Sunday, January 4, 2009

On The Seedy Side of Town

Get your mind in the gutter with the 'Burbs.

Well, another holiday season has come and gone. The past month is now just a blur of fancy dinners, drunken cocktail parties, peppermint lattes and errant pine needles. The great thing about the magical month of December, though, is that all the merriment distracts you from the fact that it's bitterly cold and dark as a frickin cave out there.

But what now? Now that the distraction and mayhem is gone? What keeps you going when the temperatures plummet and warmth of spring feels so far away? Presidents Day? Puh-lease! I need a little more than that to take my mind off the chilly, depressing weather outside. And you know what does it for me...

Bom chicka wah wah chicka wah wah....

That's right. Seed porn, baby.

My Dad always planted a large garden, usually an acre or more, and for as long as I can remember, a Burpee's catalog on the counter reminded us that winter - even in Upstate New York - couldn't last forever. Dad would get a twinkle in his eye as he pulled out paper and pencil and started making his list.

Well things have changed a bit. Dad no longer has a big garden and I am now the one lusting after the seed porn. I also am straying from tradition in that I won't be getting my seeds from Burpee's or down at the local Agway store. Instead, I'll be checking out, a non-profit organization that saves and shares heirloom seeds. Or maybe I'll check out one of the many seed exchanges out there and see what other gardeners have to offer. I've even been able to find a local seed exchange in my area whom I'm sure I'll be purchasing from.

Why opt out of the commercial catalogs in favor of heirloom varieties? Well, there are a number of reasons to do so. But the reason I choose heirlooms is because these varieties tend to have more flavor. Others choose heirlooms because they're just plain old suspicious of greedy, corporate, Monsato/ADM, lab-created, GMO, nutrition-deficient, disease-ridden, Frankenstein foods.

OK, maybe I am too, a little. But really, it's mostly for flavor. Plus, who doesn't love a purple tomato?

So here I sit, with my seed catalog, a pad, and a pencil. And a feeling that spring is just around the corner.


fullfreezer said...

Oh, Oh, Oh, I saw the purple tomato!!! It was SO cool. Yeah, garden porn has gotten to me as well. I have been pleased that several of the more 'mainstream' catalogues are selling heirloom and open pollinated varieties as well as their stunning hybrids. I've got my list but still need to sit down with my garden partner and finalize the plan for the 2009 season.

Erin aka Conscious Shopper said...

I haven't tried purple tomatoes, but I have had magic beans. Two years ago we got royal burgundy beans from our CSA. They start out purple, but turn green when you cook them. It's amazingly cool, and not just for the kids.

Green Bean said...

You caught me! I've got a little seed porn going on right now. I was burned by the multi-colored beans last year but the squash did well so I'm feeling a bit adventurous there. Have you seen Baker Rare Seeds? Talk about true porn! Yawza.

The Pirate Farmer said...

Renee's Garden has two packets of mixed heirloom toms that we had fun with. The girls were willing to try the different oranges and zebras but wouldn't touch the black krim with a 39 and a half foot pole. The fun for me comes when I forget how I labeled all the seedlings and am surprised at what comes up! ~ib mommy

Ken Greene said...

Just found your website and LOVE it- especially the Seed to Seed Challenge. Check out our seedy efforts on the East Coast with the Hudson Valley Seed Library.


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