in a comment!

Love,

Ms Zen

Weekend Coffee Share – Gardening Dreams

LSU Purple Fig

Can I offer you some hot coffee today? I’m definitely having another cup! It’s raining outside my window, and the air is fresh. It’s a welcome rain. We’ve had temperatures in the low 70’s this week. A sharp contrast from all the snow we had last week.

Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling.

– Margaret Lee Runbeck

I have to say this – I feel great! I had a full night’s sleep, and I just feel good. I have been focusing on visualizing my goal of a homestead, and at the same time living in the moment here in the city. I feel that I’ve come to a good place.

corn

There is no way that I could have the huge garden I had last year, but I can have a small container garden. I have been growing microgreens inside for a while, and within the next couple weeks I’m going to plant cherry tomatoes outside. Since the space is very limited (in our backyard, ten minutes from Las Vegas strip,) I have to choose carefully, and not overdo it. (I often tend to do that, because I enjoy gardening so much. I have no problem caring for a 1-2 acres garden by myself.)

squash

I am planning to add some kitchen herbs later this spring. For fun I’m going to have some organic dwarf fruit trees, in containers. I actually ordered some this morning; pineapple, fig, and pomegranate. Pineapple is a wild card, I’ve never grown that! I eat a lot of pineapple in my fruit salad for breakfast, and thought it would be fun to try. This way I keep my homesteading dream alive, and enjoy some gardening, while my daughter attends a good school in the city. ..and hey, I can plant the trees on my property later on. That makes it extra fun, and worthwhile to take care of them. It’s not only my dream, my daughter loves growing fruit and vegetables as well.

To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow. – Audrey Hepburn

Both my daughter and I are very visual, and we’ve started to look at different housing alternatives for our future homestead. Mostly just for fun, but also to know a little bit about how much cash I should have saved up before going into the project full-time. Our property is a few hours away, and there’s nothing on it right now. The whole project is still years into the future, at least 2-3 years, maybe more. I actually don’t feel a rush to get there, I want it to succeed long-term, more than getting there fast. I love the job I have now, and I enjoy exploring Nevada and surrounding states on my free time. For the longest time the big change of moving from the countryside to the city, pushed me slightly of balance, but I can feel zen returning to my life. It’s a good feeling.

Would you like a refill on that coffee? Or maybe some tea? How is your week so far?

Have a fabulous weekend!

 

Love,

Ms Zen

Spring

lt

Last week we built a snowman, and had snowball fights, in layered winter clothing. This week we have Capri pants, and t-shirts. It was 71 degrees yesterday, and we are promised a whopping 73 today. The change of the season is vibrating in the air. I wonder what it will bring? I’m learning more and more about Las Vegas. The weather, the culture, and everything in between.

If it was up to me, the weather could stop here, at 73 degrees. I don’t need it to get any hotter. I’m very comfortable now. I would be OK if it got a little warmer, lets say 80 degrees? My future garden would like that. I know it will be a lot hotter before the summer is over. LOL.

The photo is from Lake Tahoe, and not from Vegas. I took it today, four years ago. I kind of like when beautiful places you spent time at pops up in your social media stream. I try to only share positive posts, that would make others, and myself happy to see.

I felt like starting some seeds yesterday, and I knew that I had some saved up in my personal seed bank, BUT when I looked into it, none were suitable for this area. I need to order some today. However I refused to give up, I felt like planting something. So the two little boys I care for, and I, planted some Organic Medjool Date pits, from dates we had with our breakfast. I’ve done that before, and they do grow. Fast enough for kids to make the connection between the pit they planted and the actual plant. Looking forward to see that project progress.

Time to turn wake my little Princess up, and get ready for the day. How is your week so far? Have a fabulous day!

Love,

Ms Zen