October 2012


Squash, Zucchini
"Ortlana di Faenza"

New This Season:
Certified Organic Vegetable & Herb Seeds

Our sixty-two Certified Organic varieties are sustainably grown, promote genetic diversity, are easy to grow and taste great. Our seeds are sourced from small USDA Certified Organic seed growers, family farms and cooperatives who meet our high standards for germination, purity and the absence of seed-borne pathogens. We carefully evaluate each variety in our trial gardens before offering them to you.

Whether you plant our new Certified Organic seeds or choose from our large range of conventionally produced varieties, you can be confident that supporting ecological farming  and actively using and developing organic gardening techniques is integral to Renee’s Garden. We have signed the "Safe Seed Pledge" developed by The Council for Responsible Genetics and do not sell chemically treated or genetically engineered seeds.

 View A Sampler of Our 62 Certified Organic Varieties

"Italian Genovese"

"Garden Rainbow"

Seed Types: What's the Difference?

Selecting seed varieties can be a little daunting because there are lots of choices. To further complicate things, both the gardening press and the marketing arm of many of the seed catalogs sing the virtues of older open pollinated, heirloom varieties or sleek new hybrids, implying that one kind is better than the other or even more politically correct. What's a gardener to do!  Looking more closely at how open pollinated, heirloom and hybrid seeds are developed and come to market may bring some degree of clarity to the subject.

View: "Heirlooms, Hybrids and Open Pollinated: What's Best for the Home Garden"
Seeds 101: A Gardener's Glossary (.pdf)

Renee's Seed Info List with Type (hybrid, open pollinated, heirloom)

October in the Trial Garden
by Lindsay Del Carlo, Trial Garden Manager

Because we had late spring crops, we didn't get our sweet corn sown until July this season, so it wasn't until mid-September that we were harvesting ripe ears by the basketful. The trial had 2 yellows, 2 whites and 2 bicolors corns. We are always looking cultivars that offer well formed ears with full corn flavor and crisp juicy kernels. This year we were looking for corn that ripens intermittently to spread out the harvest so you don't have to pick and eat the ears all at once. While we found a few good varieties, none of them made our taste buds say WOW! So we won't be adding any from this trial.

We have harvested the Rouge Vif d’Etampes pumpkins grown from our new line of Certified Organic seed. These gorgeous heirlooms are not just lovely to look at, but are also good for pies, soups or casseroles. When the little fruits first formed on each plant, we picked off all but 1 or 2 little pumpkins, leaving just a few to get plump and full sized on each vine. They matured to be 18-19 inches in diameter with the wonderful flame color so characteristic of this antique variety.

Now that summer green beans have finished, we used the space for 4 different Daikon radishes. We want to find and choose the best variety to expanding our selection of root vegetables. Daikons germinate very quickly and are easy to grow. We are growing them under floating white row covers to protect them from the cabbage moths & root maggots that all too often attack our brassicas. By the end of November, we should be harvesting long, fine-fleshed white roots to enjoy in salads, stir fries and soups.

Come Visit Often!
Please visit our website to view all of our articles and online catalog. Ordering is quick, easy and secure. We look forward to hearing from you.

Best Wishes,
Renee Shepherd

What's On Renee's Blog
My Edible Front Yard: Year 3

Recipe of the Month
Drunken Apple-Pumpkin Pie

A dramatic finish adds fun to this delectable dessert



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