December 28, 2011

It's Time for the Seed Order

This morning I put my seed order in the mail. It might seem a little early since winter is only just getting going, but I've made it a ritual to fill out the order during the week between Christmas and New Years. Being an early bird has its benefits: I get my onion and leek seeds in time to start them indoors by early February, and I'm less likely to lose out on fast selling varieties. I try to be very organized about the whole thing, keeping a list of the seeds I need in a notebook as I see myself running low during the gardening season. Then I go through the catalog, circling each seed packet that I want with a red pen, double checking it on my list. I absolutely hate when I forget something, because so many of my most loved vegetable varieties aren't available at the local garden store.

My very favorite seed catalog, from which I do most of my ordering, is a co-op based in Waterville, Maine, Fedco Seeds. In a world of glossy, full color catalogs, this one stands out for being on newsprint. It is full of the most delightful illustrations; how can you resist buying corn seeds seeing the images of little critters eating their fill, or melons and cucumbers on this two page spread? The illustrations are both contemporary and vintage, and are as much fun to look at as the vegetable descriptions are to read (take a look at that guy sprinting with a cuke under his arm). I know I can rely on the very complete and honest appraisals, and on Fedco's support of varieties for northern growing and for organic agriculture.

I store my plastic box full of seed packets in the freezer, which helps keep the seed viable longer. I'm organized here too: everything in alphabetical order. The seeds are now tucked away in their cold storage, biding their time, waiting for spring.


  1. I've been following your blog for about a month and very much enjoy your writing. I was exited today to see your seed order as I'll be placing mine soon to get the leeks going indoors also (I'm a cook's garden fan but just ordered a fedco catalog to see about branching out).

    Happy New Year Altoon, thank you for sharing your thoughts on the blog for us all to enjoy.

  2. Thank you for the lovely comment, Lisa; it's great to know I have a new reader and that you're enjoying what I do. I hope you enjoy the Fedco catalog.

  3. I'm living vicariously thru your seed process and yesterday's post about Indian ptg at the Met. I get much delight and education thru the details you expand and the dots you connect.

  4. SEEDS!! I just received my first seed catalog this week. It is exciting looking through the catalogs. You are so organized. I just sit here and dream about it. ;)

  5. Julie, I'm happy that I provide such pleasure; thanks.
    Lisa, have fun with your catalogs!