We have received no less than 25 seed catalogs this year. Some of them were garbage and went right into the trash, some took some farther looking into to decide they weren't for us and a few we just knew instinctively were going to make us happy. The companies, all of them, really outdid themselves this year with the beautiful photography and descriptions of their seeds. Well done!
Last year we proudly supported an Oregon company, Territorial Seed, and bought all of our garden seeds from them. We had a very poor germination rate and a very, very poor performance from those seeds that did germinate. I've heard nothing but good things from others about Territorial Seeds, but we are choosing not to spend our dollars there this year.
This year, the bulk of our seed will be coming from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. They can be found on the web at www.rareseeds.com and they publish a beautiful full-color catalog that I can spend hours looking through.
For our garden this year, we want our garden to not only produce the vegetables and herbs that I will use in the kitchen, but also some of the feeds for our animals. We're planning on planting some beets, turnips and carrots for our cows to eat this winter as well. On a side note, when we took all the apples off of our little apple tree in the front yard last year, there was a whole bunch that were too small or too damaged to use in the kitchen. We took those to the barn and have been using them as treats for the cows and horse all winter. We are just about to run out.....that's pretty good!
Getting back to the garden. We're going to do something (or at least attempt to do something) that we've never done before~ start all of our own garden plants from seed. Because that is our goal, I'm trying not to make the garden to ambitious so we can try and keep up with all of the sprouting work. Whew! I'm tired already just thinking about it. :)
Here is our wish list for this year:
- Tomatoes- canning, slicing and paste varieties.
- Onions- green and storage, as well as a few reds for fresh eating and salsa making.
- Peppers- bell, jalapenos, Anaheim, banana and paprika varieties. Maybe something else if a special one catches my eye.
- Cucumbers- pickling and slicing.
- Melons- watermelons, cantaloupes and a couple specialty varieties.
- Brussels Sprouts
- Lettuce- head, leaf and a baby green mix
- Winter squash-pumpkins, acorn and ?
- Herbs-both cooking and medicinal
I canned quite a bit of produce last year and was absolutely horrified at how quickly we blew through it. My efforts are going to be tripled this year and I'm determined to go into fall and winter with not only a freezer full of beef (and hopefully a hog as well), but also a pantry full of wholesome goodness.
I encourage every one of you to plant something this year. A tomato in a pot, a squash plant in your flower beds in the front yard, or an acre of vegetables and flowers. Whatever it is you decide to do, DO IT! It's good for you~ providing excellent exercise and an excuse to go outdoors. It's fun and rewarding. It's a life lesson in hard work and a lesson in where food comes from for our children, It's famly time and a time to be together, or a time of peace and solitude. It's more than life, it's a way of life, a good life.
Join me this year in making more space green spaces filled with edibles to nourish your mind, body and spirit!