Beans and Peas
Andy’s Broad Bean
Vicia faba. Selected for over 3 decades by Andy Pollock in northern BC. Large green seeds. Huge production. Excellent cooked dry bean with tender skins.
Vicia faba Small black-seeded fava on branching 3-foot plants. Excellent taste and texture as a dry bean if soaked overnight, then simmered for 50 minutes. From Salt Spring’s George Laundry.
Jim Ternier’s Fava
Vicia faba Small-seeded fava often referred to as field, tic or bell bean. Seeds are a rich, earthy brown and olive mix. Delicious cooked dry bean. Great cover crop that can overwinter on the coast.
Chickpea of Spello
Cicer arietinum Bushy 2-foot plants produce an abundance of small cream-coloured chickpeas. Sweet, mild, smooth-skinned beans can be eaten fresh or dried. Originally from a famous chickpea growing region of Italy.
Cicer arietinum. Earthy brown angular chickpea with a thickish seed coat. Multi-purpose pulse and delicious when eaten fresh from the garden! A gift from Rupert Adam’s visit with Dr.Vandana Shiva of Navdanya (School of the Seed) in India.
Harry Burton’s Pea
Pisum sativum. From Salt Spring’s own Captain Apple! Very productive and delicious shelling pea, climbing to over 8 feet.
Swedish Red Pea
Pisum sativum Incredibly productive and delicious dry pea. Unusual claret-coloured seeds turn chocolate brown on cooking. Vines climb to 7 feet and more. 15 pounds per 50-feet of trellis. Also called “Biskopens”.
Pisum sativum. Very fine climbing edible-pod pea of French origin. Awesome large 4-5″ long pods, tender from beginning to end of season. Dried pea has a great beany flavour when cooked.
Gold Harvest Pea
Pisum sativum. Rare and excellent dry bean for cooking. The large orange/yellow peas glow as they are shelled and will make you glow with satisfaction when you eat them because of their chestnut-like flavour. 3-foot plants are self-supporting if planted in blocks. Very high production.
Berta Telaska Pole Bean
Phaseolus vulgaris. Super productive Portuguese heirloom with large pods and beautiful maroon seeds splotched with cream. Growing to 8 feet or more. Delicious as a snap bean and excellent as a dry bean, with a potato texture and a nutty flavour. Very early.
Phaseolus vulgaris. Small black bean with full rich flavour. Ready end of August. Good snap bean & great dry bean. Very productive.
Celina’s Pole Bean
Phaseolus vulgaris. Fresh snap bean from Portugal. Succulent large green pods that melt in your mouth. Grows 6-8 feet. 8 inch pods with 7-8 white beans in each. Excellent mild-flavoured cooking bean that resembles cannellini bean and is wonderful for spreads, dips and soups.
Tanya’s Pink Pod Bean
Phaseolus vulgaris. The large, flat pods are a most striking and unusual iridescent pink colour. They stay as excellent snap beans for a long time and turn green on steaming. Also a very good cooked dry bean that is perfect with just a little oil and salt. A low growing bush bean that you will be picking fresh after about seven weeks and as a dry bean at around 90 days
Tiger Eye Bush Bean
Phaseolus vulgaris. One of the most visually striking dry beans with burgundy swirls on a mustardy yellow background. Cooks to a buttery smooth texture.
Ruckle Bush Bean
Phaseolus vulgaris. Mild, sweet, white kidney bean for soup and baking. Salt Spring Island heirloom from Gwen Ruckle. Very early and productive.
Phaseolus vulgaris. High yielding and early bush bean. Famous as a baking and chili bean. Excellent cultivar.
Tarbais Pole Bean
Phaseolus vulgaris. Large white bean grown for centuries in southwestern France. Huge and vibrant producer. Excellent for soups and stews.
White Runner Bean
Phaseolus coccineus Large white runner bean. Vigorous climber. White seeds have fantastic flavour and texture both fresh and dried. Keeps on producing.
Lepidium sativum Peppery, succulent and longstanding. Consistent and dependable.
Fothergill’s Perpetual Spinach
Beta vulgaris. This Beet Leaf Perpetual Spinach is an easier, more reliable and milder alternative to spinach. Not as much oxalic acid as regular chard. It can be direct sown April to mid-August and can be harvested most of the year. Resists bolting. Thin to a foot apart.
