Sunday, February 7, 2010

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

My hobby is gardening. However, I don't love everything about gardening, I hate weeding, I hate removing mature plants and by the time all the planting is done I actually am not that fond of planting either. But I love to watch things grow. I love the feeling of being in a cultivated garden, where there is clearly someone tending to the plants.

Watching plants grow always reminds me of my childhood. It reminds me of being in 2nd grade and coming home with the bean plant that I wrapped in a damp paper towel to make it grow; and then promptly killed because I forgot to water it. It reminds me of being a preschooler and helping my Grandma with her never ending gardening tasks in her never ending garden.

Last year I dabbled with a vegetable garden, which is totally new for me. My parents had a garden when I was little, so I am pretty familiar with most aspects. But I am definitely not an expert. I am familiar in the "this used to be my childhood home" kind of way. So last year it failed miserably. I had some peppers, tomatoes, okra, cukes, squash and one enormous pumpkin plant that did absolutely nothing. I did get a few tomatoes late in the season. I think I got two green peppers and two cucumbers. I didn't get any squash and definitely no pumpkins. Surprisingly the okra did the best.  Here is a picture of my garden last year.

It was wet last year, really wet. The wettest year on record for us. And of course the one sunny area I have is in a clay pit that is low and receives all of the runoff from my neighbors sprinkler system. So, basically I drowned all the plants.

This year I am going to be a bit more strategic. I am going to make a couple of simple raised beds to overcome the standing water problem. I am also going to try and utilize more of the yard where traditionally I have put flowers. I asked Jeff if he minded if there was broccoli in the pool area and he was fine with that!

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds is a company that my parents discovered and told me about. They offer only open-pollinated seeds that are pure, natural and non GMO. As a grower this means that 1. the food is healthy (they have started to link GMO food with allergies) and 2. I can save seed if I want because none of them are hybrid.

When we sterilize a plant and make it hybrid we take away its purpose. I know that sounds extreme, and they still are able to provide beauty. But plants were put on this earth for a few very important and limited purposes. They are here to feed us, provide us with beauty, provide medicine, give us oxygen and cool us down. There may be more, but the point is if they die after one season it doesn't make any sense. They need to be able to propagate.

So I am going to give it another whirl. I ordered about 15 vegetable seed packets and five flower packets. I am so excited. I hope I get a few successes this year.   Here is a list if you are interested:
Tomatoes, Cukes, Bell Peppers, Onions, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Lettuce, Zucchini, Beets, Turnips.

There are more and more people putting out home gardens, I know quite a few believe it or not. I was sort of shocked last year to realize that many families at least had a few tomato plants in the back.  What plants are you going to put out this year?

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