Monday 6 March 2017

Seedy Saturday

       Last Saturday I was among the 40 or so other people who braved the highways, after the big snow dump, to attend the annual Seedy Saturday event in Dunster.  It is an opportunity for local garden enthusiasts to share information about gardening.  I always leave the gathering, full of new ideas and renewed enthusiasm for the growing season ahead.
    The photo above shows local organic professional, Gary Lowe, explaining his attempts to breed a new variety of carrot, that combines delicious taste, a beautiful color, and can be grown in our climate.  (Note the carrot he is holding looks dull because Gary says you shouldn’t clean all the dirt off of them when you store them over winter.  
    Gary and Wendy Lowe are also breeding a new wheat variety, one that features all the nutrients of ancient varieties, but has the “hairs” on the end of the growing grain that deter wild deer and elk from eating it (a real problem in the Robson Valley).  Creating a new variety takes seven years of selection and growing before one comes up with a dependable seed that always reproduces what you are breeding for.  The Lowe’s make their living growing organic produce and I am always amazed at the knowledge and the seriousness they possess about growing plants and creating seeds.
    Below is a cross section of their developing carrot.  (Again, the sides look dirty because they haven’t been washed).


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