Friday, February 15, 2013

seeds of the future (aka 2013 garden plan)

I finally got a nagging to-do off my list: I finished this year's garden plan. I'm sourcing most of my seeds from The Cottage Gardener, the same Newtonville, Ont.-based  heirloom seedhouse and nursery that I've used for the last four growing seasons. I still need to check my seed stash (here's a useful primer on checking seed viability), double-check my quantities (I often run short on some seeds, like lettuce and spinach, and have too many of others (how many zukes does a girl really need?)) and triple-check my budget, but now that I've made my choices, weighing productivity vs. hardiness vs. disease-resistance, and of course taste, I feel like I can relax a bit on the garden planning front -- for another week or so.

(And then I start to think about how messy I left the kitchen garden last year and how long it's going to take to get it prepped for spring planting, and how I want to build six raised beds despite the absence of any real carpentry skills, and that's on top of getting the greenhouse finally finished, and cleaning out the barn,  then there's the herb garden that I want to put in where we took out the above-ground pool and I start to hyperventilate a little and my one measly check on my to do list doesn't seem so significant at all!)

Still, I love ordering seeds. Besides being beautiful in their own right, each one offers the promise of future garden goodness, and each packet brings us another step towards food security, which seems more pressing each day as grocery store prices continue to climb. As Vandana Shiva, activist founder of the revolutionary Indian seed-saving organization Navdanya so eloquently says,"seeds are our mother."

For you seed nerds out there, here's my 2013 seed starting/planting lineup (so far):

Beans: Contender (bush), Kentucky Wonder (pole); Roc d'or Bean (wax)
Beets: Specialty beet mix with Golden Detroit, Chioggia, Bull's Blood and Cylindra
Broccoli: De Ciccio
Carrot: Danvers 126, Chanteray Red Cored
Cukes: Longfellow, National Pickling
Lettuce: Black Seeded Simpson, Red Oak, Parris Island Cos, plus a mesclun mix with Arugula, Russian Red Kale, Osaka Purple mustard green, Tatsoi mustard green,  Red Salad Bowl lettuce and Persian Cress. I wanted to get Drunken Woman Frizzy Headed Lettuce but it was sold out. Go figure.
Kale: Dwarf Blue Curled Scotch Kale
Leeks: Giant Musselburgh
Onions: Evergreen bunching, Sturon sets
Peas: Sugar snap peas, Green Arrow
Pepper: Quadrato d'Asti Giallo Sweet Pepper (yellow), Quadrato d'Asti Rosso Sweet Pepper (red), Early Jalepeno (hot)
Pumpkin: Connecticut Field, Small Sugar
Radish: Bouquet radish mix (with Pink Beauty, White Beauty and Plum Purple), Sparkler white tip
Spinach: Longstanding Bloomsdale
Summer squash: Black Beauty, Yellow bush scallop (aka Patty Pan)
Winter squash: Burgess Buttercup, Table Queen Bush Acorn Squash, Waltham Butternut
Tomatoes: Miel du Mexique, Martino's Roma, Box Car Willie (I'm only starting three varieties as I'm quite certain my dad will pick up some at his local farmer's market)

While order seeds certainly is fun, this garden dreaming has got me itching to get back out in the dirt. Who's with me?



P.S. If you're still putting together your seed/plant list, I urge you to check out this home-garden variety vegetable varieties list to ensure that you don't inadvertently support the evil Monsanto empire.

4 comments:

Mama Pea said...

I just finished off my seed order today. Whew, feels good to finally have that done. I agonize way too much over how much to order of what . . . and am always shocked at the total cost even though I've tried really hard to shop wisely and restrain myself.

Nope, I'm not really ready to dig in the dirt yet. I want some weeks yet of snowshoeing and knitting by the fire. I still wanna be a big, ol' hibernating bear!

Fiona@RowangarthFarm said...

Congrats on finishing your order, Mama Pea! I'm just crunching my budget now -- ugh. I keep reminding myself that I either spend the money now on seeds or later on food.
I'm looking forward to the digging in the dirt, but you're right, I'm still loving the downtime of knitting and woodstove sitting! I'm solar powered though, and I could use some more sunshine!

Mama Pea said...

It astounds me every year how much my seed order adds up to in $$$. But not only do I know I'm ahead financially in buying the seeds and growing our veggies, but the greatest benefit is that the food grown could hardly be more nutritious for us. Just think how fresh it is! And we know it hasn't been sprayed with poisons or genetically modified to "travel" better or look perfect.

We've been short on sunshine here, too, this winter. We only produce about half our power from solar but have noticed our batteries aren't exactly over-charged this winter.

Erin said...

I haven't even started yet, and I think part of it is because I too left the garden a wreck last fall and I am going to have to face reality soon and get to work!

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