Workshop Event

Hi everyone;

It is that time of year again, and thankfully we do not have 3 feet of snow to hinder our efforts to host a seed saving hands-on workshop on the farm November 11 (after 11) until 4:30 and Saturday November 12 from 12 to 5.  I welcome you to participate as we will learn about seed saving and storage, with real life examples of all the things saved and dried this year and how to harvest them.  This course is part of the Organic Master Gardeners series I teach in Stony Plain every year and worth about $150.  So I am offering it free of charge as you will be helping me with the work and in return gaining valuable knowledge and life skills.  I would suggest you register with me anyway so I know who to expect.

Send an email to Denise – smileyo at xplornet dot ca

Make sure and spell that correctly and put seed workshop in the title.

If you only have part of the day to offer that is fine, I just need to know.  We will meet at the farm and divide into work stations and rotate around so everyone learns about the different aspects of seed harvest, cleaning, storage and so on.

Hope to see you here.  We will potluck a late lunch each day at about 1.  Bring your favorite snacks or whatever.   Thanks everyone!


Events and Dates

We will be offering seeds at the Sangudo and District Horticulture Club January Workshop, Jan 27, 2018 at the Sangudo Community School.  This is a great event with speakers Morgan Webb of the CHED Garden Show and Koen De Herdt of De Herdt Gardens in Barrhead speaking.  Check out the poster.  Registration is by Monday January 22.  So hurry.

2018 Sangudo Gardeners Day, registration.4.01.18

I will be speaking at the Alberta Organic Conference Feb 9 and 10 in Red Deer if anyone is going there.  We can visit and meet up if you like.  I will be back around for their seedy event in March I expect.

Also.  We will be at the following seedy Saturday and Sunday events:

March 10 -I will make a presentation on Seed harvesting and storage at the Seedy Saturday event, Stony Plain from 10-3 at the Multicultural Heritage Centre, 5411-51 Street, Stony Plain, AB

March  11?  Not sure yet.

March 17-  Calgary, Hillhurst/Sunnyside Community Hall.  10-3 pm.

Sunday March 18, 2018
                   11 a.m. till  4 p.m.
            At the Central Lions Seniors’ Recreation Centre
Hope to see you all there.

New offerings

Thought I might as well give you the run down on the new offerings while I am at it:

Beans:   dry types Mostoller Wild Goose, Odawa Soup bean, Mrocumere and Piros Fehrer, and one green filet type called Momma’s green, all at $3.50 each

Offerings from Mandy’s greenhouse seeds: Kentucky Wonder Green, Gold of Bacau and Snowcap – limited availability of each of these pole beans. For other bush beans:

Soldier, Pigeon, Henderson Bush Lima, Golden Wax, Yellow Wax Round Pod, Blue Lake Bush, Maine Yellow Eye, Navy White, Vermont Cranberry,  Lena’s Bird Eye, Thibodeau du Comte Beauce.  Each packet $2.50. Again, volume is limited.

Beets – We are offering Golden and Touchstone beets, which are both yellow.  Also White sugar, Albino and Detroit White which are sweet beets which are white.  Great beet flavor.  Also have Early Wonder, and Ruby Queen in the Red round variety.  We offered Red Ace last year as well and have a limited number of Shiraz and Turnip beets which are grown for greens.

Corn – Grew lots of sweet corn for the market garden this year so we are working on our own sweet open pollinated variety for short growing areas.  We will keep you informed as this is a long process of trialing.

Corn available now – Delight Bicolor and Double Standard (peaches and cream types), Butter and Sugar and peaches and cream standard.  We also have Seneca Chief which is a yellow sweet corn.

Fava Beans – We have winter fava and spring fava mixes for use as dry fava beans or to can to make your own Aquafaba.  Use water as a vegan egg white substitute for meringues and other creations!  Who knew?

Broad beans – There has been a resurgence of interest in the fibre rich broad beans.  We have Jubilee Hyssor and Masterpiece Green Long Pod, both great choices and massive producers.

Collard Greens – we have Groninger Blue, Georgia Southers, and Champion as well as Vates.  Great cooked with lemon and ginger or bacon.

Carrots – we are offering an open-pollinated version of Bolero, a popular storage nantes type.  We have also Nantes 1/2 longs which are just as sweet and long as scarlet Nantes if you ask me, Brilliance open, Tendersweet open, Berlicum and Rhumba and an Heirloom orange blend, as well as a few Yellow Carrots, Yellow Sun, Yellowstone, and Yellow Solar.  They are huge and sweet.  We also have the round small Paris Market carrots, Tonda di Pardi.  For red carrots we have Red Dragon, and only a few seeds of Deep Purple for sale.

Celery – Golden Self Blanching and Giant Prague as well as Red Venture of course and some leaf celery for soup use.

