It’s raining today so there is a welcome break in my feverish attempts to get our two acres into reasonable shape. I had to crawl up the stairs yesterday after more than six hours of weeding and cleaning out the many beds around the property — a job that takes up most of the dry days at this time of year — but the old chassis is feeling just fine right now, thank you very much.

Everything is starting to look good, and the seedlings I’ve started under my new grow light — 12 kinds of tomatoes, three kinds of zucchini, several squashes, tomatillos and my summer favourite, sweet basil — are looking vigorous.

Most of those seeds were saved from last year’s harvest. All of the tomato plants are from seeds of heritage tomatoes I’ve tasted and decided I want to grown again, and the squash pictured here is some kind of Spanish variety that has dense flesh and very sweet flavour, so I saved a few seeds from it as well, along with kabocha, mini-hubbard and delicata seeds.

Unfortunately, most of the squash seeds I planted (and some seeds I had saved in open containers for spring planting) were raided by a mouse in our supposedly mouse-proof garden workshop.  Mr. Mouse met his own unfortunate end by trying to unjam a peanut we had stuck in a mousetrap placed under the table where the seedlings are. I only hope he isn’t part of a larger family, but just to make sure, more mousetraps are at the ready. And more squash seeds have been planted.

Saving seeds is not only economical. It’s also a way of helping our planet’s biodiversity. If you’re interested in finding out more, check out Seeds of Diversity where you’ll find “descriptions, stories, history, cultivation details, and real gardeners’ comments on 19,000  cultivars of Canadian garden vegetables, fruit, grains and  ornamentals”. That’s a whole lot of eating!

The site also lists all the fruit, vegetable and other food seeds for sale in Canada and who offers them. For example, there are 34 different kale varieties, more than 130 varieties of carrots, and more than 320 squash varieties (Mr. Mouse would have been ecstatic!), plus listings for oriental and specialty greens and vegetable seeds, quinoa, amaranth . . . the list goes on. Makes you hungry just reading through it.

Happy gardening!