Daily Archives: March 28, 2011

Picking my Seeds

Chadwick Cherry Tomato   Oak Leaf Lettuce   Wild Rocket Arugula    Parisian Pickling Cucumber   Danvers Carrots  Detroit Dark Red Beet

Picking my Seeds, a set on Flickr.

I purchased most of my seeds a few weeks ago from a company called Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, which I read about last summer in The New York Times. Founder Jere Gettle is  a bit of a rare seed wunderkind who started his first mail-order seed business at the age of 17. Today, his catalog includes over 1,400 different varieties of flowers, vegetables and herbs.

I’ll admit I really don’t know too much about heirloom seeds. While I’ve heard that genetically modified foods come with certain risks, my foray into heritage planting was inspired more by aesthetics than by health. I was wooed by the idea of eating the same fruits and veggies that were grown in this country generations ago.

As I learned recently, “heirloom” is a bit of an ambiguous term – kind of like “sustainable” or “organic.” It doesn’t always mean better, and these seeds often make for plants that are more difficult to cultivate and protect against disease. So, like last year, I plan to supplement my heirloom varieties with some standard Burpee stock. Either way, if I pull it out of the ground myself, I’m likely a step ahead of most store-bought foods when it comes to freshness and taste.

So without further ado, here is my seed list. This includes most of what I plan to grow from now through early June. ( I know there are a few late summer/early fall crops – like pumpkins – that I will have to order later.)

American Melon Emerald Gem
Garden Pea – Lincoln    Update 4/05/2011: Canceled due to lack of space. 
Spinach Merlo Nero
Bean Contender
Beet – Detroit Dark Red
Pepper Italian Pepperoncini
Carrot Cosmic Purple
Carrot Danvers 126 Half Long
Cucumber – Parisian Pickling
Wild Rocket Arugula
Oak Leaf Lettuce
Lettuce de Morges Braun
Traditional Cayenne Pepper
Chadwick Cherry Tomato
Tomato Ananas Noir
Pantano Romanesco Tomato
Black Elephant Purple Tomato
Italian Black Kale
Burpee Cabbage
Burpee Radish
Burpee Watermelon (Sugar Baby)

Top: Cecily Parsley’s Nursery Rhymes by Beatrix Potter
Bottom: Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds