I'm levitating! My Baker Creek Heirloom Seed catalog arrived today. Yippee! Yippee!
If you've never perused the pages of this catalog, well go online at rareseeds.com and request one. This year's catalog is 124 pages and includes over 1275 varieties of veggies, herbs, and flowers. 1275 varieties!
This amazing enterprise was started by Jere Gettle in 1998 when he mailed 550 copies and filled all the orders from his home. Today, it features seed from 66 countries; offers 190 varieties of tomatoes, 150 varieties of squash and more than 100 varieties of melons. The photography is superb. A letter from Jere on the inside front cover, and the quotes sprinkled throughout the catalog, introduce a man who really cares about growing healthy food and maintaining the gene pool of thousands of heirloom seed varieties.
Here's a quote from Jere: "All our seed is non-hybrid, non-GMO, non-treated and non-patented. We do not buy seed from Monsanto-owned Seminis. We boycott all gene-altering companies. We work with a network of about 50 small farmers, gardeners and seed collectors to bring you the best selection of seeds available."
For those gardeners who like to experiment and enhance their palate, consider these:
Chinese Red Noodle Long Bean with deep red 18" pods that keep most of their color when sauteed.
Taiwan Black Seeded Long Bean which measures three feet long! Wouldn't take many of those to fill a quart canning jar!
Jaune Dickfleischige Cucumber that weighs 5# at maturity! No kidding!
And to further whet your appetite and curiosity, Baker Creek has 37 varieties of lettuce, 21 varieties of okra, 27 varieties of radish, 8 varieties of sorghum, and 25 varieties of summer squash. And that's just within the first 57 pages!
I find myself dreaming of owning maybe 3,000 acres, like where Staying Alive lives, and planting one package of every seed they carry. Wouldn't that be fun?
Usually, I have a garden budget for seeds and a space of about 20x50 feet.In 2009 we're doubling that space and Sweetie's going to plow up a new space devoted to squash. We LOVE squash. Love it, love it.
So I'm gonna sit down with my yellow highlighter and start my wish list! Hope you start planning your garden now too.
And now, a few quotes found in the Baker Creek catalog:
"Let us never forget that the cultivation of the earth is the most important labor of man. When tillage begins other arts follow. The farmers, therefore, are the founders of civilization." Daniel Webster.
"The means of defense against a foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home." James Madison