Eagleridge Seeds

Organic seeds grown on Salt Spring Island, BC

New for 2014

Welcome to our revamped and expanded website for 2014. Check back as more new items and pictures are being posted. It has been a huge seed harvest this year, just finishing up processing after a long 4 months.Please check the links page for BC Farms and Food who came to tour our farm this summer. Just posted some new videos and articles from their visit. Our thanks to them for capturing the spirit of our place !

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Design Notes for Your Organic Garden

Introduction to the Flower Collection

Our flowers are equally at home in the border and the vegetable garden. We specialize in rare and heirloom varieties. Our aim is to preserve and protect them. They are durable, drought resistant, and some are edible. They all attract beneficial insects to keep the pests at bay. They are companion flowers, which makes them beneficial to the vegetables they are grown with. Butterflies and hummingbirds are attracted to them. Most of all, they are beautiful.

 

Companion Planting

This is the treasured and ancient art of combining plant groups and flowers together for the maximum benefit of each other. Here are some traditional choices.

Plant marigolds near tomatoes to deter white fly. Oregano, basil and zinnias enhance tomato production. Mint family likes tomatoes.

Beets and broccoli both love alkaline soil conditions and grow very well together.

The brassica family also attracts the white cabbage moth and grey aphids, both serious pests. Plant hyssop or mint to deterthe moth and strong herbs, like the sage family and nasturtiums will help against the aphids.

Onions and garlic repel many small insects, so interplant in many areas of your garden. Avoid planting them with potatoes. Planting chives around the bottom of rose bushes really helps.

Peppers enjoy onions, garlic and nasturtiums. Cauliflower and spinach grow well together.

Cucumbers, squash and corn grow well together and are enhanced by zinnias, nasturtiums and marigolds.

Radishes enhance cucumbers. Radishes and lettuce together increase the tenderness of both. Lettuce can also be interplanted between onions, garlic, bush beans and basil to the benefit of them all. Petunias also protect beans.

Carrots benefit peas, lettuce and radish. Dill is bad for carrots. Peas shadelettuce.

 

Protect squash with nasturtiumsagainst the squash bug and pumpkin beetle.

Basil and Shoo fly plant repels flies. Mosquitos don’t like basil. Catnip repels the flea beetle. Lovage and Lemon Balm are all round garden improvers.

Chamomile improves the growth and flavour of cabbage and onions.

 

Planting to attract Beneficial insects

There are 2 important reasons to plant flowers and herbs to attract beneficial insects. They are essential to pollinate and will balance out possible infestations of pests.

Here is a list of varieties we use on our farm.

 

 

 

 

Herbs-

Figwort/ The Sage family / Parsley / Feverfew / Lavender / Lemon balm / Angelica / Bergamot / Fennel / Hawkweed / Lovage / Yarrow / Oregano/ Thyme

Flowers-

Verbena Bonariensis / Perennial Salvias / Asters

Vegetables-

Cress / Mustard / Saxifraga Burnet / Kale / Allow some to flower.

In planning for this, we tuck these varieties all over the gardens, along the edges of our raised beds, in rock walls, and have designated areas as flower beds. Then we can plant our crops where they can benefit most from their proximity to them.

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Perennial Food Crops

Growing and Protecting Perennial Winter Vegetables

Perennial heirloom vegetables thrive on Salt Spring Island. They love our wet autumn conditions and survive our winter temperatures with very little effort on our part. It takes a little planning then very little maintenance, to enjoy these nutritious plants. They taste best at this time of year right thru the following spring, then go to seed in the summer. Once they complete this cycle, cut them back, and they will begin again.

Location is key. Find a spot in your garden space that drains well and allows easy access during the winter. An in ground raised bed is ideal .Use mulches of straw or leaves to protect them during the coldest parts of winter. When the coldest temperatures are forecast, put aside some dry mulch to lightly cover your whole plant. Once the cold snap is past, just pull the cover back .Keep the mulch in place throughout the growing season.

These plants can be started from seed in the spring or late summer. I will include here some of the many varieties we raise for seed and have been growing on our farm for many years now.

 

Variegated Cress is a beautiful spicy salad addition, with leaves of cream yellow and green that grow in a nice rosette 10 inches across. Sylvetta Arugula has small olive green leaves which peak in the summer thru fall and regrow again. Pink Plume Celery, which is very rare, has thin pinkish red stalks with bright green leaves. Forms a nice dense bush 8-10 inches tall . The flavour is rich in the cool times of the year, sweet and delicious .Bronze Fennel is a stunning architectural plant that grow to 6 feet tall in summer, with delicious licorice flavoured greens which emerge in very early spring .Perennial Bunching Onion / Sperling Toga Onion and He Shi Ko Onion are all useful for fall thru to late spring as fresh green onions that emerge right thru the snow. Salad Burnet, which dates back to Elizabethan England forms a beautiful small bush of blue /green half inch leaves with gentle scalloped edges. The taste is similar to cucumber ,a very refreshing salad addition. Mitsuba, from Japan thrives in the fall garden right thru spring. Delicious triangular soft green leaves form a nice cluster 6 inches across .Giante D’Italia Parsley, which self seeds regularly once you establish a space for it, is one of my favourite greens, the taste is so sweet in the winter. The leaves are soft green, form a fan shaped clump and have a flat shape with deep jagged edges.
 

Most of these plants would not be considered deer proof and could be grown in large pots if you keep them near your house and protect them during the coldest weather. The snow does act as insulation with mulch.

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Notes for 2011 from Emily

 
Emily Kedar
the time i've spent with Marsha on the farm has been one of unending abundance. The gratitude I have for the space of solace and patience will grow richer with each passing season, like the earth that we've cared for together. Eagleridge is just that, a space of endless and diverse abundance. From turning beds, to transplanting tomatoes, to harvesting seeds, to drinking tea by the happy hum of the seedhouse, every moment in the garden offers its own sense of joy. Being with Marsha in the earth, has allowed me to rub up against the joy of service and humility and has shown me that nature gives freely and in great joy and so I too can move through the world as an agent of that same gracious giving spirit. Getting my hands dirty and digging right down into the roots has allowed me to understand my relationship with nature, and therefore with myself. it's important to know what we eat, where it comes from and how its cultivated. Whether you are working at Eagleridge, enjoying the fruits of the harest, or planting your own seeds we've harvested, the experience will be of one of great bliss and love, because that's how we've tended each and every tender stalk. Eagleridge Gardens is a steadfast and sustainable example of what happens when we take the time to cultivate the great garden that is our home. ♥
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Seedy Saturday

A warm thank you to our wonderful host at Qualicum Beach Seedy Saturday on February 5. The attendance and support for local agriculture was an inspiration. We now look forward to our own local event February 12. Then back on the road to Victoria Convention Center on February 19, followed by Courtenay on March 5. The last event will be Duncan on March 26.

 

We look forward to meeting you all, sharing seeds, advice and the wonderful history of heirloom seeds.

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