video tutorials, tried-and-true tips + our latest learnings to surround you with abundance all season long
For many of us, there is no summer without tomatoes.
When you're sowing tomato seeds, you're sowing summer!
And sigh: Growing gorgeous tomato transplants from seed is *not* especially easy.
Here's the counter-intuitive truth: Younger, unstressed transplants often yield many times the abundance of old, stressed transplants.
No matter how short your seasons are, starting seeds earlier than is optimal is simply undermining your abundance.
Also, your goal for any transplant (also potentially counter-intuitive!) is for your seedling to be as short, stout & deep green as possible. Short and stout because they're not leggy, stretching and stressed for light. Deep green because they're fully photosynthesizing and not nutrient-deficient.
Growing healthy tomato transplants is not easy, Friends.
Being honest with ourselves about how well we grow transplants indoors is even harder!
Here are common mistakes to save you heartache as well as how to sow...
Edible flowers are the best of all worlds, feeding us in so many ways beyond beauty, beyond calories, growing our ability to see beyond what we've known before.
As we seed our vegetables for the season ahead, now more than ever we sow the seeds of these edible flowers with a vast appreciation for their power to transform, with love, the world around them.
We are what we eat, so let's make it beautiful!
Easy to grow in any soil, any container and even limited sun, calendula is beautiful, edible and medicinal. Pluck the petals from the center calyx to toss in salad and strew across cakes! They have a mild marigold scent and flavor, which is heavenly :)
Just over one foot wide and tall with a rainbow of colors, calendula is also a favorite of pollinators and is easy to save the seed of, in fact re-seeding herself if you don't harvest all her flowers and seeds, first.
The more you harvest your calendula, the more she'll blossom....
Garden planning can be intimidating.
Learning to trust our seeds (and ourselves) is the work (and play!) of a lifetime and I'm honored to share everything I've learned about gardening and garden planning with you :)
First, you should know: There are as many ways to plan a garden as there are gardeners, so Friends,
~ learn all you can from gardeners you love (I'm honored to be among them!)
~ experiment with curiosity and joy
~ share everything you learn with everyone you can
...because we all grow more when we share more!
Second, here are
to get you started, explored in greater depth in the video above and in the words below:
1. What is most important for me to grow? Sow what you love :)
2. When is best for me to start growing? Depends if you're sowing indoors or outdoors and also if the plant is frost hardy or not! Enjoy our calendars and charts below.
3. Where is best for me to grow? The richest...
Here are the seeds you can sow directly in your garden now, if your snow has melted
And did you hear?
Fruition’s Seed Starting Academy is now free, because gardening is how we ground ourselves, especially in chaotic times
Abundant gardens nourish so much more than our bodies and we are honored to share everything we’ve learned with you in 5+ hours of fun and informative video tutorials
Normally $98, our Seed Starting Academy we are now sharing for free at www.fruitionseeds.com, because we love you ♥
Also, here is our humbling story of how we came to realize the devastation of CoVID-19, up close and personal, and how we committed to looking in the mirror long and hard. Hint: it’s harrowing! And I hope to hear more of your story one day, too
In the meantime, enjoy Fruition’s Seed Starting Academy, Friends.
We’re all in this together
Sow Seeds & Sing Songs in Social Solidarity,
Each year we grow acres of organic gardens, saving hundreds of thousands (if not millions...) of seeds of tried-and-true varieties we love as we continue to adapt them to our short seasons, year after year. Each year we also grow dozens upon dozens of new varieties, exploring and experimenting, discovering new joys and learning ever, always.
This season we're delighted to share seed with you of some gems we've found and here is a tiny taste of them all :)
Where do we begin? The flavor, the story, the abundance, the near spinelessness? If you don't have time for it all, know this: Haifa's Finest is a Fruition-bred variety, the most flavorful zucchini you'll likely ever eat. Imagine exceptional nuttiness with a creamy density that melts in your mouth --- you won't be tossing these in neighbor's mailboxes, I suspect :)
After six years of selections, we're so excited to finally share our lusciously nutty, super creamy and nearly...
