Got a little packet of Stone Cherry pole bean seeds with our name on it, and wondering why? We wanted to share one of our passions with you, and pique your curiousity in a different kind of social change!
The seeds are an organically raised heirloom variety of red beans that look like little cranberries.
We got them from Ferme Coopérative Tournesol, one of our hosting and web services users with an extensive seed catalogue. We've been waiting for an excuse to share their treasures with you, and here it is!
Aside from our love of gardening and oru excitement over Ferme Coopérative Tournesol's unique catalogue, there's another reason we chose to distribute heirloom seeds.
If you think about it, our agricultural system is influenced by many of the same factors as the field of information technology - commercialisation, regulation, and intellectual property issues affect both spheres. Distributing seeds that you can grow, save, and cross-pollinate is a lot like working with free software in the sense that you can use it, modify it, and freely contribute your changes back to the community.
The seed packet in your hand is a gesture of solidarity and sharing for a free and empowering
You can plant your beans now, since we've past the last frost, or save them for next year (they'll keep fine in a cool, dry place). Plant them about 1" (3cm) deep in a sunny place, 1 seed every 3" (8cm), in rows 48" (1.2m) apart.
You can try them fresh, or let them dry on the vine for the best flavor. Since they're heirloom seeds, you can (of course!) save some of the harvest in a cool, dry place for planting next year.
Happy gardening and bon appétit! For some culinary inspiration, try the Stone Cherry beans in Mollie Katzen's Brazilian Black Bean Soup (just substitude your stone cherry beans for the black beans) or the classic red beans and rice!