Cabbages, etc. – We have some Italian Sprouting Broccoli, Some Premium flat Dutch Cabbage as well as the others. And Kohlrabi is back including a limited amount of Superschmetz.  We also have pak choi seed and rainbow chard.

Cucumbers – We have an open pollinated pickling cucumber called Leanne’s Pioneer, Early Russian Pickling and Early Mincu.  Kaiser Alexander is a good one also.  We have Tendergreen Burpless slicer, Bushy, Sumter and Mandy has these on offer:  Lemon, Homemade Pickles, Earnest Family White, National Pickling, Morden Early, Poona Kheera, Parade, Russian Pickling and White Wonder.  By the way the white cucumbers are just as delicious and the flavor more intense than the green ones without the bitterness.

Eggplants you can grow out in the garden.  Start them indoors at the same time as tomatoes and put in a sheltered hot spot.  Water regularly and reap the rewards.  Did I hear anyone say Baba Ganoush? or Eggplant Parmagiana?  MMMM….  Three types which are winners are Ukrainian Beauty, Black Enorma and Black Pear.  Mandy has one called Ichiban. But any of the ones we offer will produce.  Check out the catalogue for more information.

Garlic is all planted until the fall.  With the market garden it suffered, so we are rebuilding stock.  Check back in the fall.

Gourds are fun to grow and we have many fun types including some Crown of Thorns and Speckled Swan types as well as the bumpy yellow types that make great cups later.

All the herbs are on offer, including Anise Hyssop, German and English thyme, spearmint, lemon balm, chervil and several types of cress.  Mandy lists stinging nettle as well which is a great substitute for spinach and can be boiled as such.  Very rich in minerals.

Lettuces from Mandy’s collection include:  Australian Yellow, Marvel of 4 seasons, Grandpa’s Admires, Italienischer Oakleaf, Ears of the Devil, Black Hawk, Cracoviensis, Red Eared Butterheart, Red Lephrachaun, Prizehead, Outredgeous, Midnight Ruffles, Lollo Rossa Dark, Strawberry Cabbage, Tom Thumb, Slobolt, Red Rumple Waved, Red Velvet, Rosso di Trento, Rouge D’Hiver, Sanguine Ameliore, Endive, Florellenschuus and Freckles.  She also offers an Arugula called sylvette.

I have added a few lettuce mixes to the list.  Italian spring mix and everything mix, which includes all you need to make a salad.

Melons/Canteloupe and Watermelons – Yes they grow well in Alberta and the hot dry summers are their bounty times.  We have Korean Sweet, and Supersweet Canteloupe (Halona open), and Banana, as well as Blacktail Mountain Watermelon and Orangeglo (yes an orange watermelon!)  Mandy offers Petite Gris de Rennes, Delicious 51 and Crane as well as Minnesota Midget.

A few more trees and fruiting shrubs.  We have Nanking Cherries, White Pine, and Colorado Blue Spruce.  As well as garden Huckleberries.

Parsnips – Albion, short thick, Andover and Kral.  We have Hamburg Rooted Parsley and Harris Model parsnip as well.

Peas – We are offering Dwarf Grey Sugar again which make great sprouts or for shoots grown in trays like wheat grass.  Mandy has Mummy White and a version of King Tutt with Blue Flowers.  This is the same one found in the tomb and brought back from extinction.  Now that is seed saving!!  We also have great peas for soup use including Lancaster Lad, Corne de Belier and Desiree as well as Dry Round.  Our sweet shelling peas include Top Pod and Knight.

Peppers!!  Grew lots this year.  We have these hot pepper to offer: Ampus Hot, Cayenne Red Thick, Purple Cayenne, Poblano, Marbles, Pretty Purple, Joe’s Cayenne, Bolivian Rainbow, Tabasco chili, Filus Blue, Thai Dragon, Trifetti, Purple Serrano, Ancho San Luis, Cayenne Chili, Ancho Gigantea, Ancho Poblano, Anaheim, Guajello, Golden Cayenne, Explosive Embers, Chech Black, Ring of Fire, Red Thai Dragon, Thai Chili, Large Red Cherry, Super Shepherd, Red Skin, Aji Amarilla, Esplette, New Mex Chili, Joe Parker Chili, and Padron.

Our sweet peppers on offer include: Gourmet, Red Belgian, Leut Schager, Cherry Sweet, Stocky Red, Jupiter, Etuida, Sheepnose Pimento, Feher Ozon, Frigitello Sweet, Italian Sweet and Healthy.  More in the catalogue too including a Rainbow King mix of large bell peppers and Doux des Landes.

Turnips – Large types include Wilhelmsburger, Champion Purple Top Best of All, Gelbe and Fortin Family.  Small types we have both the Purple top white globe and Purple top Milan.  Mandy has a very limited amount of Golden Ball turnips also.

