Tuesday, February 17, 2009

In the garden: Seedy dreams

Last week I gave in to my yearning for just a few more kinds of seeds, and put in my order with Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. I debated whether to order from there or from Seeds of Change, but the lower prices won out. Because the Baker Creek packages hold fewer seeds and are priced accordingly, I could buy three varieties for the price of two at Seeds of Change. (I'll still order certain things for fall from SOC.)

They're not all certified organic, but they're heirloom and GMO-free, and I loved reading through all the histories of the plants!

So, yesterday I decided to go through and reorganize the seeds I already have. I spent so much time poring over seed packets that two-dimensional vegetable images filled my dreams last night. I probably should have done this before ordering. Fortunately, I didn't duplicate anything, although I'll have more than enough varieties of green beans and tomatoes.

This is what I plan to plant this year:

Peas - Oregon Sugar Pod, Super Sugar Snap, Snow Pea Taichung, and Little Marvel. I grew seedlings in September, but our October heatwave wiped them out. I'm really hoping I'm not too late to begin again. It warms up here very quickly, sometimes 90 degrees in March. But I'm going to try.

Chinese cabbage - Michihli

Onions - I put two kinds in the ground in November, and plan to add another batch of organic cippolinis, Walla Wallas, and red burgundy.

Broccoli - Organic Green-Sprouting Calabrese. My kids love broccoli, especially fresh off the plant. The first tiny heads are starting to form on the broccoli I planted in November, and I'll plant more soon.

Beets -- Organic Tall Top Early Wonder. I'll plant these along the new chicken fence so they can eat the greens. Hopefully the beets will be ready in time for chocolate birthday cakes in April!

Carrots - Danvers. Planted these in November, time for another round.

Parsley - Italian Gigante. Can never have too much!

Arugula - Roquette. This is already overgrown from my fall planting. I wasn't very good about harvesting it, but I'm going to try again.

Spinach - Organic Longstanding Bloomsdale. Coming up now, but I'll plant some more for later.

Lettuce - Organic Bibb. This did really well last summer. Maybe my clothes will actually fit if I eat salad everyday...

Beans - Organic Kentucky wonder, Henderson's Black Valentine, Dragon Tongue! How could I resist a purple striped green bean named after a dragon!?

Corn - Country Gentleman Sweet Corn, Hopi Pink Flour Corn, Dakota Black Popcorn. All part of my Baker Creek order.

Tomatoes - Organic San Marzanos, Organic Burbank, Beefsteak, Mama Leone, Illinois Beauty, Old Virginia. I started the San Marzanos two weeks ago when the weather was beautiful. Then it froze two nights ago, so we'll see how they do. Duh. The last three are from Baker Creek.

Eggplant - SOC organic Italian White, Rosa Bianca, Ma-Zu Purple Chinese. Hopefully I didn't go overboard on this. Last year we had only one plant which fed us eggplant parmesan and Ratatouille every week for months!

Hot peppers - Chili De Comida. "Pepper of Food."

Sweet peppers - Corno di Toro Rossos. That's a red Italian heirloom pepper. I also saved yellow bell pepper seeds from last year.

Tomatillo - Verde

Basil - Italian Pesto.

Melons - Crimson Sweet watermelon, Chilean Black Seeded watermelon, Native American red seeded watermelon, organic cantaloupe. I saved the organic cantaloupe seeds from one we got from our CSA last year. The NA seeds are from my friend Mark. And the Chilean seeds I ordered from Baker Creek.

Summer squash - Cocozella di Napoli, Zucchino Rampicante (Zucca d'Albenga). From Baker Creek: "The famous Italian heirloom vining zucchini and pumpkin, long, slender 15" fruit have a flat bulb at the bottom. They are one of the best eating summer squash, very tender, mild and sweet tasting. The flavor is superb! This squash is also great as winter squash. The Italians use it for stuffing in gnocchi and ravioli; the flesh is rich and flavorful, great for baking and pies! The vines produce good yields of this great all-purpose squash."

Winter squash - Early butternut, Delicata

I also ordered Arikara Sunflowers, Borage, Lovage and Cumin seeds. And I have gobs of flower seeds I haven't decided what to do with. I'm not very good with them. Nasturtiums did okay last year. Somehow I'm not as motivated to give flowers the attention they need! But the Borage is supposed to be good around the tomatoes, etc. And the Lovage can be used as straws and for celery flavor!

Now I have to stop dreaming, and get to work!


Lift Up Your Hearts said...

This is so inspiring!!!

Joy said...

I've just placed my order for seeds and can't wait for them to get here!!!! It was fun reading what you plan to plant. :)

Lisa said...

Oh I so wish I could have a garden! Ah!

Thompson said...

Your garden sounds lovely. I need to get our seed plan going.

leanne said...

Hello. I just found your blog. Very fun. We just ordered some seeds too. It was fun to read your list. I'm jealous that you planted some in November!

Kathy's Red Door Welcome said...

Wow, you certainly are ambitious! I'm impressed.

princessmama said...

I just got my seeds, yay! Peas, lettuce, sunflowers, beets, carrots,cucumbers and beans. I wanted to do tons more but figured this year i'd take it easy and make sure i got it done!

Joshua is my little gardener:-) He's getting sunflower, carrot, and pea seeds for part of his birthday present. We did seeds and gardening tools last year and he Loved it. I can't wait to start planting! :-)

Lynette said...

Wow, you have quite a garden. I am very impressed!

princessmama said...

That mushroom field guide is a fun one, we also have and insect field guide that they love. We are all the time identifying insects we find crawling around our house, lol. Most of them are wood borers, I think they must come in on our firewood.

mandi said...

oh man! this is an exciting time of year! baker creek has yet to send me my seeds. it's been almost 2 weeks : (. hmm....i think i'm gonna email them, now that i think of it. i mean, how's a girl supposed to wait that long for her seeds? come on!!!

ChristyACB said...

I also went completely nuts at Baker Creek seeds this year. Looks like we have a lot of the same crops, though my season starts much later.

I'll be just transplanting my onion seedlings this weekend!

Baker creek also TESTS for GMO contamination on things like corn that are especially prone to that. I don't think anyone else does and that makes a huge difference to me when saving seeds.

As for organic, theirs aren't all certified so, but they are all truly heirloom and tested, which means for your garden purposes, the seeds you save from your organic garden are going to be pure and organic for the next year.
That is certainly a boon!

Kathy's Red Door Welcome said...

Amanda, stop by my blog and pick up the awards I left for you.

Stephanie said...

I just put in an order yesterday (the day before???) for a bunch of heirlooms, too.
I've also put a book on hold at the library-- all about keeping seeds. :)
I have a feeling I'll want to buy that one, but first I'll check it out!
With all these heirlooms, I'll have my seeds for next year!

kathy said...

I would love to plant the variety you chose - we live in a very windy, dry area with clay soil so it's expensive to try and grow anything here

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