One of the things that I look the most forward to as we shift from dark winter days to longer, sunnier and more rejuvenating spring days is the time spent with seed catalogs. I spend hours pouring over the pictures, vicariously living it up and planning my garden using the delectable descriptions.
Before setting about with our orders, Jacob and I did a checklist of what we wanted to grow and what we wanted to eat. The other goal was to keep the seed selection to mostly heirloom and organic if at all possible. I also wanted to spice things up and make the garden a bit more interesting – so I told myself to break out of the comfort zone and order two wacky, crazy, newbies that I’d never grown before…
Keeping things real is something I’m all about, so each year I plan to buy a few starts because I realistically can’t handle, don’t need to and don’t want to grow an entire packet of tomato plants. The starts this year are going to be tomatoes (three or four varieties), melons (watermelon or cantaloupe) and artichokes.
Below is our order and some info on the companies and why we chose them. I’ll keep you posted on the progress!
(O) = organic
(H) = heirloom
A local company in Ellensburg, Washington. They have an incredible variety of seeds and their focus is on organic. With my seed order, I also picked up a very cool garden planner with a sliding scale of frost dates for your local area and planting times for the most popular vegetable garden seeds. A serious snag for only $2.00!
- MUNCHER (O): Cucumbers are my arch-nemesis in the garden. My commitment: this year is going to be different. I’ll keep you posted.
- ICEBERG (O) (H): Lettuce is a biggie in our garden and I count on the readily available salads that I can pick at a moment’s notice. I’ve never grown iceberg, because I’ve always thought it was kind of a plastic-bag-totally-nutrient-lacking-sort of salad mix. But, I love its crunch. This is one of the newbies and according to its description it promises “to be like no other iceberg we’ve ever tried”…
- SUGAR PEARL (O): Heirloom corn is a hard one to find, so I settled for organic.
- DE CICCO (O): Broccoli is a staple crop in our garden. I love that you can cut some today and there will be more in a few days. It really gives all season long. And, it’s the one and only green vegetable that my toddler will gobble up.
- GOURMET LETTUCE MIX (O)
- LITTLE GEM (O): I like romaine lettuce and the name sold me on this one. They are sandwich or small salad size and average about 6 inches high – adorable!
- EARLY BUTTERNUT (O) and REBA (Resistant Early Bush Acorn) (O): Squash was a fun newbie in the garden last year. I have a slight addiction to veggies from the squash family and have been known to commit ridiculously large portions of garden to pumpkins and gourds. I fell in love with squash last year because its shelf life was incredibly long and the gorgeous plants fulfilled my desire to be taken over by squash.
- HOLLAND RED (Bulbs): We have been mixing shallots in to our cooking lately and I love the long storage life of both onions and shallots.
- LITTLE FINGER (O): These are little carrots that are just the snack size we find in the grocery store, but have the nutritious peels still on and are perfect for my rabbit-resembling daughter
- WHALE (O): Spinach, spinach, spinach! Who doesn’t love spinach?! I love it raw. I love it blanched. I love it in quiche. I love it!
- EVERGREEN HARDY: Scallions are one of the easiest vegetables to grow. I love that they can spice up taco night, any salad and are pretty, too.
- COPRA: Onions from seed are the way to go. They are easy to start indoors or in the greenhouse and you get the most bang for your buck. Plus, their over winter storage is excellent.
- SCARLET NANTES (O): A good, hardy and always popular carrot.
A company that is talked about in The Town That Food Saved by Ben Hewitt (a book I reviewed in Check these out (literally), please). They had the best variety of pumpkins and as you can see – that’s my thing.
- CINDERELLA PUMPKIN (O): I love these darlings with the cherry-red and burnt orange skins.
- BABY PAM PUMPKIN (O): The pumpkin that is going to make it possible to churn out endless pumpkin pies this coming fall.
A non-profit organization dedicated to saving and sharing heritage seeds from your garden, my garden and our ancestors’ gardens. A fascinating company with a wonderful tradition for avoiding GMO crops.
- ROYAL PURPLE POD BEANS (O) (H): Just imagine pole beans that grow purple and have purple foliage, but turn bright green when cooked?! OMG! I had to get these.
- GOURD MIXTURE (H): Are you seeing a trend with the aforementioned addiction to gourds, squash, pumpkins, everything?!
- PROVIDER GREEN BEAN (O)