Bob Wildfong is Executive Director of Seeds of Diversity Canada. He shops the farmers’ markets every fall, and gives public tastings and history presentations of heritage apple varieties grown around Waterloo, Ontario. www.seeds.ca
There's a multitude of lesser-known apples are called ‘heritage’ varieties, because most of them are quite old. Either brought from other parts of the world, discovered by chance, or bred in Canada, they form a complex and delicious mosaic of Canada’s horticultural past.
Root vegetables are unsung historical heroes that quietly shaped our country through its early centuries. Easy to grow, easy to store, reliable, and nutritious for both people and livestock, our nation was built upon the humble root vegetable.
Competition is the death of niche markets, but good marketing can grow the size of the whole market.
Biennial vegetables in flower are among the most interesting things for a gardener to see. Apart from being quite lovely (parsnip, leek and celery flowers could easily be garden ornamentals), they are a necessary stage of growth that is rarely seen. Most commercial seeds of cabbage, beet, turnip, celery and other biennials are grown further south, mostly overseas. The reason that you don't see these plants in bloom here is that some care is usually needed to keep them alive through the winter.
If you’re like me, you started your tomato seedlings too early and now they’re long, spindly vines falling over and getting tangled with one another. Last year, I started mine a few weeks earlier than I should have, and then our late spring kept them indoors for two weeks longer. I wish I had a greenhouse. Don’t we all wish that?