Saturday, February 16, 2013

Choosing Seeds For Success

The seed catalog describes it this way "... extremely hard shell and excellent storage ability. High quality flesh is the color of a sweet potato and has similar flavor." It's Anna Swartz Hubbard from Seed Savers Exchange. The other squash in the pan is Red Kuri, also known as a Baby Red Hubbard. The catalog from High Mowing Seeds says "the most reliable yield even in cool, short seasons."
These squashes were harvested last fall and have been successfully stored in our little greenhouse space which is part of our workshop. Other varieties include Uncle David's Dakota Dessert (below) described by Seeds Of Change as "richly sweet and robust," and old-fashioned butternut squash.
I decided to cook up all the leftover winter squash today and put it into the freezer for I think we're coming to the end of the storage season.
Cooking and preserving duties provide me a little break from the seed ordering process which has consumed my time in the past week.
We've been pouring over the seed catalogs and reading about the seed business online and from other sources as we place our orders this year. One of my old favorite companies (Seeds Of Change) which sells 100% certified organic seed, is now owned by the Mars Corporation.We have discovered that many of the seed companies sell seeds with ties to Monsanto. We're trying to avoid those companies this year, instead choosing to buy our seeds from organizations that have signed the Safe Seed Pledge. We choose our seeds carefully - drawing on our own experiences and the experiences of other gardeners and growers. But we have also found some wonderful new varieties by reading the seed catalogs and the wish list grows longer and longer and then needs to be cut to manageable levels.
I think we're coming down the home stretch in the planning process and the first of the boxes stamped with seed company labels brought the UPS guy to our door yesterday. Down in the greenhouse, the first little sprouts of that leafy head lettuce that our farmers' market customers enjoyed last summer are poking their way up through the seed starting mixture. Can spring be far behind?

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