DON'T MIND IF WE DO
PRETTY IN PINK
Before we set out to work this morning, Carolyn gave us a tour of her property. There are a plethora of veggies, fruits, and ornamentals growing here, in addition to chickens, ducks, cats, and a dog. This used to be a plant nursery but Carolyn is transitioning from growing mostly ornamental flowers to organic food and she has put a strong emphasis on saving seeds (check out her website: The Garden Path Center). Selling organic seeds is the way her business is now heading. Carolyn is very concerned with food security and as such, she is doing her part to ensure she grows plenty of food for herself and is also trying to teach many local island residents how to save their own seeds and to grow their own food as well. She informed us 96% of the food on Vancouver Island is imported and she is appalled at that staggering figure; Carolyn envisions a future where most food consumed on the island is grown here, and she is working to reduce dependence on foreign food, which is dependent of foreign oil.
Selling seeds means having to grow many varietals of each crop in order to have an extensive seed catalogue. This season Carolyn is growing 45 varieties of tomatoes and we spent a few hours this morning suckering and tying different types of vine tomatoes to stakes. Her goal is to see which varieties grow best in this climate and be able to share these with the local community. Common tomato varieties such as beefsteak, plum, or roma dominate supermarket shelves, however there are more types of tomatoes than we can count and Carolyn wants to give her customers as many options as possible. Depending upon your needs (e.g., slicing, saucing, etc), tastes, and your climate you can plant different types of tomatoes for different reasons. Seed saving seems to be one of the most vital and fundamental parts of gardening and farming which has somehow been overlooked recently. We are thrilled to work with a seed saving expert and to learn how different seeds are saved. You can't stop us, Monsanto!
**In response to recent comments, we do intend to get an autographed copy of Carolyn's book. The Malahat Revue carries most of their instruments with them on their bikes, but there is a traveling van that helps carry some gear, mostly the drums. We'll try to take more ferry photos on the return for those interested in them.**