Monthly Archives: February 2014

7 reasons to grow food from seeds

Seeds are awesome. I love seeds. I feel rich when I look in my seed box and see how many different varieties of plants I can grow. Here are some of the reasons you might like to try growing from seed too:

7 reasons to grow food from seed1. You get what you want. There are so many more options when growing from seed. If you grow from seed you will NOT be at the mercy of garden centres or greenhouses where choices are limited. Often these places will grow what grows well, and provide a narrow range of choices. Flipping through seed catalogues, you can read descriptions, look at photos, and decide what sounds good to you, and give it a try in the garden.

2. Controlling the process allows you to be organic (or not). You will know what the plants were treated with from the very beginning, and you can stay away from pesticides and synthetic fertilizers that are often used in greenhouses.

<quick commercial break: at the bottom is a tool that will tell you when to start from seed. Try it for FREE>

3. Seeds are cheaper than transplants. The bigger your garden, the more you save by starting from seed.

4. It’s so fun to watch the tiny plants poke through the soil. It fills me with the wonder of life. Every. Time. It’s amazing how something soooo tiny can grow to such enormous sizes and eventually take over the garden (in the case of oregano or mint, at least).

5. If you grow from seed, you can save seed from the plants in your garden. This adds up to even more savings over time.

6. Storing seeds is kind of like banking food. It’s an investment in the future. If for some reason your finances fail you, you still have the option of eating good food if you’ve got a storehouse of seeds from a variety of plants.

7. The act of growing from seed, when shared with children, ensures that the basic knowledge of keeping the human race alive gets passed on to the next generation. If you have children in your life, in whatever capacity, grow a few things from seed and share the experience with them. It’s important for kids to know where their food comes from (and adults too!).

Seed Planting Calculator

If the timing of growing from seed seems overwhelming, you might want to try out The Planting Time Calculator. Basically, you just enter your spring and fall frost dates and the spreadsheet will automatically calculate planting times for 70+ veggies and herbs.

It will tell you when to start from seed, when to transplant into the garden if seeds are started indoors, when you can expect harvest, and if you can sow multiple crops in one season. If you want to grow using cold frames, there are also dates provided for that.

Try the Veggie Planting Time Calculator for Free

The Veggie Planting Time Calculator LITE is a FREE DEMO version with only 10 types of plants. You can download it for free to see how the spreadsheet works before purchasing the FULL Veggies and Herbs Planting Time Calculator.

Veggie Planting Time Calculator LITE

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Veggies and Herbs Planting Time Calculator FULL

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Thank you for reading! Please contact me if you have any questions.




seedling orders 2014

This year I have not one but TWO seedling catalogues to share with you.

pre-order veggie seedlings 2014Good news – I found a kindred spirit on my street here in Hamilton! Janice grows tomatoes like you wouldn’t believe. There are 81 varieties on her list this year, and you can order from the whole list. She only grows the tastiest tomatoes – if it doesn’t taste good it gets rejected. Even if it’s pretty, like my Silvery Fir Tree tomatoes. I will have a few tomatoes on offer, but please order from Janice because she is a pro. Her tomatoes will definitely be bigger and better looking than mine.

We both grow organically, using organic soil and untreated seeds. You can contact us via email with your orders. Contact info is in the catalogues, but if you have trouble finding it you can connect with me via the contact link at the top of this page.

Please order BEFORE March 28, Thanks! Plants will be available for pickup the week before the Victoria Day weekend.


Janice is selling her tomatoes for $3.50, they are big plants, beautiful heirloom organic delicious beauties.

pre-order heirloom tomato plants

Everything else:

My plants are $3 each pot, up from $2.50 last year. The number of plants per pot is as follows:

Single: tomatoes, peppers, sunflowers, ground cherries

Double: calendula, nasturtium, brassicas, squash, cucumbers, melons

Multiple: herbs, greens

Seedling Catalogues: (PDF)

Janice’s 2014 Heirloom Tomato Plant List

sarah’s kitchen gardens catalogue 2014

If you have any questions please let me know. Janice and I both look forward to growing seedlings for you this year.



gardening for seed saving workshop

Why save seeds? Well, for a few different reasons:

gardening with seed saving in mind1. Money is probably the least of them, because one packet of seeds doesn’t really cost that much in the grand scheme of things. However, if you are like me and have an addiction to seeds, it can end up costing more than you want to admit. So, if you can save some money, even if it’s a small amount, it will add up to larger savings over time. Of course, if you end up using the saving of seeds as an excuse to buy even more rare and wonderful seeds, since you have that extra money kicking around…. well…. I can relate.

2. Food security – you can grow your own food, even if you suddenly find yourself unable to purchase seeds (for whatever reason….!).

3. The more people we have saving heirloom seeds, the less likely they will become extinct. Diversity is important for maintaining the health of our planet.

4. It teaches children about the cycle of life. If you have kids in your life, share this with them. It’s one way to help out us humans as a species. Knowing where food comes from is a survival skill that many are lacking these days.

This workshop:

Growing Seeds: How to Garden with Seed Saving in Mind

If you’re growing heirloom tomatoes or open pollinated varieties of beans, you probably also want to save some seeds for next year. Learn how to set up your garden for maximum seed saving ability, and how to avoid ending up with cross-pollinated seeds that don’t breed true to the original plant.

Generally, plants within the same species will cross-pollinate. If you’re interested in a long list of vegetable varieties and the species they fall under, please feel free to download the following free PDF file. It contains Family, Genus, and Species information for vegetable plants that are grown in home gardens. You can use this information to determine which plants need to be isolated, and which ones don’t.

The workshop will give a full explanation of isolation techniques and more information about various vegetable plants, so please come to the Seedy Saturday in Kitchener at the Country Hills Branch of the Kitchener Public Library. My workshop is free and will take place at 1:15. I hope to see you there!



Species List of Vegetable Plants

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