Friday, January 16, 2009

Faithful In Word and Seed

With the harsh wintry weather we've had this week -- today started at -12 F -- anything that helps me think about spring and summer is welcome.

That's one reason why I love Fedco Seeds.

Granted, there's a lot to appreciate about them. Their catalog, though all in black and white and printed on newsprint, offers a tantalizing and humorous look at life in the garden. Though you don't get any glossy photos of gorgeous vegetables and such, the descriptions are utterly irresistible and something outright fun.

They're committed to offering good seeds, mostly of the open-pollinated variety and many of them organic, making them ideal for seed savers. They avoid GMOs and will drop varieties that don't produce well.

And when they get their own seeds shipped to stock their warehouse, they turn around and fill orders and send those seeds out right away.

I came home today to find a small Priority Mail box waiting for me on the doorstep, and I opened it to find lots and lots of little seed packets. Oh glorious day!

Several of the seeds I ordered are backordered, but none of them appear to be ones that I want to start indoors in the next couple of months, so I'm not worried.

Just shuffling through these envelopes gets me thinking about warmer days when I can actually see the soil again, and soon I'll have to start planning garden layouts and schedules. Won't that be fun?

Maybe that will keep me warm and happy this weekend!



At 1/21/2009 10:27 AM, Blogger Sara said...

I can't wait for my Fedco order to arrive! This will be the first year I'll start seeds indoors, though. I'm a little nervous about that. Did you do it last year? I'm just wondering if all the fancy equipment (warming pads and special lights) really necessary?

At 1/21/2009 10:44 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

I confess, Sara, I've only tried starting seeds once before, and it was a dismal failure. I'm going to read up in Fresh Food From Small Spaces as well as talk to one of my local farmers for ideas. I hope the fancy equipment isn't necessary, but if it is, it may be the year for me to get it.

At 1/21/2009 12:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No fancy equip is necessary to start seeds, unless you're trying to "beat the season" by a whole lot. Much easier just to go with nature. I kept track one year, and my store-bought transplants started producing only one week before my volunteer tomatoes!

If you don't have a ton of light in your house (and seedlings need TONS of light), buy a $5 shop light (the 4' long fluorescent kind) and either 2 full-spectrum bulbs or (waaaaay cheaper), one "cool" spectrum and one "warm" spectrum bulb. Rig some kind of chain-and-s-hook system so you can adjust the height of the light, so it always hangs about 2" above your seedlings. The whole shebang should cost less than $10.

Or just start stuff in the garden. Since I only want 3-6 tomato plants and a couple peppers, and I'm much more picky about my kale varieties, anyway, I don't usually bother to start any seeds indoors.

At 1/21/2009 12:32 PM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

Thanks, Emily! That's useful to know. I tried starting my seeds under a fluorescent light before, but I must not have gotten the distance right -- they got really leggy and then collapsed. Will see what I can rig up this year!

At 1/21/2009 1:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

J, what are you trying to start? Because honestly, if it's a cool-weather crop, it's much easier (and yields better results) to just start stuff in the garden.

At 1/21/2009 1:31 PM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

I'm just hoping to get a jump start on tomatoes and broccoli. The cool-weather stuff I'll plant early (and late). Might try to start some of the basil seeds early, too, since I've had a hard time with them growing from seed in the garden before.


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