Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Seeds Glorious Seeds or What Could Have Been a Bad April Fool’s Day Joke

Faithful readers are aware that yours truly Garden Manager is a faithful Knitwit at CLC. In addition to improving my knitting skills during the non-gardening season, one of my fellow Knitwits has generously donated every April two garbage bags full of packages of last year’s Botanical Interest seeds. This has made gardening oh so much more fun for us at the SACG and our many friends because we can inexpensively experiment with new varieties of vegetables and flowers that we might not do otherwise. This is, for instance, how I found Tuscan Kale and Endive, asparagus/yard-long beans and a wide variety of lettuces, peppers and tomatoes.

On Sunday, the chief knitwit informed me that there would be no Knitwits in April. My jaw dropped. Surely, you jest, said I. Surely, this is an April Fool’s joke, I said in horror. She was surprised at my distress and then realized it was not the knitting I would be missing so much, but Linda’s seeds. Yes, said I. Happily, Linda had not left church yet and I was able to make alterative arrangements with her for the delivery of our seeds.

Well, the seeds are safely in my possession and are taking up a large part of my living room. They will be distributed as follows:

  1. To the SACG gardeners and other volunteers who helped get the Garden in shape on March 31;

  2. Starting April 14: To the SACG gardeners and other volunteers who help get the Garden in shape on April 14;

  3. Starting April 21: To the watchful, patient and understanding neighbors of the SACG;

  4. On May 3, what seeds remain will be shared at the GCGC meeting.

  5. Then, they will be kept in the SACG shed for any gardener to help themselves or for anyone else to stop by and ask.
We never get the same assortment from year to year. Some years, we’ve had lots of lettuce seeds and other years we get lots of different carrots. This year we have an abundance of tomato and pepper seeds. There is also a little bit of this and a little bit of that. And always something new.

I will be at the Garden during my regular schedule (i.e., Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings) for the foreseeable future.

Of course, we grow certain things that are not covered by seeds, so yesterday I went shopping at area stores for onion sets, seed potatoes and seeds that some SACG gardeners wanted and which were not in this year’s allotment of Botanical Interest seeds. Readers should know that Oakland Nursery has been having a fantastic 33% off seeds (i.e., Botanical Interest, Livingston, Burpee, etc.) and have shallot sets. However, they are out of most seed potatoes. Dill’s has lots of seed potatoes and onion sets, 4-inch ground cover perennials at 10 for $10, but no seeds on sale. DeMonye’s is having its annual perennial sale the weekend of April 14 (but good luck getting there before me). I think the best deals for seed starting sets (i.e., those peat pots and mini-greenhouse/seed starting kits) are still at Lowe’s and Home Depot, though. So expect to shop around for the best deals because they are rarely at the same store. One of my gardeners has complained about Sunderlands on Nelson Road closing because it always had seriously cheap seeds.

Finally, you all know how much I love getting surprises in the mail. Well, this morning’s mail contained another mystery package wrapped in brown. My crafty, busy and generous friend from Louisville sent me more heirloom bean seeds! AND a beautiful Rancho Gordo Heirloom Bean Grower’s Guide. She’s been encouraging me for years to get seeds from there. Little did she know, that I already had a couple of months ago. I purchased some cannellini and Sangre de Toro beans . . . . but she just sent me Eye of the Goat and Vaqueros beans. How pretty! I spend the Fall, Winter and Spring making bean soups and bean salads and spreads. And my prolific bean planting also improves my garden soil as I rotate my crops every year.

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