Bulk Me Up
Thanks to membership evaluations since 2003, the Sanctuary has come to know many of the most tasty, hardy, reliable, nourishing and useful crop cultivars. It is quickly becoming crucial to have lots of seeds of them not just a small container’s worth. These, after all and possibly very soon, could be the seeds of our survival.
We are asking you to help us multiply some of the varieties that really stand out. If you could grow out one or more of them, keep some seed for yourself and send the rest back to us, you could really help us in getting these great foods popularized and available for large plantings. We would also be most happy and grateful to hear how they grew for you and if you have any interesting recipes for them. Information on saving and sending seed for the Seed Sanctuary.
The following are the Bulk Me Up seeds for 2015:
2011, we started asking our members to help us bulk up some of the more important seeds in our collection. We intend to make these seeds available to the Seed Sanctuaries & Seed Libraries sprouting up across Canada. Below are the cultivars we would like your help in bulking up this year. Please let us know if you would like to help increase our quantities of these varieties or if your community seed bank would like some of the seeds.
Ojo de Venado
Grown in a greenhouse in 2014, this very prolific medium- size cherry stayed healthy and kept producing long after all other tomatoes were done. A classic Mexican variety that has been grown by the Zapotec Indians for hundreds of years.
Poona Kheera Cucumber
(Cucumis sativus) Wonderful heirloom from India that starts producing edible fruit in about 60 days. Light green or cream cukes are sweet, mild, crisp and juicy. Fruit are somewhat potato- shaped with the skin turning brown as they ripen. They are good eating even when they look over-ripe. Disease-resistant, hardy and very productive. Grow well without support. Will cross with other cucumbers so best to not have other cultivars nearby for seed saving.
Berta Telaska Pole Bean
(Phaseolus vulgaris) Very pretty maroon and cream bean with rich hearty flavour. Vigorous climber. Portuguese heirloom.
(Cucumis melo) Awesome melon for cooler climates. Green flesh is an intoxicating blend of sweet and spicy. Round attractive fruit are 2-4 pounds. 75-85 days. Needs to be isolated from other melons for seed saving.
White Runner Bean
(Phaseolus coccineus) Vigorous climber. Large white seeds have fantastic flavour and texture both fresh and dried. Keeps on produc- ing. These won’t cross with regu- lar beans but will do so with Scar- let Runner Beans so shouldn’t be grown with them if saving seed.
Ugandan Bush Bean
(Phaseolus vulgaris) Beautiful oval, jade-coloured bean. Early and prolific, they have excellent flavour and texture as a cooked dry bean.
Bumble Bee Bean
(Phaseolus vulgaris) Maine heir- loom named for the size of its seeds. Striking white seeds with a dark maroon-black splash at the eye. 5” long pods on 16” plants. Mild-flavoured dry bean that is excellent for soups and salads.
Littlefield’s Bush Snap Bean
(Phaseolus vulgaris) Similar to Jacob’s Cattle but makes a good fresh snap bean as well as a fine cooking bean. Its colours are black and white instead of burgundy and white. Matures to dry beans in about 80 days.
(Vicia faba) Small-seeded fava often referred to as field, tic or bell bean. Seeds are a rich earthy brown and olive mix. Deli- cious cooked dry bean. Best to not overcook them or the skin becomes tough. Great cover crop that can overwinter on the coast. Will cross with other favas so best to grow alone for seed sav- ing purposes.
Harry Burton's Shelling Pea
From Salt Spring Island's own Captain Apple! Extremely produc- tive pea. Delicious shelling pea climbing to over 8 feet.
Swedish Red Pea
Incredibly productive and delicious dry pea. Unusual claret-coloured seeds turn chocolate brown on cooking. 7-8 foot vines. 15 pounds per 50 feet of trellis.
Shiny Black Amaranth
(Amaranthus sp) Purple-flowered plants that can often grow over 8 feet high. Black glowing seeds smell like chocolate as they cook, have a sweet flavour and pleasant texture, with an aftertaste like corn. Harvest when seeds rub readily from the flowering stalks and dry for a few more days. Simmer 10- 12 minutes in an equal volume of water. 3 plants can yield up to 1 kg or 1/3 million seeds!
The following are the Bulk Me Up seeds for 2014:
Peas, favas, lentils and chickpeas are all cool weather crops that can be planted very early in the growing season.
New Mexico heirloom, originally introduced from Sapporo, Japan in 1929. High yields of small, olive coloured beans with dark brown saddle. Great eating quality. Usually dry by mid-Aug.
Black Jet Soybean
2-foot plants are early maturing and good yielders of medium-sized jet black beans. Thin skinned with rich flavour.
Commercial variety from Ontario. Yellow, multi-purpose soybean with high protein content. High yielding.
Manitoba Brown Soybean
2-foot prolific bushes. Flavour most like a regular baking bean but richer. Yummy edamame.
Great short-season variety. High yields of flavourful bright green beans. Excellent edamame soybean and also a fine dry bean. 2-foot plants.