Petroselinum crispum. Easily survives coastal winters. Flat-leaved. Deliciously sweet and flavourful in winter and spring.
Beta vulgaris. Extremely popular, recently introduced variety. Very cold hardy. Lasts well in the winter on the coast.
Green Oak Leaf Lettuce
Lactuca sativa. Deeply scalloped long leaf. Forms large deep-green rosettes. Long standing. Good flavour with a sweet aftertaste. Self sows. Introduced 1771.
Lactuca sativa. Great romaine. Glossy, cup-shaped, slightly fringed leaves with big hearts. Very sweet, crisp and nutty, with a buttery hint.
Laurel’s Frilly Kale
Brassica napus. Gorgeous frilly kale from “Laurel’s Kitchen” cookbook fame. Long standing, heat and cold tolerant, delicious tight frilled kale. Overwinters readily on the coast.
Grains and Seeds
Red Fife Wheat
Triticum spp. Early hard red spring wheat. Very famous Canadian heirloom, becoming popular again because of its great flavour. Sow early spring or Sept/Oct on the coast.
Blue Tinge Ethiopian Emmer
Triticum dicoccum I (Dan Jason) brought two seedheads of this wheat back from Ethiopia in 1993 and I have since mailed out many hundreds of packets around the world. It has become a commercial crop in California. It grows to 4 feet high, matures in about 90 days and has an unusual pretty blue cast to both seedheads and seeds. Easy to thresh and delicious cooked as a whole grain. Makes great sprouted wheat berries. Consistently gives great yields.
Chenopodium quinoa. Stands 5-6 feet tall and has vibrant flower colours, ranging from red through orange and yellow to purple and mauve. Thin to at least a foot apart for maximum growth. Leaves are good fresh or cooked through spring and summer.
Shiny Black Amaranth
Amaranthus spp. Purple-flowered 6-10 feet plants. Black glowing seeds smell like chocolate as they cook, have a sweet flavour and pleasant texture, with an aftertaste like corn. Simmer 10-12 minutes in an equal volume of water.
Detroit Red Beet
Beta vulgaris. Highly esteemed, reliable, nearly globe, dark beet. Main crop canner for home gardens. With mulch, will winter in the ground at the coast. Heirloom from 1892.
Squash, Cukes And Melons
C. pepo styriaca Naked (hulless) seeds are eaten raw or toasted. Sprawling plants produce about six 5-10 pound pumpkins. Light-coloured flesh can be used in zucchini recipes, pumpkin soup and stir-fries or be grated into winter salads. Will ripen even in cool wet summers. Seeds are a well-known prostate healer.
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.
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.
Long, fat, tapered and slightly ribbed fruit. Meaty flesh. Few seeds. Great fresh flavour and excellent for sauce and canning. Grow well in large containers and greenhouse. Early and abundant production.
Wild Cherry Tomato
Produces 100s on a plant. Very sweet, small red cherry with cherry-like flavour. Outstanding blight resistance. Spreads to 7 feet in every direction.
Selection earliness, productivity and good cores by Andy Pollock of northern BC. Huge early production of rich-flavoured 4-10 oz tomatoes that keep coming and coming. Plants need a short strong stake. Outstanding every year. Good blight resistance.
A Canadian heirloom that grows well in all conditions. Red, meaty and juicy fruit with a delicious rich tomato flavour. Prolific bush type, vigorous determinate.
This Russian heirloom produces huge amounts of bright yellow cherries full of sweet and spicy flavour. Lower acid. Thin-skinned with a great texture. No matter the weather conditions, this variety adapts. In the greenhouse will climb over 12 feet, outside closer to 6 feet. Indeterminate, potato leaf variety. Early to ripen. Great for drying.
Isle of Capri Tomato
Abundant, large, pear-shaped pinky red fruits, bunched tightly at the shoulders. Sweet, meaty and dense. Delicious dried. Plants can tolerate cool conditions. Indeterminate.
Isolation Distances and Amount of Plants to Grow
We will discuss these considerations with you when you are obtaining your seeds.