By Mary Ellen Psaltis
It’s planting time! The sun is shining and the outdoors is calling you to action. Let Scatter Creek Nurseries get you well on your way down the garden path by using the fruits of their labors. Use their plant starts in your own dirt. With bountiful flats of sprouting fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers to pick from, your garden plots will look like you’ve been hard at work germinating seeds for weeks.
Scatter Creek Nurseries is open through the first week in July. Their goal is to sell plants that grow well and happily in the Northwest. “I want people to be successful,” says Guy Rostan, whose parents Grant and Nancy have been growing plants for over three decades. The family business is located on their Rochester farm where all the growing takes place.
If you take a trip down to Rochester, you can visit the petting zoo. I met a passel of friendly goats and one shy alpaca named Al. Scatter Creek’s stall at the Olympia Farmers Market has plenty of plants (but no goats).
The variety of vegetables is impressive. Start alphabetically with artichokes and make your way to watermelons, and there’s everything in-between. As expected, you’ll find tomatoes, carrots and eleven varieties of lettuce; but also available are celeriac, burpless cucumbers (milder and easier to digest than others) and rutabagas. There are multiple types of peas, peppers, potatoes and pumpkins.
Likewise, you can go wild with herbs – arugula to thyme. And there’s my favorite – basil, both sweet and Thai. The nursery has strawberry and blueberry plants, too. And while you are at it – enjoy the flowers. Start your own hanging baskets or buy one of theirs in full bloom. They have both annuals (alyssum to zinnia) and perennials. Consider a few edible flowers such as asters, impatiens or dianthus.
Scatter Creek Nurseries uses non-GMO (genetically modified) seeds and products and uses open pollination. As Rostan explained, “I just have a field.”
Plants purchased from the nursery are hardened off. That means they are accustomed to being outside – you can put them in the ground as soon as you get home. Scatter Creek Nurseries is protected by ladybugs rather than petro-chemicals. Because their plants are grown in organic media the Brix numbers are higher than average. This means the sugar content is greater which make the plants more disease and bug resistant. The nutrition is greater – as is the taste.
You might notice that the small containers of sprouted plants are in two distinct clumps. This makes for easier splitting apart and replanting at home. Rostan figures that this is surely “better than a seed packet,” as you cannot be sure if or how many in your packet will actually sprout.
Yes, there are many joys to gardening. It’s fun to watch plants grow and produce nutrient-dense delicacies. It’s fun to eat them! It’s less fun to weed. Scatter Creek Nurseries has done a lot of the early, hard work. You can take it from here. Pick your plants, plop them into your garden beds, add water and enjoy the fruits of summer.
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Scatter Creek Nurseries
8550 – 173rd SW in Rochester
Eat Well – Be Well