About Our Plants
The Coeur d’Alene Coop is devoted exclusively to open-pollinated and heirloom plant varieties that are especially well suited to our north Idaho growing conditions. And while we are not a “certified organic” grower, we always follow organic guidelines as part of our gardening practice. Our seed-starting mix and potting soil are also approved by the Organic Materials Review Institute (ORMI), and we only use organic fertilizers (fish emulsion) on our plant starts.
We start each of our plants from seed—often from certified organic seed stock. Each individual seedling is carefully transplanted by hand into a recyclable growing container, and all of our plants are hardened off so they are ready for planting in their new garden homes.
Online Shop: Shop for vegetable starts from January through April and reserve your plant selections for local pickup in May. A $10 reserve deposit and $20 minimum purchase are required. The Coeur d’Alene Coop will contact you when your plants are ready for pickup from our garden in early May.
Master Gardeners’ Plant Sale: Mark your calendars for the first Saturday in May. This will be our very first sale of the season and it’s when our plant selection is at its very best. Check out our Facebook page and our Blog for additional details and directions to our sale location at the Kootenai County Extension Office.
Farmers’ Markets: You can find our quality heirloom plants at the Kootenai County Farmers’ Market every Wednesday and Saturday starting in early May. Don’t miss out—we are often sold out as early as the end of May.
We offer more than 20 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, from the traditional large and meaty beefsteak tomatoes to the petite and super-sweet cherry tomatoes. Our selection of tomatoes varies each year as we like to add new cultivars, along with the tried-and-true customer favorites. How can we resist when there are more than 7,500 different kinds of tomatoes to choose from!
Everyone loves the fresh taste of “home-grown,” but we know not everyone has space for a large garden. That’s why we offer a selection of heirlooms perfect for small gardens and container gardening. To locate these plants, look for” patio-perfect” listed next to their name.
Helpful Gardening Terms
What is an heirloom? An heirloom is a plant that has a history of being passed down through generations. The age of which a plant achieves heirloom status is somewhat subjective — some say heirlooms must have been created prior to 1940, while others state the variety must be at least 50 years old. Regardless of age, all heirlooms are open-pollinated, which means it will produce true-to-type seeds; but not all open-pollinated plants are heirlooms (there’s that age thing again).
What does open-pollinated mean? This generally refers to seeds that will “breed true.” When the plants of an open-pollinated variety self-pollinate, or are pollinated by another representative of the same variety (by insects, birds, wind or humans), the resulting seeds will produce true-to-type seeds and plants roughly identical to the parent plant. This is why you only save seed from open-pollinated varieties — you’ll get the same plant (and fruit) as the parent plant.
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Here’s a peek at a few tomatoes and veggies we grow in our garden that might be great for your garden too!