Cast and Crew

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Early Purple Sprouting Broccoli

It's that time again.

Purple Sprouting Broccoli

What will you be ordering for your 2014 seed collection?

Here's my dilemma.

You probably already know that food policy is something I genuinely care about. You also likely know that I support small, sustainable operations, from the neighborhood brick & mortar shops to the 1 acre hobby farm bringing fresh herbs to my local farmers market. Seeds aren't really any different. In fact, supporting small growers and distributors of vegetable seeds is perhaps one of the most important contributions an individual can make to steering food policy (on the large and small scale) in the direction of recovery and investment in our (horti)cultural future.

We're deciding this year that we will never again buy from a seed distributor who has not signed the Safe Seed Pledge. Lucky for us, there is a bountiful list of producers who value genetic diversity and the preservation of important species as much as we do.

Our seed list for 2014 will be fulfilled by Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds again (we have ordered from them several times before). We have also decided to grow what we are good at and what we really enjoy eating from the front yard. This means fewer tomatoes, and those that we will grow will be in pots, little or no eggplant, and definitely no potatoes. Some things are just cheaper, better, and easier when they come from a farmers market. I should admit here that I get a lot of grief for my good-intentions-but-poor-follow-through with trellising tomatoes every year. Ditto for the typical pumpkin and winter squash extravaganza that inevitably ensues.

Now my only issue is to find where we will plant all of these! A few old standards from our seed stock will also find homes in raised beds this year. Our garden plan is almost complete, and it's nearly time to start prepping beds and planting the earliest little ones for transplant in March. Where does the time go?

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