Seed List 2013

This year, I discovered the wonder of the seed catalog.

They started coming in December and I stowed them away until after Christmas, waiting for an evening where I could huddle under a blanket with a mug of coconut milk Abuelita’s and have my own private “seed ordering” party. About a month back, said party happened on a Friday night when I happened to be home alone. It was a good night :).

I ordered the seeds online the following Monday and waited not-so-patiently for them to start arriving in the mail, tearing open the envelopes with glee when I got one. With the exception of my pound of seed potatoes from Landreth’s, everything has arrived!

I also placed an order back in October (I think?) from Peaceful Valley because they were having a sale on their 2012 seeds. I got some really great prices, and I figured it was worth a shot even if the seeds are packaged for last year.

For those of you who are curious, here is what I’ve ordered, along with links to the site I ordered them from:

This year, I’m growing exclusively pole beans instead of bush beans, for space reasons (I’m doing 3 different Three Sisters Gardens). I love beans because they’re SO easy to grow. I pickled most of what I grew last summer and they’re one of my favorite crunchy treats this winter. Hopefully I’ll be able to make even more this summer. I’m also thinking I would like to try drying some beans to use in soups/stews throughout the winter.

Rattlesnake Pole Bean from Peaceful Valley
Cherokee Trail of Tears originally from Baker Creek, but the ones I’ll be growing were given to me by a friend from her garden

I love beets, in their many forms. I love pickling them, roasting them, juicing them, steaming them, and sauteing them. I never seem to have good luck getting them to grow, but I’m hoping I can get it right this year and enjoy some fresh beets in the spring!

Golden Detroit from Peaceful Valley
Chioggia Beets from Peaceful Valley

Honestly, I’m not a huge broccoli fan myself. However, Boo eats it every. single. day. in his lunch, and I know how much tastier homegrown broccoli is compared to store-bough stuff. Gotta keep my farmhand happy and well-fed!

Waltham 29 from Baker Creek
Calabrese Sprouting from the hardware store (an older packet that I wanted to use up).

The Irish in me loves a good cabbage! We eat it in spring rolls, and I’d like to try making kim chi. I went with smaller varieties so that I could do more high-density planting.

Red Express from Baker Creek
Gonzales from Johnny’s Seeds

Again, I’ve never had much luck growing a good carrot. However, I added a good layer of leaf mulch to the soil this year and I’m hoping it will help create a better environment for them. I’ve also never grown heirloom carrots, and I hear they are much sweeter. My goal is to enjoy most of them fresh but perhaps can some to use later in the year.

Atomic Red from Peaceful Valley
Chantanay from Peaceful Valley

Corn While I’m not a huge fan of sweet corn, I LOVE popcorn, and all things cornmeal. I’m a little intimidated about growing corn because I’ve heard it’s not an easy thing to do, especially organically. It needs well-drained fertile soil, which doesn’t exactly describe my garden at the moment. But, why not? Like I mentioned, I’ll be growing it in a Three Sisters garden with beans and squash/melons. Here’s hoping for the best!

Oaxacan Green Dent from Peaceful Valley
Blue Hopi  from D. Landreth
Strawberry Popcorn from D. Landreth
Blue Jade from Seed Saver’s Exchange (this one is a “maybe”. If I grow it, I’ll do it in a container)

I love all types of cukes, prepared almost any way – sliced, pickled, marinated, fermented…you name it. I want to make a lot of pickles this year, so the majority of my cucumber plants will be for that purpose. However, there is nothing as refreshing as a freshly-picked slicer from the garden sprinkled with lemon pepper, so I will be growing a couple of slicing plants.

Mexican Sour Gherkin from Baker Creek
Parisian Pickling from Baker Creek
Some random slicing variety that I bought a couple of years ago at the hardware store and wanted to use up before buying more

This is another one that I’m growing mainly for Jason. I like eggplant, but I’m not in love with it. He does make a really tasty eggplant panini, though.

Ophelia from Johnny’s
Listada De Gandia from Baker Creek

I know, they’re not edible or anything. But we used to decorate with gourds growing up, and I wanted to try them in my own garden. They’ll go in one of the Three Sisters.

African Mini Bottle Gourd from D. Landreth

There is nothing in the entire world that tastes as good as a spring salad. Not only that, but Jason and I eat spinach on an almost daily basis (me in my green smoothies, him on his sandwiches).

Sylvetta Arugula from Seeds of Change
Another arugula variety that I bought last year (can’t remember the brand)
Tom Thumb Lettuce from Baker Creek
Catalina Spinach from Renee’s Garden
Monstrueux De Viroflay Spinach from Baker Creek

I was hesitant to try growing melons, but a friend of mine who also gardens in Milwaukee said that I should give it a try, as she’d grown a few heirloom varieties and had good success. These will go in the Three Sisters gardens.

Collective Farm Woman from Baker Creek
Minnesota Midget from Baker Creek
Sugar Baby Watermelon from Peaceful Valley

We go through 1-2 onions per week, it seems. They end up in almost everything we cook. I’m growing two storage varieties and one fresh variety for salsa/kebabs.

Rossa Di Milano from Peaceful Valley
Valencia from Peaceful Valley
Yellow Granex from Botanical Interests

Peppers are another favorite of mine. We eat them fresh, in soups, on kebabs, and in salsa. Last year all I grew was banana peppers and they did really well, so I’m hopeful about being able to get a good crop of bell peppers this year.

Sweet Chocolate from Peaceful Valley
King of the North from Baker Creek

Pumpkins are a win-win thing for me. I love baking with pumpkin puree AND they are great for decorative purposes before you cook them up.

Rouge Vif D’ Etampes (Cinderalla Pupmkins) from Baker Creek
Pie Pumpkins seeds that I saved from a market pumpkin last fall

I love eating these fresh! I know it’s sort of odd. But they’re like a crunchy treat – way better than any chip I’ve ever had. I’ll also be growing them for the companion planting benefits to help deter unwanted pests.

Pink Beauty from Peaceful Valley
A random hardware store packet (Burpee Seeds, maybe?)

Another new venture for me. I’ve heard they get huge and sort of invasive, so I’ll be sticking these in the way back yard to do their thing.

Purple Tomatillo from Baker Creek

There is nothing like a fresh tomato from the garden. In fact, there is nothing like using your own tomato sauce or cracking open a jar of salsa in the dead of winter. There is nothing like homemade pizza with dried cherry tomatoes on top. Basically, tomatoes are heaven in your mouth.

Cherry Current Red and Yellow from Botanical Interests
German Red Strawberry from D. Landreth
Sweetie From Peaceful Valley
Red Grape Riesenstraube from Peaceful Valley
Prudens Purple from Peaceful Valley
Siberia from Peaceful Valley

We eat this fresh, in stir-fries, in pasta, and sometimes I bake with it. I’d like to try some pickled zucchini one of these years, too.

Gray Zucchini from Baker Creek

Well, now that you’ve seen the craziness that is my seed order, you can go ahead and say it…I’m crazy. Yes, it’s my first year and yes I have a lot to learn. But this is how I learn best – jumping in and trying things. If I fail, I lost a few dollars in seeds, and I can always try again next year. And if I succeed? Well, I’ll either be spending hours with a pressure canner or I’ll be walking up and down the streets giving away goodies. Both sound pretty good, if you ask me!


2 Comments to “Seed List 2013”

  1. We do the same thing. We daydream over seed catalogues during the winter months and then expand our garden and selection each year. It is so much fun to look forward to!

  2. reading this made me so hungry.

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