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Gone to Seed

>> Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The first seed catalog is here!

I actually did a little skipping dance back from the mailbox with it in my hand.  My neighbors must think I'm nuts.  I can't help myself, though.  We're going into the big deep freeze that is winter in Syracuse, New York, and my lovely, soft warm garden is but a distant memory.

I don't know how I ever got through winters before I gardened.  How does one survive December without seed catalogs to look at and dream over?  How does one tolerate January freeze or February gloom without neat little seed packets to flip lovingly through?  How does one get through March without buying little planters and dirt and getting tiny baby plants springing up indoors, in anticipation of warmer days to come?

The Baker Creek catalog is particularly lovely in its layout and display.  Just look at these pictures - how can you resist trying every darned variety?  I mean, honestly, I don't even like radishes and I want to try all of these:

And tell me truthfully, wouldn't you have a hard time resisting the urge to plant something called "nipple fruit" just to see what the heck it looks like?

The only way I can reign myself in is knowing I don't have enough garden space, although I already extracted a promise from my husband that he'll help me dig a new garden this spring.  I need room to expand, and so do the potatoes and peas!

Here, though, is where I really start to salivate.  My fingers shake just a little as I flip through the pages looking for it...


Rainbow chard, a.k.a. Five Color Silverbeet.  Honestly - and I'm not exaggerating here - I would do anything for chard.  And I'm not talking about that flimsy, pale simulacrum of chard that they sell in the grocery store, with the flaccid white and pink stems and withered leaves.  That stuff has no taste whatsoever.  I'm talking about lush, shiny dark green leaves, with white and fuchsia and crimson and orange and yellow stems, so bright they look like a circus.  They're sweet and tangy and earthy and crunchy.  If I had to survive off one and only one food for the rest of my life, I would be happy so long as it was organic, heirloom, five color silverbeet chard, and so long as I could have a pinch of salt and a little oil or ghee to fry it in.

Thinking of my chard just might be what gets me through the dark days of winter this year.  I can practically taste it already.  Where's that order form?


Ellen Rathbone December 15, 2009 at 2:14 PM  

Baker Creek is a great catalogue - pity so many of their products are tropical! Still, every year I get a few seeds from them. Seeds are already filling my fridge (High Mowing). Two more catalogues have their order forms filled out, just waiting for me to mail my checks. Even now, with a foot of snow, I'm dreaming of next summer's garden and the possibility of a greenhouse.

Woodswoman Extraordinaire: December 15, 2009 at 2:30 PM  

A greenhouse! Oh, my - what I wouldn't do for a greenhouse!

I wonder why I didn't get a High Mowing catalog this fall? Clearly I need to investigate...

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