When I speak at Seedy Saturday in Calgary this weekend I will probably tell the story of my sister's trouble with store-bought seed. It is a good tale of caution and also a good story about the importance of knowing your seeds.
It was a dark and stormy night - no - that's another story. It was a fair and fine day and Delima went to the store to buy spinach seed. She knew spinach was frost hardy and she wanted to be ready. The seed was slow to grow but when it came up she was surprised that it didn't look much like spinach. In fact she thought it must be celery.
Finally it was fall. Her crop of celery had never filled in so when she dug out her garden she decided to just toss it. Up came the plants, roots and all. Oh- and the roots- as it turns out were long and white. You guessed it- My sister had grown parsnips from her spinach seed. Of course she gave me a root. For my soups and stews. See the photo below- the parsnip seeds are on top and clockwise there is fairly round but smaller spinach seed and very fine celery seed.