Memorial Day weekend is upon us, and according to local garden lore, that means it’s officially safe to put even the most frost-sensitive seedlings into your soil. When choosing your plants this year, we invite you to check out our gorgeous local seedling offerings from New Leaf Organics!
New Leaf Organics, nestled on the town line between Bristol and Monkton, is a certified organic vegetable and flower farm established in 2001 by Jill Kopel and Skimmer Hellier. They primarily grow food and plants for people in the five-town community through their on-site farm stand, their CSA program, two farmers’ markets, and also to wholesale accounts like the Co-op. They also raise specialty cut flowers for weddings and events. When in season, you can find their spinach, kale, parsley, fresh onions, and more glorious veggies & herbs in our produce department.
So, why choose local seedlings?
Aside from the fact that you’re supporting a wonderful local farm and keeping your dollars local, it makes good sense to purchase local seedlings for the assurance that you’re buying healthy plants that are regionally appropriate for our unique growing conditions here in Vermont. You’re also helping prevent the spread of plant diseases (blight, anyone?) and invasive pests like root aphids that travel in the soil. Additionally, Many plants from large commercial nurseries & garden centers are treated with plant growth regulators or PRGs. PRGs are applied to nursery plants to preserve or encourage certain traits that help make plants more marketable. This might include bloom-holding capabilities on flowers or growth-stunters that would keep tomatoes, peppers, and the like from growing leggy while awaiting sale. PRGs are classified as pesticides and their safety has not been established. Plants at large garden centers are also often treated with neonicotinoids. These chemicals are systemic, which means they are absorbed by the plant tissues and expressed in all parts, including nectar and pollen. Unfortunately, this spells disaster for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators that are so vital to our health and our food supply.
By choosing local, organic seedlings, you’re choosing to support local farms, your local economy, and preserving the health of your local ecosystem. It’s a win-win!