Grand Forks Soybean
Two-tone gold and brown seeds that look like kids' candies. Sweet, buttery, nutty and very digestible. Doukhobor heirloom from Grand Forks, BC
The following are the Bulk Me Up seeds for 2013
Pearl Pea (Pisum sativum)
This pea is well-named, as the peas do look like little pearls when you cook them up. They are a smooth, round, creamy white pea with a rich, delicious flavour. The plants climb to 6 feet and over and are prolific producers. Peas have the largest production in volume of all special crops in Canada and we export 99% of them.
Andy’s Broad Bean (Vicia faba)
This fava has been selected for over 30 years by Andy Pollock of northern BC. It produces copious amounts of large green seeds. It is a good fresh bean as well as an excellent cooked dry bean with tender skins.
Green Lentil (Lens culinaris)
Lentils are very drought tolerant, self-pollinating, nitrogen fixing annuals to about 2 feet high. Rather than pick individual pods (which are small), it is easiest to pull up entire plants when the
bottom pods have dried and let them finish drying under cover and then rub the seeds off.
Desi Chick-pea (Cicer arietinum)
These are a smaller seed garbanzo that one of our Board members, Rupert Adams, acquired in India at the Navdanya Institute. They have done extremely well for us so far. Dark brown angular seeds, they are delicious eaten fresh or dried.
The following are the Bulk Me Up seeds for 2012:
Hi Yield Quinoa (Chenopdium quinoa)
Quinoa ("keen-wa") has been cultivated for at least 5000 years. It will germinate in fairly cool conditions and prefers light, well-drained soil. It looks like lambs-quarters and has nutritious flavourful greens. By midsummer, a large seedhead develops, loaded with millet-like seeds. In dry autumns, seeds can be harvested after the leaves have dried and fallen by simply stripping them from the stalk between thumb and forefinger. Ripe seeds can sprout right on the plant in wet conditions; it¹s often best to safeguard the quinoa harvest by cutting the stalks and allowing them to completely mature under protection.
Quinoa is 15-16% protein and is high in E and B vitamins, calcium, iron and phosphorous. It is easy to digest and has a delicious flavour. It must be thoroughly rinsed before cooking and is then prepared like rice. (Less rinsing is required if mixed with other grains.) Simmer it for 15 minutes in an equal volume of water. Quinoa can cross with its weedy relatives, so it's best to weed out the much more branching lambs-quarters if you wish to save seed for next year.
Cossack Pineapple Ground Cherry (Physalis pubescens)
A cousin of Tomatillos from Eastern Europe. Delicious lemon-yellow berries are encased in a papery husk. Eaten out of hand, they make a wonderful garden snack. They give a pineapple flavor to preserves, desserts and other dishes. Start and grow like tomatoes but the plants don't need to be staked. Gather the Ground Cherries when they have fallen to the ground.
Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
Sometimes called Pot Marigold, Calendula is an annual with light-yellow-to-orange blossoms that brings sunshiny brightness to gardens for most of the year. Usually about two feet high, it has coarse surfaces and many branches. The flower heads are from two to three inches across and have several rows of ray florets and a central cluster of tubular flowers.
Calendula blossoms appear about six weeks after planting and will keep blooming until the first snows. This is an electric mix of yellows and oranges. An extremely hardy plant that flowers here on the coast even in winter.Calendula petals are often used in skin lotions and are a special salad addition. Stagger plantings for continuous display. Calendula self-sows readily.
Golden Flax (Linum usitatissimum)
The seeds of this variety are very high in Omega-3 fatty acids. They are not as mucilaginous as other varieties and are scrumptious eaten out of hand or added directly to breads, muffins or cereals. The plants have very pretty blue flowers about knee high that appear daily only to disappear until the next day¹s glorious display. Seeds can be sown in mid-spring and harvested in late summer by rubbing the seedheads between the hands into a bucket.
Laurel's Frilly Kale (Brassica napus)
Gorgeous frilly kale from Laurel of Laurel¹s Kitchen cookbook fame. This is a long standing, heat and cold tolerant, delicious tight frilled kale that over winters readily on the coast.
The following are the Bulk Me Up seeds for 2011:
Blue Tinge Ethiopian Wheat
This dark wheat sometimes matures in only 90 days here on the west coast and has a delicious flavour as a cooked whole grain. Both seeds and seed heads have a blue tinge in the right light. It is an emmer wheat although, unlike most emmers, the hulls are easily threshed. The protein content is 16 per cent.
A creamy/tan round seed that makes an excellent legume for soups and stews. Huge yields of up to a pound per ten square feet. Self-supporting and makes a great cover crop.
Black Turtle Dry Bush Bean
One of the very best flavoured dry beans. Makes a good snap bean too and is extremely productive.
Wild Cherry Tomato
Super sweet, small red fruit with cherry-like flavour. Outstanding blight resistance. Produces 100s of fruit on each plant. Spreads to form a dense mass to 7 feet in every direction. Self-sows readily. Extremely high in vitamin C.
Selected for over 3 decades by Andy Pollock in Houston, northern BC. These are early, rich-flavoured 4-10 ounce tomatoes that keep coming and coming. Good blight resistance. The plants need staking to carry the weight of all their tomatoes.
Exhibition Longpod Fava
Pam Gordon, of Hornby Island, BC, has been growing this variety for 40 years. It is a tall heavy-yielding cultivar with light greenish white seeds that was first introduced in 1845. Could cross with other fava varieties so needs to be grown by itself.