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.