Seed selecting

One of the most wonderful times of the year is when I receive a steady flow of colorful seed catalogs in the mail! There is nothing as exciting as pouring through oodles of descriptions of new and old vegetable varieties. There are so many exciting and tasty things to grow–at this time of year it seems like the possibilities are endless! This is the time to savor before the reality of time, labor, materials, space, and finances give me a reality check.

We only order seeds from companies that do not sell genetically modified seeds and that are overall pretty ‘organic’ leaning and progressive. Johnnys Selected Seeds out of Maine gets most of our business so far. They have a great variety and their seed quality is high and consistent. I can also order higher quantities.

High Mowing Seeds out of Vermont is also a favorite! They have a gorgeous catalog and sell100% organic seeds. We also buy from Seed Savers Exchange of which we are also members. They sell 100% heirloom varieties which tend to be the tastiest veggies. Seeds From Italy are seeds sourced directly from Italy and are mostly heirlooms. The seed names are really fun to read as well as the descriptions. Totally Tomatoes has more tomato and pepper varieties than I’ve ever seen listed in one place before.Cooks Garden is also great, but they currently don’t offer bulk seeds.

I first dream big and circle everything that fits my criteria. Usually its some combination of the following: 1) fits into our crop plan, 2) fully flavored, 3) disease resistant, 4) heirloom, 5) organically grown, 6) seasonally appropriate, 7) allows for several plantings and harvests, etc.

After the catalogs are all marked up I go back and have to make choices. Its at this point that I consider price,quantities and from which company to bu. I don’t often choose  the cheaper seed if there is another that is said to be more flavor or disease resistance. So many choices!! I bet I could do the seed order for each year at least 100 different ways. Thats part of the fun of it though!

Here is a sampling of varieties that are sure to make you yearning for warmer days:

Cosmic purple carrots

Siberian kale (yet another delicious kale variety!)

Cascadia snap peas

Zucchini Romanesco


Fennel Finocchio Montebianco

Cherokee Purple Tomato

Graffiti (F1) Cauliflower

Carmine Splendor (F1) Okra

Listada de Gandia Eggplant

Aunt Molly’s Ground Cherry



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