March 15, 2010


Ahh it's that time when we start making our garden decisions. The seed catalogs have been filling our mailboxes and just browisng through them has been such winter joy.

It can be overwhelming to look at all the glorious seeds and imagine our dream garden . . .
flourishing and overflowing with vegetables, herbs and flowers.
And if you're like me, you'll want to plant EVERYTHING!

There have been times, due to my *overzealousness*, that I ordered way more than I ever planted. And then there were years when I waited too late, and instead, ordered seedlings.

Every year is another journey , to see what worked and what didn't, to try new things and to learn from the past.

Please still drool over all those catalogs, dog-ear those pages with what you want, but then be REALISTIC .  You also want to enjoy the journey and not be overcome with work due to your good intentions ( huge garden!)

Get the children involved!
Encourage the children to make their own garden on paper before they actually dig in the dirt. Let them cut out pictures of vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs that appeal to them.  With scissors glue and seed catalogs - a colorful masterpiece can be made!  And they will become familar with what seeds can produce.

My advice for the garden:

-Start small.
-Think about what you and your family eat and enjoy.
-Try one or two new things every year.
-Plant for wildlife also. There are many plants: flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables that attract benefical  creatures...bees, butterflies, birds, dragonflies, etc

Vegetables I like to plant :

Tomatoes- slicing, paste, cherry and grape for eating fresh and sauce and salsa all year
Snow peas and Snap peas - for eating fresh and in stir-frys
Lettuce and Mesclun mixes for fresh salads
Cukes- small bush variety for eating fresh as snacks, in salads and for pickling.
Squash- summer and zucchini to slice for dips and steam in meals and butternut and other winter squash for the colder months.
Pumpkins- for carving, and breads and pies
Carrots- eat fresh and store for the coldr months, and for the rabbits
Basil and Spinach for pesto and other sauces
Lavender because I am truly in love with all things lavendar and for use in sachets, soap and tea.
Strawberries for eating fresh. Strawberries tend to be one of the most heavily sprayed fruits.

Many of the herbs and flowers we have are perennials which come up each year on their own. But there's always those glorious annuls I can't live without...
          like sunflowers


and nasturtiums!

This year I am going to try some things new :
Swiss Chard, Kale, Purple carrots, Fingerling potatoes, Asparagus, Garlic, Beans (that you shell), and Birdhouse Gourds.

I feel it is very important to garden, even if it is one vegetable in one pot. It is one way to control what you are eating.

My future goal is to provide most all the vegetables and fruits my family eats for the whole year. That way I will know *exactly* what we are eating.

In the meantime I will also buy as much organic foods as possible.

If you can only buy *some *organic , it's best to start at the top of the food chain, and buy organic dairy and meats.

I also wanted to make sure I bought non-GMO seeds for my garden.

Here's a list of  organic and non-GMO seed catalogs. These are not the only ones out there but they are what I have on my list.

1) Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds in MO -
untreated non-GMO  heirloom vegetable seeds from around the world

2) Cook's Garden  in PA-
certified organic and untreated non-GMO vegetable seeds

3) Fedco Seeds in ME -
certified organic and biodynamic seeds, untreated and non-GMO vegetable seeds, certified organic onion sets, specialty potatoes and fingerlings and Jerusalum artichokes

4) Harris Seeds in NY -
certified organic and untreated non-GMO vegetable seeds, OMRI listed and NOP National List pesticides, small vegetable production supplies

5) Johnny's Selected Seeds in ME -
certified organic and untreated non-GMO vegetable seeds, small vegetable equipment and machinery,OMRI and NOP National List pesticides

6) Seeds of Change in NM  -
certified organic and untrested non-GMO heirloom vegetable seeds

7) Seed Savers in IA -
certified organic and untreated non-GMO vegetable seeds

8) Southern Exposure Seed Exchange in VA -
certified organic and nuntreated non-GMO heirloom and open- pollinated vegetable, herb, and flower seeds,certified organic peanut seeds, and garlic

9) Territorial Seed Company in OR -
certified organic and untreated non-GMO vegetable seeds

Please let me know what YOU decide to plant this year! I would LOVE to hear your story!


Anonymous said...

I can't wait to start gardening and to be able to be outside in the warm sun more often :) One comment about organics-- grassfed beef is better than "organic" since even so-called organic beef can still be fed soy and grain which can cause digestional upset in the cows (it's like formula feeding a baby--it's artificial and they weren't meant to have it). Organic milk--well you're better off drinking water because of the ultra pasteurization. It no longer has any nutritional content. Raw milk is best (hard to find but we do have a source), local is even better (garelick is local to New England and doesn't use antibiotics of growth hormones. I've met many of their cows :) )

can't wait for pictures of your garden :)

Unknown said...

I unearthed my garden journal last week to have a look at last years ideas,notes and pix! Just seeing the new sprouts coming through the ground now is a delight!

Thank you for sharing your organic seed resources in this post! I can't wait to investigate them further...

Unknown said...


marcia said...

Thank you Leigh. You are so right. The whole *organics* can be so confusing for people and unless it's certified organic it can be just about anything. I also agree with grass fed beef. It is what nature has provided and all the grains and soy fed to cows..(and horses too!)is not natural for their digestive system.