Sunday, February 08, 2009

oh, those seeds.


While I am by no means a master gardener and I just garden a small strip of partial-shade yard closely abutted by two houses (and tons of pots), I am a very enthusiastic gardener. I love growing food. I love the creativity, color, and dynamism of gardening. I find comfort looking at and caring for these plants and I love that our yard is a riotous chaotic colorful interesting living place in a neighborhood where most people never even enter their side yards but to mow. So - Colorful? Unusual? Rare? Oh yes. Interesting story behind it? Definitely. We're not out there months of the year working on the garden to have everything we already know. I want to experiment with new varieties and try to find the most outrageous, colorful or unusual fruits and veggies to go along with my regular favorites. If I can expand and change a bit every year then I am learning and growing along with my garden. Sometimes things fail, but the amazing thing is that most of the time things grow and flourish. And everything we try, everything we taste, everything we remember, nourishes us, in more way than one.

What I look for in seeds is open-pollinated heirloom varieties. That is very important to me and I think important to the future of our food biodiversity. If I find biodynamic or organic seeds that are both of the above that is a bonus. I stay away from the big 'M' and don't buy any seeds from any company owned by them, or who use seed suppliers owned by them.

My favorites list may change from year to year as we experiment with new and different seeds, but I always have a good handful that I just have to go back to year after year.


Here are a few fav's this year:

Seed Savers Exchange - We hope to visit their Heritage Farm this summer.

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds - They are out there changing the world one seed at a time and they rock. We may take a road trip to visit them this summer too.

Abundant Life Seeds - (some Biodynamic seeds)

Peaceful Valley

Southern Exposure

Seeds of Change

This is just a few on a big list of good seed companies. Email me if you would like some more...


I was digging through my iPhoto, looking through pictures from the garden last summer and they all looked so lovely (on these blah Feb. days) that it aches. While I like winter, by now I'm numbed by the monotony of color and cold, and when I look back through garden season photos each winter I am hit by how happy and intensely colorful everyone and everything looks! The green lusciousness, the flowers, the vegetables, the blue skies and little boys lying in the warm grass watching the clouds go by. And to think that all those garden photos were taken more than SIX MONTH AGO. Well, I think I'm ready for some seed starting and garden planning. I'm ready to plot and plan. I'm ready to dream a little (or a lot) - and find some riotously colored veggies and fruit to grow. How about you?

23 comments:

Magical Mom said...

thank you so much for the seed company recommendations! I am feeling the spring itch to go dig up the ground and get started. Those radishes and that happy boy are just a joy to look at.

Stephanie said...

I'm not tbo itchy, yet, but usually sometime this month! :)

Stephanie said...

does it say on packages "monsanto"?

Lynch Family said...

We are headed to Seed Savers in April and again in July, I will send a report! There is some very cool lodging nearby!

Tara said...

You read my mind! My husband and I were just talking about how we wanted to use heirloom seeds- nothing GMO, and I was hoping you might post some recommendations. Planning our first small garden is going to be so much fun- thanks for the list!!

nettlejuice said...

With my first lettuce seedlings coming up, the new Johnny's order on my desk, are seed saver's exchange order coming together, I'm right there with you. Spring garden daydreaming carries me through February.

Lisa Anne said...

I am somewhat ready. For me the season brings great joy but also huge amounts of endless work. I think often of having a little garden plot again. The photos of your garden definitely make me want all the snow and ice to thaw; I long for the color green.

homeschool mamma said...

Great seed recommendations. Here in RI we still have snow but am already planning to get back out in my garden. Love the blog.

Bev
www.homeschoolgardener.blogspot.com

so NOT cool said...

I have a catalog from Abundant Life and another from The Natural Gardening Company, but the others that I requested (six weeks ago?) haven't arrived. Still, I need to find more gardening space this year. In the past, my gardens were 20' x 50' and what I have now just isn't cutting it. So I have been trying to figure out where I'm going to dig, and where I'm going to add more pots. ;-)

Dawn said...

Your enthusiasm for gardening is contagious. I'm very excited to do a little more this year with gardening, and like you, try new things. Thank you so much for the links to the seed companies.

Heather said...

My son just got his catalog from The Cottage Gardener; we have a lot of garden space but looking through the catalog for even a few minutes has me longing for even more garden space. Ah well...only a month until Seedy Saturday. :-)

Dawn said...

Someday....

Looking forward to seeing your picks "in action"!

:)

STEPHANIE said...

I agree, your enthusiasm is contagious. I started my indoor herb garden and just waiting for spring to replant them. I love visiting your blog to look at all the green during this long midwest winter. :)

Darla said...

Have you ever tried maintaining ginger root in a pot of dirt in the house? Someone gave me this idea but I haven't tried, yet. Perhaps you have? I'd be curious to know how well it works and what variety of ginger root works best.

eclecticallyyours said...

Excellent! I was just looking online for some decent seed catalogs to be sent to me..I'll add this to the list!

giddygoat said...

We tried SFG this last summer. I liked it, and I felt it was a manageable way for me to start. Can you give some advice on when you start seeds indoors here in WI? I always seem to be a step behind and last year I didn't even get lettuce or spinach in. I'm not letting that happen again!

Willo said...

Thank you so much! I am starting my first ever garden this year and this is going to help a ton!

::petersen photography:: said...

SO COOL! LOVE your blog and enjoy reading your writings...I LOVED your idea of the orange candle...AMAZING!

Lisa said...

Always rockin, you are!! Thanks for putting this list together.. we are going for it this year and can't wait to grow our own food.. yum!

anthromama said...

For biodynamic seeds I recommend Turtle Tree Seeds (turtletreeseed.com). Our old friend Harald at Rudolf Steiner College provides some of the seeds, and I can vouch for the wonderful veggies as we used to be in his CSA!

micha said...

Hello,
I really like your wonderful photos! It's good to see some green in these winterdays!
Greetings from Germany,

Micha

Marina said...

Thank you so much for the post and the resources! I was just thinking that here in California, it should be time to start planting...

Because you are fabulous, I am passing an award along to you... come on over and check it out and thanks for all the inspiration you share!

Summer Fae said...

Thank you so much for the list of seed companies. I am looking forward to getting my garden started. Last year it was a disaster. I am not sure what was wrong. I am going this week to get a soil testing kit to start working on my garden.