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Seeds of Old Fashion Communication

January 3, 2012

VegieablesAs I write this, there is a rogue snow squawl just outside. This blog post is a detraction from my normal communications and social media related posts, as I examine my own New Years resolutions for 2012.  I encourage you all to grow a garden this year, in pots/containers, on a small raised bed in the back of your Townhouse, or on a larger plot, or a rural rented plot.

It’s also that time of year when it gets pretty darn cold out at night. I can’t even go outside to dig in the dirt ( as it’s frozen), because it gets dark at 4:45 pm. When I was a young girl in upstate New York, where every year, when winter rolled around and the very cold January and February winds blew and dreams of green grass and soft warm winds haunted us, our mailbox had the annual welcoming and oh so colorful seed catalogs.

This is the time when I look back to my roots and my love of gardening, which I got honestly from my father. Therefore, I dedicate this post to a man who also loved to garden and where I fondly remember him pouring over seed catalogs during the winter months to order seeds for our very large family with six siblings.  So, I  begin my New Year not really making any new resolutions I can’t keep. Instead I am hard at work ordering seed catalogs and look forward to the spring. As planting, growing, toiling, tilling and working on seven acres provides enough of a workout that I never have to say, I will exercise more each year! :).  I was crazy enough to buy seven acres that needed to be tamed, last year. OMG!

Exercise and work, and seasonal communication is part of the ebb and flow of the changing seasons. Whatever happened to old fashion face-to-face communication, and doing it over the backyard fence, chatting about and compairing proudly grown veggies and new seeds we plan to plant next year?

For now, while I am trying to embrace cyber-nating inside, I will continue to pay homage to my father and grand mother’s well taught basic life skills (communication 101, for life and business).

And yes, I will order a few seed catalogs to dream of fresh veggies to harvest later in 2012 .                                               To get started, I planted heirloom Marglobe tomatoes, Yolo peppers, and a slew of cantaloupes, and some onions from seed (as a test).

In this modern age of technology, about 70% of people still order most of their seeds from seed catalogs! I think this is great and here is why I think so. I believe that some old fashion ways of doing things should not change. We are beginning to raise entire generations who do not know anything about gardening, canning or growing things when it used to be a staple activity for families which kept people from starving, being less dependent on the government, and they ate healthier. Conversely, I know most of us have embraced many of the new fangled ways and technologies. But, we are passing on nothing to our youth, and our grand children. Rather, we are forgetting about being close to the land and living with a more purposeful existence, soon many will not know how to provide for themselves at all. This does not mean I am gonna go all Amish on you all. But, I refuse to pay an additional five cent tax at the grocery store for buying food to live on which is already taxed and not fresh.

As a result, in my opinion something is missing from our daily lives, many are unemployed, the environment is suffering. There is value and purpose in time honored old fashion traditions such as; sitting still next to a crackling fire ( Yes, with wood you cut or stacked by yourself) and actually reading next to that fire with a snack like warm peach cobbler ( from peaches you canned or grew yourself) instead of playing “farmer” with Farmville, texting, checking or tweeting your Facebook status 16 times a day or playing time-sucking video games for hours and hours (which have no real intrinsic value, in my book).

Like with so much else in life, technology is displacing the need for printed catalogs because a company can just list their seed selection on their website. Add to that the rising costs of doing business, the consolidation of seed companies, and the pickings can seem slim if you prefer printed seed catalogs. Fortunately, if you know where to look (and are willing to pay a few dollars in some cases) you can still participate in the tradition and escapism that is a seed catalog.

Did you know there are more than 100 seed catalogs out there? As every gardener knows, seed catalogs are wonderful reading. Between the tantalizing descriptions of varieties and the first-rate cultural information, many catalogs can double as reliable gardening books. They are also interesting as historical sources.

Note: Many heirloom vegetable varieties are not available in the seed trade, but can be found through seed saving networks. For more information, see also: Seed Savers, Seed Exchanges, and Seed Societies. You can find a larger list of seed catalogs at:

Below are a short list of favorites derived from a recent Mother News (MEN) survey. MEN’s printed that one customer said, “Fedco’s catalog make wonderful, entertaining, laugh-out-loud reading and all the vintage graphics are wonderful.”

  1. Johnny’s Selected Seeds (Winslow, Maine) www.johnnyseed.com
  2. Seed Savers Exchange (Decorah, IA) www.seedsaver.com
  3. Bakercreek Heirloom Seeds (Mansfield, MO) www.rareseeds.com
  4. Burpee Seeds & Plants( Warminster, PA) www.burpee.com
  5. Territorial Seed Company ( Cottage Grove, Ore) www.territorialseed.com
  6. Seed of Change (Rancho, Dominquez CA) www.seedsofchange.com
  7. Ferry-Morse Seed Company (Fulton, KY) www.ferry-morse.com
  8. Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (Mineral, VA) www.southernexposure.com
  9. High Mowing Organic Seeds (Wolcott, VT) www.highmowingseeds.com
  10. Fedco Seeds ( Waterville, MA) www.fedcoseeds.com
  11. Nichols Garden Nursery (Albany, OR) www.nicholsgardennursery.com
  12. The Cook’s Garden ( Warminster, PA) www.cooksgarden.com
  13. Botanical Interests (Broomfield, CO) www.botanicalinterests.com
  14. Renee’s Garden Seeds (Felton, CA) www.reneesgarden.com
  15. Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply (Grass Valley, CA) www.groworganic.com

For long term seed storage, seed vaulting, non hybrid garden seed kits, try a few of the following:

  1. AAOB Foods which also provides info with tips on planting
  2. Patriot Survival Seed Vault 37.95 | MyPatriotSupply.com
  3. Heirloom Organics- Survival Seed Vault $99 – 50,000+ Seeds
  4. www.non-hybrid-seeds– 2 Acres, 1.5LB, Eat for .01/LB
  5. Prepared Planet-Canned Seeds | Organic Heirloom Seeds | Emergency Seed Storage
  6. Livestock Seed Storage Pack
  7. And here is a list of culinary vegetables too from Wikipedia

Happy Gardening!  I urge to resolve to share more with your family, neighbors and friends, the old fashioned way!

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  1. January 19, 2012 at 2:13 am

    Very efficiently written story. It will be helpful to anybody who employess it, as well as myself. Keep doing what you are doing – i will definitely read more posts.

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