Monday, January 5, 2015

Seed Catalog Time!

Nothing like being gone over the holidays and having a mail dump of seed catalogs waiting for me when I got home!


My usual suspects of John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds, Baker Creek, Fedco, Territorial, Jung Seeds (who signed me up for that one?) arrived along with a new one for me this year: R.H. Shumway's.  

Usually late in the game, John Scheepers was early. In past years, I have received this one long after I've placed my orders.

Baker Creek is a usual favorite, but I have to be careful not to get carried away zonal denial given they are based in Missouri and California. It's easy to do with their lovely pictures tempting me with seeds they've collected around the world in much hotter places.

I'll get back to Fedco in a bit, and I'm going to skip Territorial since they have a reputation already in this region.

Jung Seeds looks like a combo of your usual seed offerings plus other edibles from vine, tree and shrub. Plus perennials and even ornamental colocasia and allocasia--which are not hardy here.

R.H.Shumway's is a new one I requested for this year. It's got an "old timey" catalog look to it so much so I'm expecting to find offers for soap or men's shave cream and brushes. I'm not sure I'll actually order from them unless there is something I must have and can't find elsewhere. They are offering a selection of new annuals like the African Sunset petunia and Candy Showers trailing snapdragon.

I left my favorite for last--Fedco. I have always been impressed with their quality and since they are based in Maine, their growing season is on par with Seattle. I also appreciate their conscientious, mindful outlook on where their seeds are coming from. Over the past several years, CR Lawn has expressed the company's dilemma of calling themselves sustainable while offering seeds from Bayer and Syngenta. While the seed is not treated, these two companies produce neonicotinoids ("neonics" for short) and Atrazine. Neonics have recently been linked as a possible cause in bee colony collapse and are being banned in Europe and the US. CR Lawn went to great lengths designating the seeds source leaving it up to the consumer to make the choice. There is also the reality if they don't offer these varieties, their customers will find them elsewhere. I know I can't imagine my small garden without Sungolds or Masai haricot vert. A dilemma indeed.