The coriander has gone to seed serving as a reminder to store the seeds before the plants shed their seeds. Earlier I let a couple of green and butter bean plants dry out and picked and am saving the pods for sowing next season. I’ll simply leave some silverbeet and lettuce plants that have bolted in the recent humid conditions and let them self-perpetuate, as has happened previously, for the autumn to winter season. Next month when the potatoes (six heritage varieties), courgettes and pumpkins are ready I’ll store some as seeds. The Urenika or peruperu (blue Maori potato) has been a winner as it looks great on the table and is disease resistant. I think I get more enjoyment being able to share the seed potatoes when people ask. It’s knowing people care about the quality and diversity of food they eat.
And thinking about planting for the cooler months ahead, I bought seeds of heritage varieties organically grown in our region. It’s always exciting to find different seeds and that will add variety to the menu – and stock of seed. This weekend, Ill be sowing my precious new seeds. The cauliflower is Violet Sicilian. It is described as having rosy-violet florets. Joe’s Lettuce is described as having large cartreuse grey leaves and sitting well over winter. The Salad Pea is described on the seed packet as low growing, edible shellout and having unusually shaped tendrils that taste like pea sprouts if picked when young. Manglebeet (I’ve never heard of this vegetable before) is described as extraordinary, like an enormous orange beetroot with a very sweet, pleasant and mild flavour when cubed and steamed. Apparently the tops are also edible. Nutty Celery is described as an outstanding, very disease resistant variety that can be picked by the stalk. As I’ve not grown these vegatables before, I’ll be watching each plant with close interest at every stage of their growth. Of course, the test will be in the taste.