Sunday, January 27, 2008

Barker Creek Heirloom Seeds...Shipped!

I love it when I get a little email letting me know my seeds have been shipped. Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds did just that today. Hooray!

Before I begin the review of my Baker Creek order, I have a confession to make. I did get a little carried away with looking at the photos in this catalog. But, the price per packet is such a deal with Baker Creek that I don't feel too guilty (plus they have a flat $3 rate for shipping and handling).

Nasturtium 'Alaska Mix' is a repeat from last year. It is a great performer and I was mean to it. Days without water, baking in the sun, this annual just kept going. Eldon requested this to use the variegated leaves as little dinner plates for our fancy Thanksgiving feast. Alas, we never used the leaves because we went to Tanzania instead (more stories and another blog to come). 'Alaska Mix' is not an aggressive climber, but is more of a trailing annual. I tried to train it. It didn't work so I just let it do its thing along the edge of the veggie bed. The flower colors run the range of traditional colors: hot oranges and reds to subdued peach and cream.

I chose the French Breakfast radish. I know I can grow radishes well. I just have to be on top of thinning them out. The French Breakfast radish has an elongated shape compared to the typical globe-shaped root you see in the grocery store. Yes, that's a root you're eating! Another veggie request from Eldon for when he makes "Chilled Asparagus with Vinaigrette and Eggs Mimosa" from Thomas Keller's Bouchon cookbook. I'm hoping the radishes are as bright as they are in the photos of the catalog.

I am a sucker for edible flowers. When I saw the 'Shungiku' edible chrysanthemum, I had to try it out. Who could resist these cute white daisies with yellow centers? They will be great in summer salads. The leaves are also said to be great in salads and stir fry. At $1.50 per packet it's worth a try.

I already admitted to my two "Zonal Denial" purchases: Pepino Melon and Thai Red Roselle. For those who are not familiar with "Zonal Denial," it's when you are in total denial of what climate, or zone, you live in. The USDA categorized the country into 11 Zones, and Sunset Western Garden uses 24. The Pepino Melon is from the Andes and grows well in New Zealand. Thai Red Roselle, as the name suggests is from Thailand. Yes, I'm taking my chances. But, I can't resist the challenge. I am still dreaming of the Pepino melon's taste and texture. And the Roselle is striking and has edible flowers--I'm sold!

*The seeds were received on Jan 30th. And they threw in a free packet of European Mesclun Salad. Yippee!

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