BECAUSE SEED ADAPTS to its environment like other living things, I try to shop for seed grown the way I’ll care for it in my garden, meaning: organically, without chemicals. That way, I hope it will feel right at home. My seed series continues with a Q&A with Tom Stearns, founder of the catalog with the largest selection of certified organic seed in the world—as he says in his opening letter in the 2014 edition of the High Mowing Organic Seeds listing. Learn what makes a good cherry tomato; the key role hybrids play in the seed world; why everyone wants short-season varieties, and more—and maybe win some organic seeds! [read more…]
HAVE A GARDENER OR READER on your list? Maybe “The Backyard Parables” or “And I Shall Have Some Peace There”–my two most recent books–or even a set of both might make a good gift. Signed, or signed and gift-wrapped copies available–and the shipping’s on me. Shop on-sale items here (or read more about the books first at this link).
DEAR SANTA: A girl my age doesn’t need any more “stuff,” so let’s emphasize the practical, shall we, old friend? Easier mowing; less mess with the kitchen scraps; more pro tools to process garden harvest into food that keeps; warmer (and also skid-proof) tootsies in winter; oh, and a tactic for truly flipping squirrels the bird (as in squirrel-proof bird feeders). Those gifts would make garden types like myself truly happy. Those–and maybe just a small herd of the madcap cashmere cats that my neighbor makes from recycled sweaters? [read more…]
THE CONVERSATION CONTINUES about a different kind of seed company–seed companies that don’t just package and re-sell seeds, but actually grow some or all of their inventory themselves, spending endless hours year in and year out first-hand, making sure each crop is the best it can be. This week, my guest on the blog and on radio is Lia Babitch, co-manager of Turtle Tree Biodynamic Seeds—a very special company for many reasons even beyond the TLC they put into their open-pollinated crops. We talked about some exceptional peas, beans, yellow tomatoes, winter squash and even a chicory—a new-to-the catalog crop for winter forcing. [read more…]