Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ready or not...

The pre-dawn scene in my kitchen, ready and waiting for my seed order:

And here it is, submitted at 6:51 AM to Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds:

-----------------Individual Item Breakdown-----------------

Item Ref. Price ea. Qty. Description

Chioggia (beet)
St. Valery (carrot)
Birdhouse Gourd
Fine Verde Basil
Sweet Chocolate (sweet pepper)
Chaco Canyon (runner bean)
Oriole Orange Chard (swiss chard)
Sugar Snap (peas)
Butternut - Waltham (squash)
Turner Family Pumpkin
Lemon Squash
Aunt Ruby's German Green (tomato)
Tomatillo - Verde
Paul Robeson (tomato)

------------------------End of Order-----------------------

Not shown here, but to be added from other sources are poblano peppers, sweet potato, flat leaf parsley, and Chiapas Wild cherry tomato.

I'm going to have to expand beyond the farm and into the ornamental garden, but that's okay. I think some of the vining plants would look good there. I'll just have to watch that the dogs don't get to my harvest before I do.

I used most of the suggestions that people sent in--there were so many good ones that it was hard to edit any out! Even so, I made slight changes in a few instances. For example, scarlet runner beans, according to the seed catalog, like cool climates, so I substituted Chaco Canyon instead. Perhaps not as pretty, but a little hardier for my conditions. Other substitutions were made on the basis of availability from Baker Creek (I wanted to do as much one-stop shopping as possible).

The Chaco Canyon beans come from one of my native states, New Mexico. Seeds from this plant were unearthed in an archeological dig, and so they go way back. It feels right to plant these, both for climate/enviro reasons and cultural ones, since it ties me to a long tradition.

And how could I not grow a gourd called "Birdhouse?"

Thanks so much to everyone for all your ideas. It makes the farm a community effort and a richer experience. I'm a little overwhelmed and intimidated--I've never tried to grow an entire kitchen garden from seed before, let alone one so large. I'm excited to see how it goes.

Now I wait and check the mail...


  1. I was SO excited to see a post about you on Garden Rant this morning! Congratulations. :)

  2. I'm sure it will be a great success, Susan! Sounds like a winning lineup.

  3. Really so exciting! And so community-oriented of you to solicit suggestions (and actually take them)! I hope you enjoy the work that goes into a veggie patch as much or even more than the actual harvest. The process can be frustrating at times but you learn so much each year. Can't wait to see those climbing beans on your trellis! Congrats. Oh, and I've always wanted to grow birdhouse gourds but feared our growing season is too cool/short so I will admire yours instead.

  4. Oooh, sounds like you have a wonderful garden in the making! I ordered Chaco Canyon runners as well, it really fired up my imagination. I thought about the generations that grew those beans so long ago and how special it is that we can carry that strain forward so many years later.

    I don't have dogs, buy gardening friends that do have experienced major damage to tomatoes from their canine buddies. The dogs don't even wait for the tomatoes to ripen.

    And, I'm already picturing what you're going to make with the gourds!

  5. Holy cow, that's a line-up, alright! Maybe you can have a huge blog-party--in person, I mean--and we can all eat your successful results!!
    Best of luck with it all. Of course I will be watching ;) to see how things go along!

  6. Bravo! I'm curious whether you have the whole grow-light set-up or if you are just blessed with sunny windows. We're so tight on space (and blessed with a fabulous plant sale in May, where we usually get veggie starts) that I've never done what you're about to try. I'm going to try winter sowing though, and just bombarded my co-workers with a request for their cast-off plastic jugs so I can get going. May all these seeds grow strong!

  7. I feel hungry just reading that order! My windowsills are ready, and I have the seeds. I just need seed compost.

  8. Thanks, G4L! I love my job.

    And thanks, too, Nancy and Gail--it looks like a tall job though. :-)

    Michelle--that's cool that you're trying the Chaco Canyons. I felt the same way about them when I read the description.

    Jan--a blog-party to eat the harvest would be fun!

    Lynn--I've got some very good southern light upstairs in my study. I'm hoping that will do the trick.

    Victoria--go for it, and I'll be with you in spirit. After all, what have we got to lose?

  9. I'm pouring over the seed and plant catalogs, yearning for spring. Even one little narcissus bloom would be enough right now, but I think they are weeks away. Good luck with your seeds, can't wait to see them in about 4 months...

  10. Cool collection of seeds. Let me know how the chocolate pepper grows. I have the minature and it was delicious.


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