A Seedy Saturday shopping spree

Sweet peas, heirloom tomatoes, sunflowers, mints and so much more ... who can resist?

Credit: Carol Pope

Carol Pope recounts her fruitful Seedy Saturdays

Okay, I admit it. I don’t really need seeds. My basement is stuffed with all the seeds saved from last year’s garden. Plus, I have generous friends who keep sharing their seeds with me.

But… who can resist? There are so many fun seeds to try! So here’s what my family brought home from the Roberts Creek and Madeira Park Seedy Saturdays this past month on the Sunshine Coast:

From Seeds of Victoria


The Gourmet Greens Collection – ‘Outredgeous’ Lettuce; ‘Red Russion’ Kale; Arugula; Silverbeet Chard; ‘Perpetual Spinach’. With the exception of ‘Outredgeous’, I have grown all of these before and they are super easy and abundant.

So many fun seeds to enjoy!

Inspiration posted at the Roberts Creek Seedy Saturday.

Seed-exchange tables were popular at the
Madeira Park and Roberts Creek Seedy Saturdays.

Sweet PeasMatucana Lathyrus odorata (1699): This heritage sweet pea was introduced to the U.K. by the Sicilian monk Franciscus Cupani.

Parcel (celery-flavoured parsley) – In her forthcoming new book, The Zero-Mile Diet, Carolyn Herriot absolutely swears by this herb – in fact, it’s become the one she can’t live without in her kitchen. I have been growing celery, lovage, and both Italian and moss parsley, but this will be a new variation of these flavours for my family.

NettlesUrtica dioica: As you know from my previous blog, I’m a big fan of nettles. Carolyn warns me that they do seed readily and to keep them tucked away in a corner of the garden where innocent passersby won’t have a run-in with the stinging foliage.

SunflowersTarahumara White Seeded: This nine-foot beauty of Canadian Mennonite origin tolerates poor soil and produces lots of edible white seeds in solid-gold flowers.

Sea KaleCrambe maritime ‘Lily White’: I’ve been dying to try growing this asparagus-like ornamental edible. Finally, I have the seeds in hand!

‘Strawberry Spinach’
Chenopodium capitatum: Another growing adventure! This edible has shiny red strawberry-like fruits on showy compact plants. The nutritious leaves and shoots are used in salads or steamed.

‘Purple Orach’ Mountain Spinach: An ornamental edible with striking dark-purple leaves for salad pickings or steaming. Self seeder.

Top Tomatoes

I also asked Carolyn for her top tomato recommendations:

‘Black Cherry’ Heritage Tomatoes: Prolific in the greenhouse.

‘Marmande’ French Heirloom
: A classic beefsteak with superb meaty flavour.

‘Galina Yellow’ Cherry Tomatoes
: Sweet round yellow tomatoes all season long – great for container planting.

‘Red Grape’ Tomatoes: High yields of sweet grape-size fruit – a favourite for gourmets and children.

‘Memorial’ Polish Paste Tomatoes: Great for sauce and fresh eating.

From Planting Seeds Project:


Sweet Onions: ‘Ailsa Craig’ and ‘Walla Walla’

‘Black Aztec’ Sweet Corn
: Okay, I admit we weren’t planning on growing corn this year, but who can resist a black ear of corn that starts to speckle with blue when ripe?

‘Black Russian’ Tomato: Another one we just couldn’t pass up.

‘Moneymaker’ Tomato
: An old-English greenhouse variety known for heavy yields.

Three Sisters: This classic Aztec combo includes ‘Ashworth’ corn, ‘Raquel’ beans to be planted at the base of the corn and ‘Red Kuri’ squash for the edge of the patch. The beans will grow up the corn and the squash will cover the ground, keeping the moisture in the soil, the prickly leaves also discouraging raccoons from making their way to the corn.

Tomatillo Verde
: This rich-green husk tomato will be something new in our garden!

From C-Intra Botanicals:


‘Valencia’ Tomato – A mid-season heirloom with excellent flavour.

‘Tigerella’ Tomato – An heirloom tomato with orange and red striping – how could we pass that up?

‘Black Krim’ Tomato – With a sweet but smoky flavour for summer salad plates.

‘Sweet Banana’ Pepper – With 6-inch-long banana-like peppers!

‘Thai’ Pepper – Hot and quick to grow.

‘Hungarian Hot Yellow’ – A mildly hot heirloom.

Miner’s Lettuce – Claytonia perfoliata: Another one I’ve been wishing for; miner’s lettuce is an attractive salad plant native to western North America, with heart-shaped leaves that wrap around a white flower stalk. Good for year-round gathering.

Mountain Mint – I’ve never met a mint I don’t like and this North American native perennial grows to 3-feet tall with white or lilac blooms. I’ll try it in some containers where the deer tend to nibble, as mint does not seem to be on their menu.

From West Coast Seeds


Corn Salad: An heirloom salad green with a mild nutty flavour. Thrives in winter.

Garden Purslane: A hot-weather edible green that provides handfuls of thick, succulent leaves with a lemony crunch.

Italian Dandelion: Fast-growing upright chicory plants for steaming or for salads and sandwiches.

In addition, I scooped up more seeds packaged up from local gardens: ‘Red Scarlet’ runner beans, sweet peas, tomatillo seeds dried in their husk and more… I think it’s time to get planting!