Sunday, January 3, 2010

oh dear, seed catalogues

just a few of what's come of late...and it's tough for me being both frugal as well as a junkie.

Trying to sift through them, checking last year's notes, trying to remember who seems to deal in the freshest seed, open pollinated, heirloom, F1 hybrids, timely delivery, actually getting what you've ordered and that stuff I'll just get from work...and oh yes, factor in the leaping growth of home gardening, (yes, a good thing but a thing too that seemed to catch the companies unaware).

Oh, and the lure of the actual seed racks and oh, there are such places not far from here that stock the seed of 20+ companies right before my greedy eyes.

And then the new little companies, just starting up, online mostly...want to encourage them, throw them some biz.

And then those that disappointed and/or continued to disappoint.
So you sniff around, look and listen hoping to pick up good tips or to be pointed in the right direction at least.

And then there are those seeds you yourself have collected..You know they are unadulterated and fresh. But so limited and you want to try new things even if it might seem 'contra indicated' in your particular zone.

And finally, most importantly, you give yourself 'the talking to'. What do you REALLY want/need? What are you willing to store/process? And yes, you may like EVERYTHING but what will the folks you break bread with actually eat?

Ok, I'm just typing out loud here. I am still deciding what 2010's gardens will be. I know I took losing 80+ tomato plants and a couple of rows of potatoes to blight last year pretty hard, especially seeing as those are things people like to eat. Additionally I had alot more predation on my nearly non existent winter squash crop. Oh, that one stung. Indeed it did. I put alot of hope in that squash basket. But I'm not whining, just commenting.

So, so far I've decided on more root crops and a helluva lot more greens. And, to broaden my palate, my prepping, my experimentation. It really is all good.


Mr. H. said...

The seed catalogues are so fun and one of the few times I loosen my frugal pockets just a bit.:) It's hard not to.

We are very excited to be trying a few new varieties this year and hope we made wise choices in both varieties and catalogue choices.

We try to use (I'm totally guessing) about 90% open pollinated seed but are NOT, as unpopular as it has become, afraid to grow a few hybrid plants if it will get us to our harvest destination. I might consider growing a few hybrid, disease resistant tomatoes if mine were very prone to blight.

One of my favorite little cherry tomatoes "Santa Sweet" was a grocery store bought hybrid that we have saved seed off of for many years now. It became slightly smaller but as tasty as ever and has many more seeds for saving inside now than when we first saved them off it...I found that interesting.

We, like you, are also very fortunate to have a feed store not too far away that carries an unbelievable variety of seeds, potatoes, and garlic if we ever need them. What a blessing that has been.

I hope you have a wonderful garden this year and promise to send good wishes on the wind from mine to yours.:)

El said...

Seed catalogs, meh. Not tempted. Maybe I'm over my addiction? My figuring: if they can shell out for a glossy catalog, they don't need my money.

You know, though, I *did* place an order already, and that's only because it's stuff I didn't have, I can't get at the feed store, and nobody I trade with carries, things like parthenocarpic cucumbers so I can grow 'em in the greenhouse, and corn specifically for posole. But, yeah, it's tough, especially if your people aren't terribly food-adventurous! The way it works, I eat everyone's portions and well that's no good either.

But damn, what a screwed-up year for you if you lost 80 tomato plants (even *i* don't grow that many) and all those spuds. I would be terribly despondent. Maybe we can just forget it, like forgetting the pain of childbirth or something.

here's to a blight-free '10

randi said...

Mike..thanks, as ever, for your encouraging comments. I had the intention of cooling it on the number tomato plants this year but I doubt I'll hold that resolve as they as too tempting to grow. I wish I had about 20 of your sturdy cages, they are the best I've yet to see. I just hope I am de-blighted by now and can have a 'normal' season but having been so seriously burned I will proceed with caution. (haha)

El, I too experience trepidation when I see the gloss level of seed catalogues...Baker Creek being a perfect example this year. For me I suppose all I can do is ATTEMPT some sort of consciousness when it comes to what and how much...I know I'll look back on this and snort when I see how much I overdo it in the months to come. Ah well, rather a surplus to share than a deficit, no? I just want to get to the point where I can actually be Lady Bountiful with a couple of crops! Again, the great thing about gardening are the endless variations, also known as 'surprises' in some optimistic circles!