Thursday, April 8, 2010

Seeds, seeds, seeds...

I was a little late ordering my seeds but it's something that I have never done before and, I must admit, a tad overwhelming. Usually, I would have just popped down to the nearest store and bought whatever they had in stock. This year, however, I am being much more selective. I have chosen from a range of seed companies (4 in total), after flipping endlessly through seed catalogs from 12 different companies! The selection was endless! I'm not exaggerating when I say that it took me weeks to make my final selections. It's all so exciting and new to me and there is so much to learn. Before this process began, I had no idea what indeterminate meant. Phrases like, 'hardening out' and 'bolting' meant nothing to me. I found myself lost in the mere descriptions of vegetables, being both a romantic, as well as a lover of words. Who are the lucky people who get to write these descriptions? Are they on commission? I found myself writing down the names of varieties of vegetables that I don't even like. It was all in good fun, until I added up the totals. It was then that I realized that I couldn't order one package of seeds from every company, just to be supportive. The postage alone was going to kill my bank account. I first had to narrow down which companies would get my support this year and for what reasons. In the end I chose four. I ordered seeds from Annapolis Seeds in Nova Scotia simply because the idea of a 16 year old boy owning and operating his own organic seed company is mind-blowing. While his catalogue is smaller than the other companies', he grows the seeds himself and they are open-pollinated, non-GMO and totally organic, although not certified. Owen Bridge has my full support and wish him all the success in the world! Here is a link to his website should you be interested in purchasing seeds from him yourself:
 From Owen, I purchased seeds for Lancer Parsnips, Chadwick's Cherry Tomatoes and Yellow Pear Tomatoes. I can't wait until they arrive!
Next, I chose a company called Hope Seeds, based in New Brunswick. They also sell heritage and organic seeds of the highest quality. From them I purchased seeds for cucumbers, 5 Colour Silverbeet Swiss Chard, Red Express red cabbage, and acorn squash. They haven't arrived yet either but I'm pretty sure they'll be here anyday now, maybe even today. Here's the link to Hope Seed's website:

Yesterday my seeds arrived from High Mowing Seed Company. Although High Mowing is an American company and, generally speaking, I support Canadian companies first, I was drawn in by the varieties available through High Mowing. Their seeds are also 100% organic and they have heritage varieties available too. From High Mowing Organic Seeds I purchased the following seeds: Early Wonder Tall Top Beet (mostly for the greens), Shanghai Green Baby Pac Choy, Jericho Romaine Lettuce, Orion Red Pepper, Yellow Scallopini Patty Pan Squash, Matt's Wild Cherry Tomato (delicious little guys!), and San Marzano Paste Tomato. Since they arrived yesterday, I will be starting the seeds indoors as of today. Can't wait to get started... Here is the link for High Mowing Organic Seeds:

Finally, the biggest order I placed was through Henry Field's Seed & Nursery Co., based in Oakville, Ontario. Henry Field's is not entirely organic but they do sell a variety of organic seeds. Whether or not this is a rural myth, I have heard from several people that organic crops fail more often because they are more susceptible to pests. Of course, I didn't want to believe this and purchased mostly organic seeds. However, the little voice in the back of my head said that it wouldn't hurt to try a couple of the non-organic varieties. That said, I did find myself favouring the organic seeds in the Henry Field's catalogue anyway. Here is what I bought from Field's: Howden's Field Pumpkins, Jackpot Hybrid Zucchini Summer Squash, Kuroda carrots, Miss Pickler Hybrid Cucumbers (the name alone sold me!), Oregon Sugar Pod Snow Peas, Rainbow Blend Carrot Seeds, Ruby Red Chard, Saxa Radish, Sugarsnax Carrot, Twilight Eggplant and Vital Green Spinach. They should be here anyday now too! Very exciting! Here's the link to Henry Field's:

I also had the opportunity to attend Seedy Saturday here in Guelph. I met a number of people who sell and grow seeds for a living. I bought seeds from the Cottage Gardener and Ecogenesis booths.
Now that the seeds are here, well, almost here, I can get started on the seedlings. Since I have the day off tomorrow, I will continue this then... Until then, I'll be impatiently waiting for the rest of my seeds to arrive.

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