New tomatoes this year – cherry type: Whippersnapper (earliest of all), Green Grape and Orange Pear.  Also available in larger types are Rosella Purple Dwarf, Starfire and Teton de Venice, with a unique large teardrop shape and a good thick skin for sauce. Also we have Polish Love apple, Cole, Andy Buckflat’s, Green Zebra, and Mountain Candy. Our new Beefsteak is sure to please.

We always have potatoes for eating or planting in all the varieties offered, so don’t be shy and get some any time.  New ones are Nikola for diabetics, and LaBella and Rose Marie.  All potatoes did fantastic this year and we have so many we have to give them to the foodbank.

Squashes – We have a butternut remix which is guaranteed to do better for you here in Alberta than the traditional Walthams.  Smaller but great producer.  We have small sugar pumpkin and Sweet Dumpling Squash (very good!) again, and Kamo Kamo.  Also have Helen’s Italian (similar to Japanese Hokkaido), Cheyenne Bush squash to use as you would any zucchini, sayda (in place of vegetable spagetti), and Turk’s Turban and Kabocha squash for soup.  Mandy brings these selections:  Honey Boat delicata, Long Island Cheese, Baby Bear, New England Pie, Papaya Pear, M’s Pink Ghost pumpkin, Wee Be Little Pumpkin, Banana Jumbo Pink, and Kuri Baby Red Hubbard as well as Lebanese White Bush squash.  Sorry we did not plant costata this year, will do next year!!

And finally – IF this is all too overwhelming, we can put together seeds for a family of 2 or 4 or more.  Just email us and let us know who you want to feed, what your likes and dislikes are and we can put together something that will please you.  Family of 2 packs start at about $40 but we can customize based on your size requirements and amount of space you have.  Family of 4 will be at least $75, but you will have plenty of seed including potatoes and other things to please, plus seed for the coming years as well.

Thanks and good growing in 2018.  I will have the new catalogue as soon as I can.


New orders for 2018

Hi there;

I have been getting many excited emails about the new catalogue.  Unfortunately it is not quite ready yet.  But I have worked on a new order form that you can use for the old catalogue just fine.  Might want to check with me for availability though.  Here it is. I am working on the catalogue now and the new site, still.  So expect some great changes soon.

Thanks again.

Order form

Garlic and Potatoes


Some of you have called requesting prices for potatoes and garlic.  Remember that the email is not sent to the right address if you don’t use smileyo at xplornet dot ca.  The email cannot be sent through the contact us link.  Somehow it goes to my old email and I cannot access that anymore.

Thanks everyone.  I have only Hutterite Purple, Russian Red and Music available this year as the weeds got the rest of the batch.  They are $4 a bulb.  Let me know soon, as I am planting out the bulk of it this next week.

Potatoes available for $.50 a lb if you order 50 lb or more, prices vary less than that.  We have many Linzer Delikatesses, which are a very nice white skin, yellow moist flesh large fingerling type for excellent home fries, boiling for potato salad all winter long and Italian style bakers.  We also have large French Fingerlings which are huge, and make good bakers, boiling and french fries.  Red skin and white flesh.  We have lots of Russian Blues (all purple throughout) good for baking, storage, boiling for purple mashed potatoes and potato salads.  We also have some Nikolas which are the new Low Glycemic potatoes for diabetics and those concerned about sugar content in potatoes.  We have Wendy’s purple which are a nice sized baking and boiling potato, purple skin and lighter purple than Russian Blue in the flesh.  We have some very hard to find varieties also like, Bliss Triumph (red skin, white flesh, excellent flavor), Crotte de Doubs ( long fingerling, large sized, somewhat crescent shaped purple skin and white flesh), Irish Cobbler (white skin, white flesh keeper, baking, boiling), Lukes Bush Cobbler, similar to Irish Cobbler, but for smaller gardens, All Reds (red in and out for pink mashers and baking).  Remember that all the colored potatoes have the same potato flavor and more antioxidant content than regular potatoes.  We have Rokos (red skin, white flesh) , Sante (white skin, white flesh) and Sangre (red skin, white flesh).  Also Rays Russian and Warba (white skin, pink eyes, white flesh excellent flavor multipurpose potatoes).  If you want to try a new kind or a mixed bag we can definitely accommodate that.  And if you want a trip out to the farm for old fashioned potato harvesting days, come on out and we will make a day of it.  We have carrots, green onions, parsley, turnips, parsnips, garlic, kale and chard still in the garden, and Pumpkins and Blue Hubbard squash also, so get all your fall harvest at once.  I have also some tomatoes for canning.  Give us a call ahead 780-785- two six two two.  Thanks to all, and happy Thanksgiving!!

You tube

See what we have been doing…

We presented at the Cultivating Connections Forum in Edmonton in February, with Michael Moore and others on Local food Innovations talking about food resiliency through local seed and local food from it.  Great minds, working together for local food security.