I wrote this piece for Edible Finger Lakes' Notes from the Field column, published November 2019. And if you're looking for northern-hardy organic peanut seeds, look no further!
My childhood experience of growing peanuts once --- and harvesting seven peanuts --- convinced me for two decades that growing peanuts in the Finger Lakes was extravagantly futile.
Yet seeds, again and again, remind me that our imagination is the limit, that regional adaptation is the language of resilience, that we can grow so much more than we think possible.
When we started Fruition Seeds in 2012, we were gifted a small bag of Northern Hardy Valencia peanuts from a family on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan who had selected them for over two decades.
Skeptical as I was, they thrived against many odds, including cold, close spacing and a family of groundhogs. We were astonished as we dug our peanuts that fall, finding over 20 gorgeously plump peanuts per plant. In the hottest, driest...
Microgreens save us each winter, making it easy to get through the darkest months with luscious greens. Often harvested ten days after they're sown, microgreens may be the closest thing to instant gratification in our gardens.
I'd love to share my free
webinar as well as our free microgreens ebook here!
We've learned a lot about how to grow microgreens indoors across the years and I'm delighted to share the keys with you :)
Oh, the possibilities!
Anything delicious that sprouts quick is a great choice for microgreens. More colors = more nutrients, so lean into rainbow-colored radish, purple basil, crimson amaranth and everything in between :)
Here are our favorites:
Imagine millions of monarchs migrating south, hundreds and sometimes thousands of feet above the trees, flashing black and bright copper as they make their way from the Northeast to Mexico.
Monarch butterflies have made an incredible comeback in the last five years, in no small part thanks to gardeners saving, spreading and sharing seeds widely across our continent. If you've been growing milkweed --- or at least not pulling it as weeds --- I love you and thank you! Never doubt that your actions, like seeds, are deceptively small :)
Though adult monarch butterflies feed on many other flowers, like our Queen Sophia marigolds, the monarch caterpillars feed exclusively on milkweed.
Harvesting milkweed seeds brings memories of my childhood, leaves crunching underfoot and thick wool sweaters with hundreds of burrs as polka dots. The leaves are crimson, gold and umber. Grapes are ripe on the vine, but barely.
I remember reaching my hand carefully into each pod, each of us about to...
It's true: I used to drag my feet every year before forcing myself to get a soil test.
Over the years, we've come to love soil testing as an incredible tool to build our soil, decrease our susceptibility to pest insects and disease as well as increase our yields.
Here's the way I think about it:
If you're partying on a pontoon boat above the Great Barrier Reef, you're missing the party.
Grab your snorkel!
And get your soil tested.
Only then will an immensely beautiful and infinitely complex world begin to take shape around you. Your world-view --- and your garden --- will never be the same.
We're sending in our soil samples now!
And Friends, if you've got 20 minutes and $20, I suspect you'll find too that soil testing is both easy and endlessly illuminating. It's one of the simplest ways to ensure you'll be surrounded by beauty and abundance all season long, for many seasons to come.
I'll share how, when and why we test our soils, but first:
One of the most challenging aspects of saving sunflower seed is this: You must not harvest the most spectacular heads for bouquets! Expect seed about 6 weeks after flower. This is our Lemon Queen, by the way :)
First, wait for the birds to confirm the seed is fully ripe.
Though many flower seeds are released with ease once ripe, sunflowers tend to hold them in their heads, making it more challenging to know exactly when they're ripe. Many flower heads also indicate their seeds are ripe once the stalk beneath is brown and dry, though with sunflowers, that is generally way too late and you'll rarely find a single seed left.
So yes --- this is playing with fire --- but if you...
For years we’ve been asked to demystify seed starting and here it is: Rise & Shine shares everything you need to start seeds successfully at home in 40 beautiful pages with easy-to-follow instructions and insightful tips for the novice and experienced grower alike.