Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Garden Planning

It's too early yet to go out and till(or have my hubby till) or plant much, but I have been planning my garden this year.

Due to my love/hate relationship with tomatoes(the one food allergy I can't seem to completely kick), I decided I am not going to plant tomatoes this year. I just don't want to deal with them at all because they hate me. (insert stubborn smilie with arms crossed here). I am sure I will have some volunteers come up in the garden and I will put them somewhere for the kids to tend to/eat off of if they feel the need. But I'm not allocating large portions of my garden(and my time) to something I can't freely eat.

I haven't purchased all of my seed yet, but here is what I am planning on growing this year (OG=Organic Seed): The links may differ with the brand name I actually ended up purchasing, but the varieties should be the same.

Royal Burgundy Bush Beans
Scarlet Runner Beans
Jacob's Gold (similar to Jacob's Cattle beans that we have been wanting to grow for years)

OG Bull's Blood
OG Detroit Dark Red

Short 'n Sweet
OG Scarlet Nantes
Danvers Half Long

Sweet Corn-Obsession Hybrid
Field Corn-dh's own variety of Mandan Bride

Salad Slicer
Bush Champion
(wanted to try Picklebush, but haven't found it locally)

Kale Mix from Lehman's

Burpee Bibb

OG Carnival Mix
OG Orange Sun
California Wonder

Bloomsdale Long-Standing

Summer Squash:
OG Early Prolific Straightneck(yellow)
OG Dark Green Zucchini

Swiss Chard:
Neon Lights Mix(I usually get Five Color Silverbeets--the picture on this package looks the same)

Winter Squash:
Waltham Butternut

Disco Flame Marigolds(short ones because they smell more/have more bug-deterrent properties) and Nasturtiums Jewel Mix

I purchased much of my seed from Walmart(even the organic ones), but there are other seeds I want to try that Walmart and major seed companies cannot provide.

My favorite alternate sources for seeds (in order of preference) are:
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
Seed Saver's Exchange
Seeds of Change

I use these sites/catalogs as a jumping-off-point for what to grow. This year, my original goal was to order solely from Baker's Creek, but alas, a look at the budget said to compare prices. I made my wish list from the Baker's Creek catalog, with quantity and prices and did the best I could to compare with the Walmart prices and got a lot of them from Walmart. (It's hard to really compare when one place sells by seed count and the other one sells by grams...).

Walmart is limited in what they can offer. 98% of seed companies are owned  and worked with by six major seed corporations, Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont, Mitsui, Aventis, and Dow.  You can read about this in Chapter 3 of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life  by Barbara Kingsolver and there is a long article involving this topic at the Organic Seed Alliance website.

My use and support of the above sites and catalogs is an effort to take at least *some* of my business away from the would-be controllers of the world's food supply.

Some other things we want to grow that aren't available at Walmart:

Asian Winged Beans(maybe...have lots of beans already...)

Buckwheat as a cover crop

Siamese Dragon Stir-fry Mix
Tall Telephone Peas--these climb, and I would hope they would produce longer
Blue Podded Blauwschokker Pea
Tam Jalapeno(not as hot, so might be more tolerable for everyone's palate)
New Zealand Spinach
Delicata Squash
Ali Baba Watermelon

We also would like to add in some more Nanking Cherries to the row we started a few years ago.

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