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Posts Tagged ‘heirloom

03
Nov
09

Growing magic beans

heirloom bean varieties New ZealandTo me, seeds are mini miracles. When I hold them in my hand I get terribly excited by all that potential inside them. And eating something that grew from a little seed I planted and nurtured is simply incredible.

Some seeds themselves taste delicious and some just look beautiful – some are both. I have twenty varieties of different beans at home and no two look the same – spotted, speckled, stripey and squiggly in a range of colours, shapes and sizes.

If you’ve never dabbled in the wonders of seeds, beans are a great place to start. They’re keen beans, they grow fast. Satisfyingly so. They’re easy – soak them overnight in some warm water, then direct sow them into your garden keeping them moist. In seven days you should see them coming up. Be vigilant for slugs though!

Magic beans

Our modern beans are derived from plants that once grew wild in Central and South America. But we’ve been cultivating beans for ages and archaeologists have found traces of domesticated types that date back more than 7000 years. Heirloom gardeners have hundreds of varieties of bean to choose from. So I’m just going to focus on a few of my favourite shelled beans, all available in New Zealand, some of which have been available through Seedy Sunday. Continue reading ‘Growing magic beans’

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20
Aug
09

Heritage Tomato Seeds in New Zealand

red-strawberryFabulous list of heritage tomato seeds available from Bristol Plants & Seeds in Wanganui. They’ve been busy at work with Mark Christensen from Central Tree Crops Research Trust to grow and test heirloom varieties for superior levels of nutrition. I haven’t seen a report on the results but they do have a very impressive 170 varieties on sale within New Zealand for $3 a packet through the website.

This list is worth a gander just for the names alone. Who wouldn’t want to grow some Big Rainbow, Old Ivory Egg, Hawaiian Pineapple, Super Sioux Lakota, Zapotec Pleated.

Pictured: German Red Strawberry Tomatoes from Bristol Plants & Seeds.




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