Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Seed Catalogues!

The seed catalogues have started to arrive. Already, I've received one each from the Totally Tomatoes, Vermont Bean, and Fedco seed companies. This is a bit like Christmas arriving early. Really, if my husband is ever strapped for a gift idea for me, all he would need to do would be to get to the mail before I do in the four weeks before Christmas, hide the seed catalogues, then wrap them up to give on Christmas day. I would have HOURS of entertainment and be totally thrilled. However, I am plenty glad to see the catalogues early, especially this year.

Although I haven't seen confirmation of this trend for the U.S., in the U.K. last year sales of vegetable seeds increased quite a bit over the previous year. According to this article , the increase in sales off racks at stores was 60% above sales for 2007. It seems reasonable that the increase was not isolated to the U.K., and if the economic situation doesn't improve as Spring arrives, demand for veggie seeds could be even higher this year.

With this in mind, I plan to order earlier than usual, to increase the likelihood that the varieties I want will be in stock. Last year, my favorite pea variety was out of stock by the time I ordered (late January), but I had enough left from the previous year's packet to get by. The rutabega that I was hoping to try also was out of stock, so I have a substitute variety out in the yard. Luckily, I have never grown---or eaten!---rutabegas before, so when these are finally ready to eat, I won't have any paragon of rutabega-ness to compare to, so they will probably be fine.

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