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Monday, December 8, 2008

Seed Seeker

Yes, I spend way too much time looking at seed catalogs. I don't know why I do it, I seem to always end up at the seed rack at Jerry's or Fred Meyer to grab whatever catches my fancy on April 10. But this year I'm determined to plan better. I've got a greenhouse to play with!

The good news for me is that it is pitch black outside, it's pledge week on PBS, and I just finished a terrible book. That's right, I'm a little restless.

One of my favorite seed sources (they have a rack at Jerry's) is Territorial Seeds in Cottage Grove. They have a store there too. They are the nicest people and always very helpful when I stop in on my way to or from Medford. I've had great luck with their seeds. They test everything right here locally so you know it's going to grow here in the Willamette Valley.

Here's what's on the list so far:
  • Tomatoes (The first three are Jenny McFarland's recommendations. The girl knows how to grow tomatoes, I tell you) Glacier, Sun Gold, Taxi, and my favorite, Roma.

  • I'm also going to plant Celeriac. I had some in the yard when I first moved in but I ate it all before it went to seed.

  • Ed is a Radish fiend. I've planted a couple of different types, but he liked the Altaglobe the best. Unfortunately, I don't see it in the catalog. He didn't really like the Cherry Belle, so I think I am going to try the French Breakfast. They aren't round so it will rock Ed's world - but hey, they are better than store-bought.

  • Lemon Cucumbers. I just love these. I eat them like apples and they rarely make it into the house.

  • I'm also going to try Mexican Sour Gherkins in a hanging basket. They sound fun and I like to try new things.

  • I also need some onion sets. This year I'm going to try Copras. I plant these close together and thin them for Ed's salads. Breath mint?

  • Oregon Sugar Pod peas. I challenge you to find a more perfect vegetable. I love these...and so do my coworkers. I like to plant the peas and beans together. The peas finish up right when the bean plants are ready to take off.

Here are the leftover seeds from this year that will receive a command performance:

  • Nickel Bush Beans. I got these last year from Territorial but don't see them in the catalog right now. These are the BEST BEANS. Very tasty. They are a slender bean and are perfect fresh or in stir fry. Snatch these up if you see them anywhere else.

  • Kandy Korn Hybrid. Not a big producer, but the stalks and leaves have maroon streaks and the silk is pink. I planted them in the front yard and they were beautiful. The ears were delicious. They are packed with sugar so you want to eat them as soon as they are picked. They get gummy in your mouth if they are more than a few hours old. I would pick these, flick off the earworm, yank out the silk, then pop them on the grill (husk and all.) And hey, if a few aphids got singed, all the better.

  • Flying Saucer Patty Pan summer squash. Alas, I planted these in a corner and forgot to weed and water them.

  • Italienischer Loose-Leaf lettuce. I meant to plant these last fall but ran out of room because my spring lettuce just kept on producing all through summer. I just couldn't bring myself to pull them up while we were still snacking.

  • Swiss Chard Bright Lights. I already have this growing but we keep eating it to the nubbins. I've got another bed prepared so I can grow more. This is a beautiful plant in the landscape. The colors hold up pretty well during cooking too.

  • Filderkraut cabbage.
    From Yard
    What a cool plant! The slugs ate all but one plant this fall, but I am determined to grow more.

  • Broccoli blend. I planted this last fall and we are eating through it now. A fun variety of different types of broccoli - all very tasty.

  • French Nicoise salad greens. Oh, my, god. Fabulous. I pulled up the wild onions (hey, I live in Springfield, I've got them growing EVERYWHERE.) If you like your food to slap you around, this mix will do it. I pair this with arugula (which I am ordering) for an eye-watering sinus-clearing good time. I also grew their Tangy Mesclun and it was great. I still have joi choi growing in the bed. I harvest a couple of leaves now and then to throw into the stir fry.

Dang, I'm going to need to buy property. Wait, I already did that. Too bad it's in Alaska. Looks like I'm going to have to rip out more flower beds.

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