Friday, April 30, 2010

Seeds, Seeds, Seeds!

By: Gwen Miner, Supervisor of Domestic Arts
Heirloom Seeds have been occupying some part of all my work days for the last twelve weeks, from ordering them to packaging them to now actually planting them in the hot frames.

For those of you who read my previous post in February, you will wonder if I found a seed variety that I was looking for. The answer is yes: thanks to the internet and our seed supplier, I was able to purchase the elusive Boston Marrow Squash seed. It was pricey, but it will be worth it when we harvest and finally get to cook some. Boston Marrow is a winter squash that matures in 90-100 days, weighing between 10 to 20 pounds and if kept cool and dry it will last until the following spring. The squash has been prized historically for its rich deep orange flesh with a fine texture. The Boston Marrow Squash has two hundred years of documented history. The following are two of the common stories regarding the origin of the squash. The first one is that the seed was probably brought from South America by an American sea captain in the early 19th century. The other is that it originated in upstate New York and was seed that the Native Americans gave to the European Settlers. Either way, it was introduced in 1831 to the public from Salem, Massachusetts as the Boston or “Autumnal” Marrow Squash.

For the past 6 weeks we have been packing seeds to sell in Todd’s General Store here at the museum and for the 4-H Heirloom Seed Project that we have sponsored for the past twenty plus years. We buy the seed in bulk and then pack them in envelopes that are printed in the Middlefield Printing Office using a design that is found on early hand-folded Shaker seed packets.
We offer for sale 36 different Heirloom Vegetable varieties, 8 different Herbs and 14 different Heirloom Flowers. If you are interested in purchasing seeds, stop in the store or email Josh at j.harley[at]
In addition to packing we just finished setting up two hot frames. At the Lippitt Farmhouse my co-worker Patrick MacGregor and I set up the frame last week and I planted it with our tomatoes, cabbage and melons on Tuesday, April 13.
In addition to that hot frame, Patrick built a new and improved one that we installed in the work yard at Bump Tavern to start five different varieties of Heirloom Tomatoes in peat pots for our annual Heritage Plant Sale on Memorial Day weekend.
We are beginning to plow up the field garden and beginning to work up the kitchen garden to ready them for planting. We will be planting some potatoes in the next couple of weeks, but will be waiting until the middle to last of May to plant seeds of most of the varieties of heirloom vegetable varieties that we grow. Hopefully, we will have a good growing season this year.

No comments:

Blog Widget by LinkWithin