Each variety of seed has its own little story to tell. Some are more exciting than others but this is the beginning of their history as seeds grown with love.


Aurora picking her first radishes.

Aurora picking her first radishes.

Martha Stewart Cherry Belle Radishes

I may be slightly exaggerating when I say I actually stole these seeds from Martha Stewart herself but there is a bit of truth to that. In 2010 I attended the Canada Blooms Expo to watch my friends Zel and Matthew give a presentation. They were on the same stage that had been used earlier in the day by Martha Stewart introducing her line of organic seeds. After they came off the stage I followed them back stage where the display she had used was sitting unattended. At the time another friend with us who was a passionate gardener started shoveling the seeds into her bag. I was shocked! When I asked her if she should be doing that she was frank and honest “Do you really think Martha Stewart needs them?” I concurred with her logic and was a bit more modest in taking one of each variety for what would be the very beginning of my seed saving days. These seeds managed to stay fertile in the five years since and were the first to be planted in my garden this summer, as well as the first to produce edibles. Here is a picture of Aurora helping with picking her very first ever fresh garden veggies.

wpid-wp-1446790395584.jpegFreedom Pumpkin

This variety has the longest lineage in this collection and is now on its third generation. The original pumpkin was brought home to Freedom House in 2011 by former roommate Lane. We didn’t cut it open until late November and when we did the seeds had started to sprout. Another roommate and I tried to keep them alive but they didn’t like growing indoors in winter and withered away. I still kept a few extra seeds from that pumpkin.

In 2013 I sprouted some of these seeds and gifted them to friends with garden space. Dearest sister friend Rebekah took one of these sprouts to a farm and it was planted in a heap of horse manure. When Aurora was just a few weeks old we paid a visit to find it had made ten HUGE pumpkins, one of which we brought home for Halloween. At that time, Aurora was still small enough to fit inside! Of course I saved the seeds from that pumpkin and grew them this year. They do fare much better in a pile of poo but we managed to grow four smaller size pumpkins including the one in her lap now.


You can see Mom’s Green beans growing in the terra cotta pot just below the red speck that is Aurora clinging to the garden fence last summer.

Mom’s Green Beans

This variety is also on it’s third generation and likely my most well traveled seeds, originating from my Mom’s backyard garden before she moved in 2011. I found them at the end of the season and saved them. Last year I sprouted them on the deck of my cabin, then moved them to my backyard container garden in the spring. Mid summer they were relocated still in their container again to my garden space at an old glass foundry. All this moving meant I harvested very little and most went to seed for my garden this year. They are special seeds that always make think of Mom.

Salvaging from the previous owner of my community garden plot last year.

Salvaging from the previous owner of my community garden plot last year.

Mayne Island Community Garden Kale

When I took over my community garden plot last year it came with a fully seeded kale plant from the previous grower. I saved some of the seeds and did use them in my garden this year, however the stock I have left are still from 2014 as the new seeds are not yet available. They germinated quite well this year and I’m sure are still very viable for next year.

Kidney beans make this collection far more colourful.

Kidney beans make this collection far more colourful.

Kidney Beans

The originating seed for these came from a special trip to a secret garden on Mayne Island with a friend. I collected several pods and planted them this year. These beans were the highest producing and tastiest while still young. So much so that Aurora ate most of what I might have liked to keep as stock for next year. It would have been nice to have enough to make chili.


Awards won for my garden at the Mayne Island Fall Fair. The Royal Burgundy Beans and Music Box Sunflowers are included in the seed stock to be won. You can find more information about the draw by clicking here.

Royal Burgundy Beans

These dark purple bush beans won me a first prize ribbon at the Mayne Island Fall Fair! Very little of my originating seed stock came directly from package and these almost weren’t in my garden at all. Very early in this grow season there was a deer breach of the fence line around the garden and much of my just starting beans took a big hit. I sat. I cried. And then I made a call to a nearby friendly gardener. Thankfully it was early enough in the season that I was able to seed another batch as was suggested and I took a look through my landlords collection to find this less common bean variety from West Coast Seeds. These were definitely another variety I wish I had been able to save a larger stock from.