by Nicole Wines
Every year in the late winter and early spring, Francisco and I get together to sort through the Raíces EcoCulture seed collection and get planting, both in our plots and in our greenhouse. This year, our seed starting days were held the week before, and the weekend of, the Spring Equinox.
This is only about half of our Raíces Seed Library collection-all donated to be planted for seed saving by members of the Raíces Seed Library, as well as harvest for donation to local food agencies like Elijah’s Promise.
The first seeds to go in the ground are peas. Spring weather came a little bit early this year, so we planted a test crop of early peas around one of our garden plots. Despite a little snow storm today, on the first day of spring, we know these peas are germinating and about to start poking up through the ground. Next week we will start sowing hardy greens as well.
We planted sugar snap peas, shelling peas and snow peas, two varieties of each, along about 100′ worth of fencing. Peas are climbers, so the fence will give them support as they grow. The flowers will attract pollinators to the garden plot, with it’s pretty white flowers that will later turn into tasty pea pods that also double as seed pods for seed saving.
Most of our Raíces EcoCulture indoor seed starting began this week. We planted thousands of seeds for over 100 varieties of vegetables, herbs, and flowers in flats to germinate inside, which will be transferred to the greenhouse as they sprout.
Check out our photo gallery below to see images from this year’s seed starting, as well as some of the seeds we are starting out with-saved by us from our EcoCulture garden plots, returned by members of the Raíces Seed Library, and donated by Hudson Valley Seed Library, thanks to nominations from our friends, family and supporters! Click the photos to see them full sized.
Prepping seed trays with seed starting medium.
Stacking seedling trays, ready for planting.
Lining up herb seeds to plant for the Raíces EcoCulture gardens and our 2016 seedling sale.
I didn’t know where to start…so many seeds and so many trays!
Over 35 varieties of herbs were planted over the weekend of the Spring equinox.
Planting herb seeds.
One by one, the seeds go into the trays.
A sea of seedling trays, filled with veggies, herbs and flowers.
Our 2016 donation from the Hudson Valley Seed Library. Thank you to everyone who nominated us. This donation brought our total varieties available to members up to 225!
Our latest addition to the Raíces EcoCulture Seed Library from the 2015 growing season…lentils! These are being distributed in 2016 to our members located in cooler growing regions, where lentils will be happier and more prolific, to help us build up to availability for all members in 2017.
Raíces Seed Library seeds grown out, saved and returned in the 2015 growing season by Sadie from allnaturalme.com
Miniature calendula flower harvested in December 2016. These adorable flowers bloomed so late we were only able to collect seeds from one seed head. We will be growing out more of these in 2016 and making them available to members of the Raíces Seed Library in 2017.