Garden Planning – First the Seeds

January 10, 2010

It is January, it is cold, there are 9” of snow on the ground and the kids have had a four day weekend thanks to 2 snow days.  It is time to think about the garden.

My friend at Nyack Backyard woke me up with a reminder to consider the source of my seeds; in particular, I might want to avoid seeds from companies associated with Monsanto, the fertilizer, pesticide, genetic engineering giant.  If you want a reason to be concerned about Monsanto, check this site, Millions against Monsanto. Nyack Backyard also pointed me to a list of seed companies that sell seeds free of ties to Monsanto.

This isn’t an anti-Monsanto post, or an anti-big-business or anti-business done the American way post.  This is just a post about getting seeds I’m happy with and realizing that maybe my usual source isn’t 100% consistent with my values. 

So what do I want from my seeds?  Organic and untreated.  Actually, options are pretty good.  When I googled “organic seeds” there were plenty of places to go.  I settled on Natural Gardening Company for no good reason other than they claim to be the oldest certified organic gardening nursery in the United States.  That’s not really a great reason, but I didn’t have the gumption to comparison shop and I wanted a one-place and get it all nursery and this seemed to fit the bill (almost).

Actually, being the oldest certified organic gardening nursery made me think they might be from back east – perhaps somewhere near Monticello – Jefferson was a big gardener.  They’re not – they’re in California.  Doesn’t matter.

So my husband and I spent an hour or so this morning picking seeds and seedling types for the garden.  It won’t be cheap, but still less expensive than not gardening.  Most everything we’ve bought is an heirloom variety and described as being able to withstand a variety of weather conditions.  We do not baby our plants.  They get mulched and that’s it.  We don’t even water. 

Because this year is more expensive than previous years we are hoping to make a project of saving seeds.  Why buy more seeds each year when our plants make millions on their own?  Check back and see if we carry this out.

Meanwhile, we wait for the seeds to come and the snow to melt.  I don’t want to wish time away, and I do enjoy the winter – but it is fun to think about the spring too.



  1. I have catalogs from John Scheepers (they identify open pollinated seeds) and Abundant Life – they are owned by Territorial Seeds which I like very much but have hybrid seeds – so this is their attempt at organic. I’ve also ordered catalogs from Seed Savers (http://www.seedsavers.org/) and Baker Creek http://rareseeds.com/

    I should be able to get enough from all of those places.

  2. Thanks for link to Natural Gardening. I’m also going to ask my old neighbors who order online from someplace that is organic and I think local. So, if I can avoid having all that shipping associated – cool. but, I have to admit, I’m a tad bit lazy so anyone who does the research for me gets major points. Even if the research is random. 🙂

    As for the Monsanto issue – well, I think they have become somewhat ubiquitous. And, if we don’t spend our money trying to save companies that try to do good – we are supporting those who do bad. And, Monsanto does quite a bit of GM products. Which I tend to think will cause larger problems than we know. *shrug* I freak out when people touch my food at the molecular level. I don’t think anyone is smart enough for that! 🙂

    Thanks again – your posts are fun to read. And, perhaps it will motivate me not to slack this year and actually buy seeds and start from scratch.


  3. I have no where to start seeds so looking for a local source for organic seedlings, I have found a few thankfully.

    Also, you have an award on my blog.

  4. Thanks for the link, W. Good to know about Natural Gardening Co! I’ll definitely be checking back to see what does well in your garden this year. It’s hard to find a one-stop-shop place for seeds, isn’t it?

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