Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year, New Garden

Every year my vision of my garden changes. The garden always includes edible plants, but my goals shift, my tastes change, and curiosity moves my choices in new directions, so that each year the garden is new, even though it always has, for example, tomatoes, peppers, and okra. This year the plants will be essentially the same (even though there will be some new varieties and some different kinds of greens), but this is the year that I will be working on seed saving in a more systematic way.

I've had a copy of Suzanne Ashworth's book Seed to Seed for long enough that the text is making a home in my brain, and one of my new books for Christmas this year was Carol Deppe's Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties. Between these two sources, information I've gleaned from various blogs and websites, and the successes I've had with saving the easiest kinds of seeds, I'm making plans to work on my melon problem (my favorite melon is a hybrid with limited availability) and to segregate flowers of several kinds of vegetables to insure that the varieties don't get crossed with others nearby.

Of course, the main goal is to get as much good food as possible out of the space that I have, and many seed catalogs arriving in my mailbox promise abundant harvests of beautiful and delicious crops, but none of the catalogs I receive are from Georgia; the two nearest are Park and Southern Exposure Seed Exchange.

This means that many of the seeds I buy from more distant (Pacific Northwest!) sources might not do as well as I would hope; they aren't bred for this yard's weather and soil. By saving more of my own seeds, from plants that do well in my yard, I'm hoping to improve the odds of having a successfully productive garden each year.


  1. One of my goals this year is to get serious about saving seed, it makes so much sense!

  2. Hi, came here from Erin's blog, my first time. I love Seed to Seed, buying seed is so hit and miss these days. This is the kind of blog I search for, informative and well written hope you don't mind if I follow you, come see me too ok?! peace

  3. Erin, Saving seed does make a lot of sense in a lot of ways, and I wish I had worked harder at it sooner. I am glad to know that I am not going to have to work at it alone! I will be posting what I do. I hope you will, too!

    Ruralrose, Thanks for stopping by! I hope that some of what I post is helpful. I know that I read a lot of blogs (too many, probably!), and that I learn from them all. One thing that really strikes me is how many of us are reading Sharon Astyk and/or Path To Freedom regularly. Do you suppose they know what a great community they've fostered?

  4. I think many are starting to get serious about saving seed. Whether you are a doomsday person or just someone who gets the satisfaction of saving money and saying "I did it myself" it just makes sense! You will like RuralRose's posts, she's a homesteader in the truest sense of the word and has very informative and thought provoking posts about the state of our food supply system. I need to make time to post my seed order on the blog this week, but I am still reeling from the cost of it, lol!

  5. Erin, I popped over to see Ruralrose's blog yesterday, and you are right! I enjoyed reading what she had to say. I ordered from Fedco already, but I am still planning the rest of my order(s). I'm not sure what the final damage to the bank account is going to look like, but I do know that the garden will earn it all back pretty quickly.

    If the blueberries didn't already pay for the entire garden, the tomatoes would, but it is unfortunate that seed-buying season coincides with a major winter holiday that also comes with expenditures.

  6. awww am blushing you ladies are such a delight - peace

  7. i don't know who Sharon Astyk and/or Path To Freedom is - off to google it now, love to find something good to read

  8. Ruralrose, When a blog has a "Freedom Gardener" tag in the sidebar, often with a symbol of an upraised trowel, that's a clue that the writer is a reader of the Path to freedom site, run by the Dervaes family.

    Blogs that have "Independence Days" posts (like Erin's!) are written by people who read Sharon Astyk's blogs, Casaubon's Book and Chatelaine's Keys. Since you read Erin, I assumed you also read Sharon. My mistake, but I think you'll like a lot of what you read when you find those sites!


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