...sometimes even a single feather is enough to fly. (Robert Maclean)


New Year, New Seeds

new year  = new seeds = new garden.

Every year a garden is a new entity.  
A new creation. 
Dreaming about growing things 
and having a stack of seed catalogs 
somehow makes the winter more tolerable.

By this time of year, 
I usually have received a stack of catalogs several inches high, 
and this is how I bring in the New Year.  

I read seed catalogs like some people read fiction.  
I love every inch of them.  
Every photograph and illustration, name and description.

I think that would be such a fun job...  
To be the person who comes up with new names for new varieties, 
and who writes the descriptions 
in an effort to capture the essence of 
a particular tomato, and the nuance
of every bean.
Looking at the catalogs,
I can smell and taste things,
and I can practically feel the sun on my back 
and the ache in my muscles. 

Each year, I find myself longing a little bit more 
for that first thaw.

Each year, my dreams and plans are a little bit bigger,
and I am practically salivating to get out of snow boots and gloves
and back into boots and gloves of the garden variety.

So I will share with you some of my favorite places 
to get lost in the dream of the garden:

Fedco is by far and away the most affordable way to buy seed.
We just discovered them this year, thanks to our friend Wendy
 (sorry, it's not in the picture since we borrowed hers)
They cut costs on catalog printing (black and white, no photos)
and pass the savings on in better prices.  Waaaaaay better prices. 
Plus, they have a good selection of organics.  
Most things you can get for $1.00-$2.40 a pack!
They do have some fun illustrations 
and random political commentary scattered throughout, too,
which for me, is a bonus.
Probably has the glossiest, sexiest catalog out there.
It's total eye candy.  
You'll want to take it up to bed and fall asleep 
with pictures of ripe, juicy deliciousness on your face.
But  it's not just looks -- 
they are the premier source for heirloom seeds.

Another great source for heirlooms.
Very high quality seed.
If you become a member, you get special access to names and addresses of people 
around the world who have saved seed that they're willing to share with people.  
It's an amazing community.  
Plus there's an online forum...  
gardeners asking questions and sharing information with each other.

 Their seeds are pricey,
but you can be guaranteed your rewards will be superbly tasteful.
This past year we tried their wild kale mix, 
and it was the most amazing kale (sweet, tender!) I've ever had in my life, bar none.
And they're not kidding about it being hardy! 
We were eating it right up until we got 16 inches of snow!

 100% organic, safe seed pledge.
It's a Vermont company, and we're fond of all things Vermont.
If it can grow in Vermont, it can surely grow here. 

 Also 100% organic.
And they sell seedlings to transplant of especially hard to start items like tomatoes and peppers...
(We tend to get our seedlings locally, though). 

The name says it all.  Loads of organic potatoes, sweet potatoes, garlic, onions, etc.

 They have so so so so so many herb seeds and bare roots - 
a great source for medicinal herbs but they carry culinary herbs and vegetable seed, as well.

Overall nice selection, plus they have some instructional videos and 
customer service phone staff happy to answer questions about growing from seed.

 They have lots of herbs and some veggie seeds., 
some nice tips and an easy to navigate website with an online 'recipe box'.

They have a large selection of seed, including some organic,
but we especially like checking out their supplies and tools. 

 We don't usually order from them unless they have something we can't find anywhere else, 
but I really do love looking at their old-fashioned illustrations!
Sometimes I cut the illustration out and hang them up in our potting shed 
or save them for projects.   

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