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.