Jan 15, 2012

catalog

I just spent my evening quiet time (one of the few nights the kid and baby actually get to bed on time) reading a seed catalog. And I'm writing about it here because it feels more like an enjoyable reading experience than anything else, plus it's not much to note of on my garden blog since I won't be ordering seeds from this company. But I would, if I lived in the Pacific Northwest. Here's the deal.

I once bought my mother some flower seed for her garden from Uprising Seeds. I thought what better way to have varieties that will do well in your climate, than to buy from a company that grows the very seed right there in your home state? Not only that, but their plants are old heirloom varieties, many that are in danger of going extinct. I was happy to get my mom some of their seed, but when their catalog arrived at my door this winter thought meh: I love them, but they probably won't grow for me over here, in a different climate zone. But I started thumbing through the catalog anyway, just curious.

And found it was such fun to read. It was heartening to read the little intro page about the local farms that produce the seed and all the integrity these people put into their work. You can tell by reading the words that they love plants. And the descriptions next to the variety names not only all sound very enticing, but also quite honest: some of them just say crop failed next to it. Others mention that the crop is small, or that it was so lovely they couldn't help eating the produce in the field instead letting it mature into seed (I'm hoping that's a joke, mostly)! Most tell something about the history of the plant, or extol its virtues, but all in a way that's utterly charming, engaging, and sometimes downright funny. There's a tomato with soft, fuzzy leaves, a lettuce variety that dates back to 1799. Have you ever read a produce description before that said oh-my-god-these-are-so-cute? And listen to this about the pumpkins: There are some people in the house who believe pumpkin pie is not reserved for special occasions. The occasion is the pie and every day is open for celebration. If this describes you or who you'd like to be or be around, you will thank yourself for growing this pie pumpkin.... there will be enough to share. Sharing is good. Eat. More. Pie. 

So I just kept reading, because it was fun. Usually I linger over all the pictures in seed catalogs but this one doesn't need them, the writing is so good. It made me long for some of their plants, and feel sad that I didn't live in the vicinity of Uprising Seeds anymore. I need to find me a seed company like this in Virginia. Anybody know of one?

2 comments:

Stefanie said...

I love reading seed catalogs this time of year. Uprising sounds like a wonderful company. I too believe there doesn't need to be a special reason for pumpkin pie. Why can't you order seeds from them though? Are you trying to stay local? I totally understand if you are.

Jeane said...

Yes. Not just because I want to support a local company, but because I figure plants grown locally will be very well-adapted to conditions in my garden. Uprising Seeds grows plants specifically conditioned to do well in the pacific northwest. I have longer, hotter summers here.