Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Spring Seed Order

I finally got off of my butt and ordered my vegetable seeds on Valentines day!  After looking through catalog after catalog, I decided to go with Southern Exposure Seed Exchange.  They are based out of Central Virginia and specialize in varieties that are adapted to my neck of the woods.  There were so many selections of each vegetable with tantalizing descriptions, it made it so very difficult for me to decide which I would get!  It literally took me a month of going through the catalog, researching the plants needs and putting together a simple garden layout to finally commit to the varieties I chose.  I think I will be quite satisfied!

The tomato and various pepper seeds have already been started in the greenhouse, while the rest will be directly sewn in the garden.  Our last average frost date is (depending on where you look) anywhere from March 1 through March 14.  The garden is ready to go now, but to be safe I won't be putting my seeds out for around another 2 weeks.  The anticipation is killing me!  In the mean time I'll be reorganizing my greenhouse and dreaming of a luscious garden!

So, would you like to know what I will be growing?  Of course!
  • Hungarian Italian Paste Tomato -  I don't eat tomatoes straight, but wanted to grow some.  I LOVE a good tomato sauce, however, so I hope to be putting up lots this Summer!
  • Chinese Five Color Pepper - My step-grandmother used to have these growing all around her yard.  At dinner time, she would pick a dish and eat them straight out of the bowl!  I don't know how they didn't burn the ever loving life out of her mouth, but she made them look so good!  Mostly, I got this variety for the nostalgia and beauty, but I'm also excited to see how a pepper sauce will taste.
  • Jalapeño Pepper - My brother goes through gallon size jars of these like there ain't no tomorrow... we're kinda fond of them, too!  We also eat the rear end out of Banana Peppers, so I got some of those as well.  Last year I grew a hot banana pepper.  I really liked those, but didn't want to grow two varieties of the same pepper.
  • Alabama Red Okra - I have a new fondness for fried okra and it grows like weeds in the Deep South!  This variety is said to be excellent fried and will add a little color to the garden with its red tips.
  • Zipper Cream Pea - Jami's favorite pea.  'Nough said!
  • Henderson Bush Lima Bean - My favorite veggie.  'Nough said!
  • Tennessee Red Valencia Peanut - I LOVE boiled peanuts!  In the Summer, I'm pretty much the peanut lady... I'll make them almost every weekend, especially if we're going canoeing.  There's nothing better than floating down the river and washing boiled peanuts down with an ice cold beer!  If you've never had or heard of boiled peanuts, I highly suggest you try them!  It's a true Southern Heritage food.  This is a brand new venture for me and I'll probably not be able to grow nearly all that I will eat this Summer, but I think it will be something fun to try!
  • Seminole Pumpkin - This variety has been grown in Florida for hundreds of years, but is quickly becoming an endangered food.  After reading a bit about the Seminole Pumpkin, I knew I had to grow it.
  • Midewiwan Sacred Tobacco - According to the description on SESE's website, the dried leaves are good for making an insecticide.  I'd heard of this method before and decided to give it a try since I was already ordering seeds.  The tobacco will have to be grown in a seperate place in the yard, so I hope if nothing else, it will be a pretty plant!
  • Cherokee Cornfield Pole BeanStowells Evergreen Sweet Corn, and Waltham Butternut Squash all chosen to build a Three Sisters Garden.  This will be my first foray into companion planting!  I love how the three veggies work off of each other.  The corn and beans were an easy choice, but the squash was another story!  After trying out a few different winter squash varieties, we chose the butternut for its sweet taste and good storage ability.
I also picked up the book Seed to Seed by Suzanne Ashworth, which I have been wanting for over a year now!  I can say that my expectations were exceeded!!  Taking the leap and buying a bunch of seeds can be a bit pricey, but well worth it if I can turn that one purchase into a lifetime's worth of seeds.  Another step in our mission to become more self sufficient!

What will you be growing in your garden this year?  Be it in the ground or just in your head!