The Seed Savers catalog

Posted: December 6, 2011 in gardening

I haven’t cooked anything creative at all this week, as I’ve been working more as well as doing holiday stuff….but…

The Seed Savers catalog came in the mail!  (SSE catalog)  If you care about the food you put in your mouth, whether it’s because you want to eat things that are good for your body or because you would simply rather eat food that tastes good, you come to appreciate that a tomato from the supermarket does NOT taste like a tomato from your garden.  Or your neighbor’s garden.  Not everybody has space, of course, but even the smallest spaces can usually handle a pot of dirt.  And a pot of dirt is all you need to grow some Tom Thumb sugar snap peas.  And who doesn’t love sugar snap peas?  CHASE loves sugar snap peas…it’s one of the 23 food items he eats.

One of the goals of Seed Savers is to ensure that we have crop variety.  I grew up in Illinois, and I drool embarrassingly over real Illinois sweet corn.  I also recognize that most of the fields I knew grew three things:  a single variety of soybean, a single variety of field corn, and at a distant third was the single variety of sweet corn.  I also grew up with pesticide commercials.  Lots of them.  (Less stress!  Higher yield!)  I was peripherally aware that some people once grew blue corn.  And somehow, the decorative red and orange corn was grown by somebody, too.

We grew sweet corn, too, and it was very yummy.  As an adult, I’ve come to appreciate different flavors, different tastes.  I recognize that my patients would be better served by a fresh glass of orange juice than the grey vitamin C pills I give them with meals.  You’d think that people would prefer the o.j. to the pill, but it is often NOT the case.  I do not want that to be me, or Mark, or anyone I love.

I don’t know that the nutritional value of a vegetable grown in my dirt is better than the dirt in Mexico or Chile, where many of my supermarket’s veggies come from.  But I know mine taste better.  I know mine are grown with love and quite a bit of work.  And veggies from my garden are far cheaper than store-bought….seeds are cheap, and though water in Colorado is not as cheap, it still adds up to saving some money.  And tasting better, did I mention that?

Bex introduced me to Seed Savers a few years ago, and now she saves her own seeds year to year.  I actually tried that this year, and some squirrels ate most of my drying seeds.  (Bastards!)  Clearly, I have much to learn about this.  Fortunately, there’s a new catalog every year and this isn’t the late 1600s and my family doesn’t depend on those seeds.  But it’s cool to think about that lost art.  And it’s cool to grow a startling variety of funny-shaped or funny-colored and wonderfully tasting veggies.

It’s also my hope that some of my Lemon Queen sunflowers did get passed on with the seeds I gave away at our wedding.  My seeds.  Grown by me, loved by me.

So the Seed Savers catalog shipped this week, a thick booklet full of glossy photos of peppers in every color you can think of, and two pages of different types of greens and pages and pages of tomatoes and herbs and flowers.  Perfect for spending a snowy morning on call at the hospital, circling vegetables with my Sharpie and planning for spring.

Don’t you think?

  1. The seed catalogues certainly brighten up this time of year!

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