This being the beginning of January, the seed catalogs have all arrived and I have pored over them ever so carefully, looking at the photos and reading descriptions. I like to call this garden porn and until I looked through the Burpee catalog it was a joke, but Burpee, OMG! Here I saw tomatoes the size of a child’s head and a pumpkin as big as a Smart Car. And someone at Burpee got a little overzealous playing with the color enhancing features in Photoshop. Nearly everything in the catalog looks obscene and completely unnatural. It is so repellant I will not be buying any seeds from them even though they sell organically grown varieties.

Where I will be buying a lot of seeds from is Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. The owners of the company are vegan, the catalog is gorgeous, and the seeds they sell are heirloom seeds that have been grown around the world for decades and sometimes a couple hundred years. This means the seeds are not hybrid and so should I save seeds at the end of the growing season, I can plant them again the next year and they will grow true to their variety.

I won’t be ordering all my seeds from them, however, they do not offer a few things that I want. The other companies I will be getting seeds from are Vermont Bean Seed Company, Territorial Seed Company, and Pinetree Garden Seeds.

Bookman and I had a date this afternoon to talk over what we wanted to plant and grow from seed. I won’t go into the detail of the exact variety, but here is the list:

  • Mustard. For the greens and for the seeds.
  • Lettuce
  • Fennel
  • Dill
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Corn. An open-pollinated variety. This year we will defeat the squirrels!
  • Cucumbers for pickling
  • Zucchini. Same variety as last year
  • Peas.
  • Kale
  • Parsnips
  • Radishes
  • Pumpkin
  • Turnips
  • Cilantro. I just found out that cilantro and coriander are the same thing! The greens are cilantro, the seeds are coriander. Someone please tell me this isn’t something everyone already knows and I am a big dope.
  • Beans. The same yellow and purple ones as last year, plus pole beans, and beans for drying and making into soup. Lots of beans!
  • Leeks
  • Quinoa

Because we aren’t quite prepared for indoor seed starting, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant will be bought plants at the annual plant sale we go to.

How’s that for a veggie garden?

Our seed date this afternoon was a nice vacation from the cold outside. Beginning last night we slipped below zero F (-18C) and will not rise above that until late Wednesday afternoon, maybe. In fact, we are going to get as cold as, possibly colder than we have been for 17 years. The governor ordered all public schools closed Monday and the university where I work is even going to be closed due to the dangerously cold temperatures. We might be as cold as -27F (-33C) with a wind chill as low as -50F (-45C) by late tonight, early Monday morning. I can’t say how grateful I am that I will not have to wait outside for the bus in this weather; unfortunately there will be plenty of people who do. Poor Bookman won’t have to wait for the bus but he will have to go to work. We have our fingers crossed that the car will start and we won’t have to call for a jump.

Here is an example of the kind of fun that can be had in cold weather like this:

However, the cats and I will be curled up together with a a quilt, a hot drink, and a good book.