Whether you are a seasoned gardener, or a brave, intrepid soul looking to grow some of your own food for the first time, it's time to start thinking about starting your own seeds. If you intend to buy plants at a local nursery instead, you still have awhile before you need to make garden plans. But if you want to experience the joy and miracle of watching your own food burst forth from the tiniest speck of a seed, now is the time to get into garden mode. And, besides, nothing whisks away those winter doldrums like the gorgeous colors and delicious promises of a seed catalog. We spend many a chilly winter eve in front of a blazing fire, sipping hot cocoa, "oohing" and "aaahing" over the gorgeous and unusual varieties that heirloom seed catalogs bring right to our door.
Imagine the delicious juiciness of a purple cherokee tomato, so ripe and wonderful that one bite sends your taste buds into a frenzied state of happiness, tomato juices drizzling down your chin. A dash of salt, a splash of olive oil, and my, oh my... a gourmet snack fresh from nature! Seed catalogs offer the promise of heaven, of fruits and veggies that no grocery store can ever offer, tastes and smells and colors that will burst forth from your garden and decorate your dinner plate. And the best part? Starting plants from seeds costs pennies per plant!
If you don't have one already, you will need some sort of grow shelf for starting your seedlings, and we will show you our DIY, easy-peasy pumpkin squeezy grow shelf in a later post. For now, it's time to start requesting catalogs so that you can give yourself some delicious motivation to get serious about your garden.
Hands-down, our favorite paper catalog is from Baker Seeds. Their catalog is a masterpiece (and yes, we know it is more eco-friendly to browse seeds online, but I promise you, there is nothing quite as wonderful as flipping through this catalog, all curled up under a warm blankie, photos popping off the pages with their vibrant colors and yummy gorgeousness). Other catalogs worth perusing include Seed Savers Exchange, Peaceful Valley (with its artist-rendered drawings instead of photos, and excellent gardening tips), Bountiful Gardens, and Fedco Seeds (no photos in this one, but once you know what you want, they are very affordable, particularly if you are buying seeds in large quantities).
So go ahead, request some catalogs, and start dreaming your garden to life. Spring will be upon us before we know it!