Woo hoo!! It's like Christmas all over again. The seed catalogues are pouring in and i'm starting to get excited about the gardening season. Around here in the Pac NW, we can start sowing seeds for cool climate crops around the middle of Feb DIRECTLY in the ground! And around that time also, is when you start your tomatoes and summer season crops. I am trying to raise my own this year, figuring if i start off now and something goes terribly amiss, i wills till be able to purchase nursery starts in May.
I am hoping not too many things go wrong with our starts. It could be a whole new way of gardening for us.
I am also challenging myself this year to use what i have, purchase ONLY what i don't. I've started planning a little. Figuring that i'll plant the heck out of the Celtic Cross kitchen garden this year, as what we don't eat, the chickens will love. Planting to cover every sq. inch means less weeds. And truely, who doesn't love that?!
And my final challenge this year: to purchase from the more economically sound companies in our area. I will need to cancel my catalogues from Territorial Seed and Abundant Life, as they are too far away for my new regs about ordering. Plus, i've heard some concerning things about Territorial, that you can research on any gardening forum.
In year's past, i always used the catalogues to make a shopping list, then found nurseries around here who were selling the seeds in an effort to reduce the shipping involved. But now, i am thinking that non-gmo, organic & heirloom seeds and seed companies that promote them, are the best companies to support. I've found one in Central Washington, just the other side of the mountains from us) that seems to have their company headed in what i think is the right direction. They grow their own organic and heirloom seed for sale, and what they can't they find through the US in small operations dedicated to similiar principals they hold themselves to--the biggest being No GMOs--even when they find a seed they like that meets their standards, if the company selling it has other offerings of GMO seed, they won't purchase anything from the company at all. 99% of their seed is from the US, however for seed that can't be found here, their first and only country of choice for seeds is Holland. The best part is that they are a family, living on a 110 acres of certfied organic land, in Central Washington, bringing up their daughters with farm chores, supporting members of FFA and 4-H (which at the moment needs all the help it can have around here--our county is talking about cutting the 4-H program to balance the budget) and donating all the leftover seed to missionaries, indian reservations, or gardens that grow food for the homeless.
I think that is a company worth supporting, so i'm going to try them out this year.
Now, if i can just figure out how i am going to use the whole bundle of onion starts i'm planning on purchasing from them--a hundred onions is a whole lotta onion, you know???
P.S. Mom, you're email isn't work. :o( Waaah!
UPDATE: I have received a comment from an employee of Territorial Seed Co, as you can see below. So i offered him a chance to answer some questions that i had about their practices regarding acquiring seed, views on GMOs, etc. When i hear back from him i shall let you know. I imagine he is a very busy gent this time of year.