Quietly, they’ve been spread across the country through the postal system, delivered to mailboxes of people who grab them tightly and carry them into the house to ponder over and learn, preparing for action in the coming spring…. Seed catalogs.
I’ve come to learn that gardeners all have their own preferred sources of seed. Some rely only one seed saved over from years before, while others faithfully get theirs at the neighborhood feed store where they’ve gotten it for years. Some swear by one company, some by another. Some prefer hybrid, others prefer heirloom. Frank and I prefer to work with heirloom seed, and try to save over our own seed, but at the same time, like to try something new each year. And although we have gotten seed from various sources, we’ve come down to one catalog for the bulk of our supply — Seeds of Change.
Seeds of Change offers 100% certified organic seed, and offers a variety of heirloom varieties. We’ve had success with germination, growth, etc — all the great things you expect from seeds. I’m sure such success and satisfaction would come from ordering from any organic seed supplier, but we also happen to like the seed bags that come with Seeds of Change seeds. They’re resealable zip lock bags. For some reason, that did it for us.
And I’ve made use of them. I managed, over the years, to save brandywine tomato seeds from the garden in my bright yellow resealable bag their grand-seedlings came in. For some reason, I take pride in that fact.
This year’s study of the seed catalog includes a little more strategy than previous years. Last year’s Great Garden Failure depleted our seed storage in two ways — first, we got no harvest from the seeds that grew, and thus – likewise didn’t have any seed to save over.
Not to say we don’t have any seed. I have a minute supply of original seed generations, and a stout supply of seed from the second generation. However, to keep things growing as they should for many generations, I feel the need to order more from the original source each year to keep my seed line strong.
I feel especially determined about this with my tomatoes. I want my Brandywine and Black Krim to sprout, grow, produce, slice, taste and cook the same in ten years as they do this year.
I’ve gone through the catalog once with a fat magic marker, circling what I consider the basics of our garden, plus an interesting squash or grain or two. As I did so, the name of the company was not lost on me. “Seeds of Change.” What promise, what hope, what possibilities come with each order, in each yellow resealable bag.
The Great Garden Failure will always be tied to a year we’d rather forget – for many reasons. The garden was not all that we lost last year. But in browsing through the seed catalog, these seeds of change, we cannot help but imagine smiling over a plate of steamed spaghetti squash, tossed in herbs and warmed butter. You can almost taste the sweetness of that honeydew melon, feel the juice run down your chin. You can see the swirls in the top of a pot of tomato paste, and smell it’s earthy steam.
Ah, what a change can come from a pack of seed.
That is part of planning a garden. Planning the garden is planning your spring, summer and fall. It is planning your stock pile for next winter, and planning your seeds of change for next year — and the year after that, and the year after that, and so on.
The Seeds of Change catalog has come with its promises of a healthy, bountiful future. And so the planning and study continues – we won’t have to order for a few weeks yet.