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Answers to a few of your questions, Part One

I've had so much interest about the garden and I thought it might be good to answer a few basic questions.

1) Why grow from seed, isn't it just easier to buy the plants from your local nursery? YES, it certainly is easier, but here are a few things to consider. If you buy your plants, you have far less choice in which varieties to grow and you really don't know from where your plants have come. Finally, if you are trying to grow 100% organic and non GMO, you need to grow from seed.

2) Where do you get your seeds? There are some really good sites and you can order many seed catalogs, but I personally like Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds in Mansfield MO. They actually have three locations, one in Petaluma CA and another in Wethersfield CT. Their catalog is great and really well organized, or you can order online at

3) What are you growing and why? I like to try a broad variety of vegetables and I have decided on the following mix.

Tomatoes: I grow three types of tomatoes, ones for cooking, ones for slicing and ones to just pop in your mouth.

  • Costoluto Genovese- Perfect tomato for slicing but also good for preserving and sauce.
  • Amish Paste - Perfect for sauces, plum shaped.
  • San Marzano - Classic Italian plum tomato for sauces. High producer, and tends to run, so needs to be staked securely.
  • Sweet Carneros Pink - Lots of intense tomato taste. Perfect eating tomato.
  • Isis Candy Cherry - Great cherry tomato with lots of stripes and colors.
  • Fox Cherry - A large cherry variety with huge taste.

Beans: I love my beans, so I've settled on beans which can be shelled and also beans which can be cooked in their pod.

  • Dragon Tongue Bean - This is a beautiful plant and produces amazing multi colored beans which are best lightly steamed or blanched and served simply. Great bean flavor.
  • Henderson's Black Valentine - This is a old time green pole bean which is easy to grow and a heavy producer.
  • Henderson's Bush Lima - This is the perfect "butter bean", made for shelling and cooking.
  • Improved Maestro Peas - These are traditional English style green peas. They don't like the heat, so get them in early. Pick when young for pea pods or let mature for proper green peas. There is nothing much better than fresh peas made into a risotto or just cooked lightly and served with butter, salt and a little black pepper.
  • Laxton's Progress #9 - A green pea variety that just sounded good, and you can never have too many peas, as the season is so short.


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