Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Seed Picks for Spring 2013

Sean brought home the new FEDCO SEEDS CATALOG a few days ago to create a very happy and excited wife. I love looking forward, planning and lists. I love LISTS. Immediately, we sat down and started reading through the pages to decide which kinds of seeds we would purchase for this year's gardens. With over 150 pages to look through, it was difficult to narrow our choices. Once we stepped back to evaluate the landscape a little, picking which varieties we would grow this season became easier.

Our goal is to eventually maintain our own comprehensive seed bank, for several reasons. First, the seeds we harvest will become acclimated to our particular growing climate over time, leading to a better yield for us. Secondly, it will save us money. It may only be a small expense each year, but every expense eats into any profit we hope to someday realize. And, by selecting and saving seeds from plants which boast the qualities most desirable to us (flavor, fruit yield, disease resistance, etc.), we will have more control over the genetics of the plants we choose to grow.

To do this right, we feel that it is important to mainly purchase seeds that meet these criteria:
1. Heritage Variety: are open- pollinated vegetables varieties that have been grown for 50 years or longer
2. Open-Pollinated: seeds not labeled hybrid, F1, F2, etc. These seeds grow true-to-type.
3. Certified Organic: certified by a USDA approved agency which can be proven with an audit trail.
4. Locally Grown: seeds offered by gardens and farms grown in our climate and geographic area.

It is still strange to think that in this day and age, you can grow your own food in your own backyard, and STILL be eating food that has been genetically engineered. And, you can plant seeds which you yourself have saved, and still not realize a harvest because the seeds planted were sterile. With those thoughts in mind, I appreciate that FEDCO "does not knowingly carry genetically engineered seeds" in their catalog. Not every seed variety listed for sale, is certified organic, though. So, it took us a few hours to narrow our selections for this year's gardens.

We decided to purchase 31 varieties. All of them, except the scarlet runner and the multi-colored pole bean mix met all of our requirements. These two varieties were not certified organic. They were labeled ECO which indicated that they were "grown without pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers in gardens and on farms which maintain an active soil-building program" but had not been through the certification process. That sounds like us. We won't have the money to spend to be certified this year, but we plan to use organic growing practices and we will label our foods "Naturally Grown".

I am excited about this year's garden effort. We hope that we will have enough produce to eat, freeze, and store to feed ourselves through until next year. Additionally, we will be offering fruits and veggies for sale at our farm stand for our neighbor's tables. And, hope of all hopes, it would be just spectacular to produce enough to sell Five CSA Shares beginning in June and running through October.

So, what will we have to offer?

2013 Seed Selections

Yellow Sweet Corn

Bush Green Beans
Pole Beans
Multicolored Pole Bean Mix*
Scarlet Runner*
Red Kidney


Blacktail Mountain

Little Leaf Pickling
Marketmore Slicing

Young's Beauty

Nantes Fancy

Plum Purple

Evergreen Hardy White

New York Early

Freedom Lettuce Mix

Red Russian


Early Wonder Tail Top


King of the North
Purple Beauty
Tangerine Pimento

Hot Peppers
Czech Black
Hidalgo Serrano

Soldaki (Table)
Peacevine (Cherry)
Heinz (Paste)
Amish Paste (Paste)
Hog Heart (Paste)

We already have planted 60 cloves of organic Red Russian garlic. We grow herbs like; dill, basil, sage, thyme, chives, and rosemary all year long indoors. We will offer either cut bunches of herbs or potted herbs as soon as we open this spring. And, through partnerships with local orchards and growers, we may also have available strawberries, blueberries, grapes (grown right here), and apples!

What about you?
Do you grow a garden?
Have you ever purchased a CSA Share from a local farm?

Thanks for stopping in for a visit today!
Sonja ♥

This post also linked to: Hearth Soul Hop. Check them out for some great recipes and growing tips.


  1. Looks like ya'll are on top of it! Ryan Dale gave up hopes of corn since my beloved squirrel friends kept devouring it. I think we will mostly be growing tomatoes, jalapenos, cucumbers and strawberries, we may add to that, but you know the size of our back yard, so we are limited.
    p.s. Abby's 1st talk (assistant)went great, I had someone record it so I can send it to you.

    1. Those are great choices!

      We started small with two raised beds, then we grew from there. This year is a jump, with us building 9 NEW beds, but it is where we are at. Enjoy your journey. Whatever you produce, your family will be healther for it. ♥

  2. How exciting! I always love looking through seed catalogs. I love all the different names of the heirloom varieties. We grow a garden every year and are making plans already for next year's garden revamp! We've never purchased a CSA share because I am afraid we wouldn't eat everything we were given since most of what we eat comes from our own garden or farmers markets. But I do think they are fabulous and if we didn't have a garden, I'd sign up for one.

    1. Between your egg production and your gardens, you will need a farm stand of your own, one of these days. I think it is so awesome that you grow so much of your own foods and support your local farmers at the markets.

      That is our ultimate goal- feed ourselves without Supermarkets.

      It is a work progressing...

  3. Thanks for the great post! I love seed catalogs and am in this process myself of deciding what to plant for next year-it's so exciting! I love to see how you have planned everything out. How I wish I had more space-but we are cramming a lot into our backyard by growing vertically this next year. It's refreshing to see the standards that you have for picking your seeds and growing your food. I wish I was your neighboor so I could buy a CSA! I never have but am always looking nearby for some. My work just started up a program for a CSA with weekly deliveries of fresh produce that supports local farmers. I love that!!

    1. I would love to see some pictures of your verticle spaces. We have so much unusable swamp land that we have to be creative and use lots of raised garden beds. I have been looking at verticle gardening blogs recently.

      How awesome that your work has a CSA program. I hope that more and more companies see the benefits of supporting ventures like these.

      Thanks for visiting.

  4. My garden has been reduced to a few heirloom tomatoes. I've been growing heirlooms since before it was cool to do so:) Love your garden plan. I am giving away two great prizes on my blog: a $50 gift certificate to my favorite jeweler robinsonlane.com and a copy of a new book published by fellow blogger, Kat Robinson. It is called Arkansas Pie: A Slice of the Natural State. I just know you will love either one. http://diningwithdebbie.blogspot.com/2012/11/2012-merry-merry-munchies-3-baked.html Come link up to enter.