Sunday, January 29, 2012

What will be in your 2012 garden?

Do you ever get to the point of feeling like you have so much on your mind that nothing stays straight in it at all?
It gets a bit muddled. And then it seems like there's nothing really in there at all?
I'm feeling that way right now -blessed with a vacuous mind. Helps me sleep at night.
Who says that growers aren't just as busy in the winter? I don't find myself spending a whole lot of time sitting beside my woodstove perusing seed catalogues.
I'd really like to do that, and will soon I hope.
Not to say I haven't ordered seeds, because I have.  Oh how I have.

I'm sure it is an addiction. In my spare moments when I'm not sending out seeds that people have ordered from me, or harvesting the winter greens, I'm checking out the seed offerings of others.
Some seed sources are wonderful and are treasures in and of themselves. If you don't know about them, you really should.

Seasoned growers may want to consider the absolutely tremendous listing on the Gardens North  website.
My mom, whose birthday is today (and bless her memory) loved the fun that could be had with Gardens North seed. Stratifying, cold treatment (vernalizing)-yahoo!

My own front yard is a testament to the fabulous seed to be had from this seed company.
One neat little shrub mix package purchased a good 15 years ago transformed my hard and barren clay front lawn into a true jungle of interesting vegetation. It's true! One little seed pack provided a whole lot of fun and experimentation and now good luck peering into my front window!

Mom and I also made an annual sojourn to William Dam Seeds.  I love heading up there for  a great many reasons.
One reason is that it still feels like home to me. I grew up close-by.
Who says you can't go home? I do all the time. It's different but the same.
Then again so am I.
I like dealing with nice people and the Dams are that. I love walking past the shelves of seed packets and seeing what is new, interesting and different. I always buy more than I should, but the last minute surprises are fun.
The seed is all untreated, and their selection of heirloom and organic seed is increasing every year. They have a wonderful selection of seed that is popular in the Netherlands and not necessarily well known here. Good stuff.

One of my searches this year has been for basil seed. After last years lime basil trial for Organic Gardening magazine, I got it in my head I would grow as many varieties of basil this year as I could find seed for. Enter Richters of course.

Reading the Richters catalogue is an education. There are lessons in that little catalogue about every herb under the sun...and more.
Most of the basil varieties I'll be testing are from Richters, but not quite all.
As it stands now, I will be growing 52 varieties of basil this summer. I'm game to grow more though. Any suggestions?
I definitely see a basil tasting event in the future. And pesto. Lots of it.

I'm also growing some wonderful things this year from my trip to Monticello in the fall.

Sesame seeds at Monticello
Sesame, rice, cotton, more fabulous cockscomb flowers, as well as a variety of wheats, farro, many more oriental vegetables - (can a radish really grow to be 100lbs?) and more.
I need to know why Amish Farmer Doughnut tomato is called that, so I'm growing it.  Is there a hole in the middle?
It's easy to get bogged down with the necessary things one needs to do to make a living and survive. And easy to forget how much you love doing what you do. Even when you grow food for a living. It can be stressful and it does have it's pressures.
But then you see it....that one seed that you must try.  Then the thought of spring approaching gets exciting and you're willing to do it all over again.
The garden is like going home - the same, yet different. And I would say that is a good thing.

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