Saturday, December 1, 2012

On the first day of Christmas... true love gave to meeeeee......

One mailbox full of seeeeeed cataloggggssssss!  *That's me singing, which is probably as off key typed as it is when actually sung*

What do you give that homesteader for Christmas?? Seeds!!!!  Lots and lots of seeds!!  Millions of seeds!!  More seeds than any woman could ever hope to plant in one lifetime, and then more than enough for the next three incarnations.  Or maybe that's just what I want.  After all, some other homesteading gal may be sitting on Santa's lap to ask for that first chainsaw...or maybe she just thinks jolly fat guys are hot.  It takes all kinds, ya know.

I got the Baker Creek 2013 and Johnny's Seeds 2013 catalogs yesterday.  WOOT!  I see some improvement in the Baker Creek catalog:  they've included recipes, taken a few new pics (how many years did they use those same shots??) and even included a page, with photos, on how to save seeds.  The grossest method, mind you.  They use the "squeeze it into a jar to ferment method"  Ewww.  I have enough fruit flies in my kitchen at harvest time without intentionally feeding the little buggers.  If you are going to bother to squeeze out seed, squeeze it into a sieve, rinse it, and lay it out to dry.  Instructions and pics found here.

Baker Creek is still lacking in the "days to maturity" on each seed variety, though.  Is it really that hard to include that info?  Just a rough guess, maybe?  When your season is short, every day counts, and knowing that you are wasting your time with something that will only grow in Hawaii would be nice.

Johnny's is still my all time favorite seed source.  It's an employee owned company.  They don't deal with Monsanto.  Their seed is reliable and germination is amazing.  I do wish they carried more heirlooms, though.

A winter project I have planned is to sort my seed stash.  Yeah, it could happen.  Stop laughing!!  I am totally going to get all those seeds into one spot...the ones in the closet, on my desk, in the freezer, in the fridge, in the other closet, in the garage...where did I put the rest?  Anyway, yep, I hope to get them all organized, alphabetized, and in the freezer.  I spent three weeks looking for the beet seeds.  It would be nice if that didn't happen again.

I'm also hoping to start some peach trees this year.  I bought locally grown peaches at the Farmers' Market and saved the seed.  From what I've read, I need only pop the seed out of the shell, put it in soil, and stratify it by either putting the pot of soil in the fridge or putting it outside.  Most likely it will be outside, because my fridge is messy enough without pots of soil getting knocked over when someone reaches for the ketchup.  I will have to put them under wire, or something, to keep the hungry squirrels, skunks, and various other seed stealing varmints at bay.  It'll be an interesting project, and if I can actually manage to grow even half of the seeds into seedlings, it'll be worth the effort.  Peach trees are expensive, especially when they just go on and die right after you plant them.  This way, I'll be sure to have peaches that will grow in my area, and trees that are least until the deer get to them.

Now, back to those seed catalogs....


Carolyn said...

I LOVE Baker Creek, although we don't get their catalog in the mail because we usually go up to their Pioneer Village thingy & buy ours. Their online catalog is very nice, but takes forever to download. I am a bit jealous though, because it's great to flip through those catalogs. Maybe this year I'll ask them to mail me one.

And I agree, how hard would it be to put "Days to Harvest" on the seed packets?!? Pretty important thing if you asked me. Maybe we can all email Baker Creek and get their bums in gear. And although I like painted pictures, I much prefer actual photographs of their fruits/vegetables/etc.

Country Wife said...

I'd love to visit their place in person! Is it really awesome? I hear they have a restaurant there, as well, since that's where the recipes in this catalog are from.

But yeah, you are right, flipping through real catalogs curled up in front of the fire is the best!