Good gracious, the days are zipping by! In mid-January I got a break from winter when I went out to southern California to visit my parents for a couple days. I haven’t flown on a plane in years and it was even worse than I remembered. I also considered buying carbon offsets for the trip, but a friend of mine suggested that since I haven’t flown in so long, and since I bike or take public transit to work, etc, etc, she thought I had probably banked enough carbon credits to not feel so very guilty about it. I didn’t end up buying carbon offsets, but I did still feel guilty especially since I left Minnesota in a snowstorm and watched in horror through the plane window as all the orange and then blue de-icing chemicals were sprayed on the plane.

On the day-to-day, I’ve been busy at work, indoor cycling training, shoveling snow, trying not to freeze when it is below zero F outdoors when I am waiting for the bus, and getting lost down some really interesting research rabbit holes on clothing and fiber making (I hope to share some stuff soon!). I received the save-the-date postcard in the mail for the annual plant sale I attend in May, and even though that is still a long time from now, I am deep into garden dreaming.

I’ve got all my seeds for spring and I can’t help but think about where I will plant them even though that won’t happen until at least three months from now. I resisted doing more than imagining for weeks, but I finally gave in on an arctic weekend and pulled out my index cards and garden map and started arranging things.

Super fancy garden map

Lest you think my garden map is elaborate and fancy, it isn’t. My map is not even to scale. My map is poorly sketched on a couple pieces of small paper. The beds are vaguely in the right shape and placed in approximate relationship to each other. It serves only as a visual cue to the map of the garden in my head. It also might be the reason I never correctly estimate how much space I have to grow something or how much seed I need in order to fill a space. I suspect, however, that even if I had everything perfectly drawn to scale that I would always think I have a bigger garden than I really do.

I make an attempt to “rotate the crops” every year, but because I do a fair amount of interplanting and the vastness of my land is only in my imagination, rotating amounts to where can I plant the pumpkin this year so the vines won’t overrun the late season veg? And how far away from the pumpkins can I get the zucchini to decrease the cross pollination opportunities? Where do I put the pole beans so they won’t shade out other things? You get the idea. So sometimes rotating means moving something a few feet from where it was the previous year. Sometimes it means putting it on the other side of the garden.

Are you curious what seeds I will be planting? If you aren’t curious, look away. If you are curious, read on!

Saved seeds:

  • Lincoln peas
  • Kentucky wonder pole beans
  • Black beans
  • Black-eyed peas
  • Lady Godiva pumpkin
  • Painted lady runner bean
  • Sunflower
  • Strike bush bean
  • French marigolds

Purchased seeds:

  • Garlic (already planted in the fall)
  • Potatoes, Irish cobbler
  • Black beauty zucchini
  • Red Russian kale
  • Oxhart carrot
  • Red cabbage
  • Scarlet runner bean
  • Jacob’s cattle bean
  • Carminat pole bean (purple)
  • Sora radish
  • Lettuce mix
  • Aunt Molly’s ground cherry (never grown before)
  • Black amber broom corn, aka sorghum (never grown before)
  • Shirogama sesame (total experiment)
  • Arnica (never grown before, plus it’s perennial)
  • Burdock (another experiment)

Also, from a new Minnesota seed company, North Circle Seeds (local organic growers!), where I got a few free seed packets for answering a survey and then bought one because I want to support them:

  • Early scarlet carrot
  • Watermelon radish
  • Arikara yellow bean
  • Fortex green beans

Typing all that out I had a little panic, because oh my is that a lot! But it’s fine, I’ve got it all planned out and still have space to get some interesting things from the plant sale. Yup, it’s all fine. Just fine.

I’m going to go have a lie down now.