Saturday, December 15, 2007

On seeds and seed-saving

'Mama, these flowers don't smell': the kid with the parsnip umbrels last spring: as you can see, I'll have enough parsnip seed next year

It's happening earlier every year: this inrush of seed catalogs into our mailboxes. Is it a good thing?

I wonder. I suppose the earlier they show up, they've got the advantage that we haven't wholly forgotten the previous garden season (and then buy accordingly). But then I wonder about this, too: I would think that a forgetful gardener, snow-deadened late in the winter season, would be the best customer. So happy for greenery would he or she be, the orders would be flying. I am quite sure, though, they've market tested all of this, and have decided the holiday stressed gardeners out there need to spend their money on seeds TOO.

Boy, I sound bitter. This is not the case. I enjoy getting these catalogs (within reason). Mainly, I enjoy getting them and huffily sniffing at them that "I would never plant THAT," and various forms of the same.

But over the last two years, I have become a seed-saver. This started small (as all bad habits do: it's just a little bit of cocaine, officer) and now, well, now I am a bit overwhelmed. I undertook the task of placing the darned things in some recognizable order last night, down in the chilly basement, accompanied by loud music and a big mug of wine. I'll say it was fun, but that may have been the wine talking. I will say I probably don't NEED to order any seeds this year, I have done such a good job preserving my last harvests. That is gratifying, but not...satisfying.

So, I will give in, probably in January, and order more seeds. In this, our hyperconsumerist culture, I could always...use...more.


cookiecrumb said...

We should all seed-swap. But I don't know how to dry tomato seeds. Oh, I have some chile pepper seeds that dried themselves. Want some?

El said...

CC! 'Tis stealing my thunder you are! I thought I would exchange seeds with the few bloggers I know who'd actually appreciate some of the things (like, some Beer Friend soybeans have your name on them). And I know your address, so you're easy!

cookiecrumb said...

Yoda, I mean El: I actually have a viable Dona tomato to collect seeds from. I guess I'll Google seed saving.
And, ooh, sorry to pull the magic carpet out from under you (how sweet you are!!!), but you are now officially getting some aji colorado seeds.

gigi@roadsidescholar said...

if you decide to order seeds i hope you get some from the seed saver's exchange. i think you and the whole family would love the mexican sour gherkin cukes! :)

jabbwolf said...

I tried saving some seeds this past year, and am hoping for success. I have a smal yard in the city and it has a very large, old Oak tree in it, limiting gardening space. I do more container gardening, or helpout my brother. I don't care how much work it is for smaller container, fresh verggies are like a git of candy from God! Good luck with your seeds! Love you blog, and will be back. Congrats to your hubby on his book : > Angie