Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Phoenix Seeds

Some semi decent weather over the weekend inspired me to get back into the garden. Unfortunately my garden still looks like Shrek's bog, as we have had soooo much rain here. The area fenced off from potaroos is a mud-bath with nasty looking green slime patches and remnant neglected veggies from the end of the Autumn crop.  Suffice it to say, I didnt really feel at all inspired to dig around in it!

So Im back to pots. And wheelbarrows, as it happens. I was thinking that I needed to raise my seeds in something broad and shallow, that could be moved about the garden easily. And voila!, this old barrow proved the perfect thing. It even had a few strategically placed holes in the bottom, which will help with draining the seed raising mix.A clear sheet of plastic over the top, and Im set to wheel it into a sunny spot, or inside the shed if its likely to be stormy or frosty.

The seeds are from a Tasmanian organic, biodynamic and heritage seed producer that my Mum has used for years. He operates from a PO Box just out of a little town rather cutely named Snug, just 20 km or so South of Hobart. The good thing is he produces seeds that are nicely adapted for our chilly nights and frosty mornings, so Ive had success with getting his tomato seeds to survive the September freezing soils.
I think my Mum had a bit of a fascination (professional only...shes a horticulturist) for the guy as he is kind of elusive, but dedicated to his work. I remember her having rather lengthy chats with him on the phone (or perhaps she told me this). Anyway, anyway, anyway...  as I was down Hobart way recently I thought I would go and pay homage and check out the operations. I found a vague address on-line, and as its not a big town thought id zoom about the Channel Highway and find him. I asked at the corner store, the petrol station and knocked on some poor persons front door, but no-one knew where he operated from.

The man is a mystery, but his seeds are rather fabulous.


  1. what a wonderful story, and what an ingenious solution to your vege growing problems! it's a lovely looking old wheel barrow too. I'm looking forward to seeing photos of the little seedlings grow.(please!)
    i imgaine it will be beautiful, bountiful, barrow! :)

  2. great thinking jen. i too look forward to the results! bring on spring! just love watching those seedlings emerge, dont you?

  3. Love your seedmobile! What a great idea. It's always interesting to see what others are up to. I've used Phoenix Seeds before and their catalogue is rather fascinating reading. Interesting story! How strange that in such a small place, nobody seems to know him. Unless they are all keeping it a big secret! LOL

  4. Ps.: Have made your baked custard twice now and it's a big hit. Fabulous recipe. Thank you! :)

  5. there you are! I was thinking on asking you where to get good seeds and you are ahead of me! I love the mystery man and also the wheelbarrow! I also have one abandoned one in the garden so might be the go! Seedmobile here we come!

  6. Hi Katrine, and Ana too: Im not sure the wheelbarrow idea will work! It has differing depths, which may or may not be an issue for water/moisture retention. Im also a little worried that the thinness of the metal will mean that it will get colder than seeds just planted in pots or earth. Also a bit worried about the rust interaction with soil, but I might just be over thinking things here!

    Hey Veggie, nice that the custard worked for you. Its a good winter warmer. Yeah, it is kinda weird that he is such a recluse. Mum says hes just not happy dealing with the (sometimes) cranky feedback when things dont grow, and it isnt anything to do wiht the quality of the seeds. Maybe the 'great unwashed' can be a frightening thought when you live somewhere isolated.

  7. And Kel, yeah... i cant wait for the seeds to grow.. ill post photos Katrine. Promise :)

  8. Hi Jen

    the wheel barrow should work well - you can move it around to capture all the sun. I have my herbs and tomatoes and asian greens - til they bolted and produced a lovely yellow flower - in posts and they thrive...

    Happy days