Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What Farmers Do All Winter

So, which of the 2012 models do you like so far? There's that spiffy little Terenzo, though we've also been eyeing the Sunstripe. And you just can't go wrong with Atomic Red, right? Not to worry, those aren't new car models we're so enamored with. This is a blog about farming, so those are actual names of new hybrid vegetable seeds for the coming season. Tomato, squash, and carrot, respectively. Not necessarily our new favorites in those categories, but you have to admit they have some catchy names.

Catchy names, glitzy photos and outrageous claims are everywhere this time of year. That's because farmers, urban or otherwise, can't really do much farming during the cold winter months (you can do some, but we weren't quite ready this year). So what do they do? They give out their addresses to seed companies, and end up with a pile like this!

That's a mixture of this year's catalogs, plus a handful of "back issues" from Greg's Dad to get a feel for a few of his favorite companies. Each one is full of hundreds of varieties, leading to a nearly limitless range of growing options. Especially so when you intend to garden over 400 square feet of space, as we do.

Winter is time for planning, of paging through the catalogs and websites, pitting tomato A against tomato B, and seeing which one you want to be stuffing yourself with by next August (hopefully). Then you have to consider what you've already got: your seed stash, if you will. In our case, it looks like this:

In just four short years of gardening (patio and community) and various changing tastes in what we want to grow, we somehow amassed 30 assorted packets of seeds. And that's only the vegetable ones - there's probably a dozen more herb seed packets stashed away, too. That would be plenty to fill our entire garden space with plants for the year, but there are so many other things we want to try! We've got kale, but wouldn't it be fun to grow collard greens, too? Besides, seeds are only a few bucks a packet and can keep for several years, so why not go a little nuts?

We've almost got our order figured out for the coming year: 10 more packets of various veggies, from green beans to pickling cucumbers. Of course, it's still January, and with months before we can even start planting, who knows how many more we'll decide we just have to have? You can keep your Car & Driver; we'll be here leafing through the new Park Seed for the umpteenth time.

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to see what you decide on ordering - then what you decide to plant!