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Seed Catalogs: The Earliest Harvest

In the dead of winter, when nothing green is showing in the yard, seed catalogs provide hope and ideas. They remind you of the promise of spring, the unfrozen ground, the warmth of the sun—just when you are in great need of having those memories kindled. They provide a bit of gardening inspiration in what we have to admit is only the middle of winter.

A few years ago, we managed to get on too many mailing lists. From January 1 onward, we received a catalog or three per week. We didn’t purchase from enough catalogs, I guess, for a couple years because the deliveries have decreased to a reasonable amount.

This year, I went looking online for some of the catalogs we like and I found some others that were new to me. Many companies make it super simple for you to request their catalogs online. Here are a few I contacted today:

Seeds of Change, certified organic
Park Seed Company, certified organic
Burpee, mostly conventional, some organic

I was very impressed by the 16 varieties of Black Tomatoes available from the Tomato Growers Supply Company. Who knew there were that many kinds of black tomatoes available?

Another fun site I discovered today was Golden Harvest Organics. Their site is full of organic gardening tips and encouragement on topics like animal control and companion planting, in addition to a wide variety of non-GMO seeds.

We don’t grow everything in our garden from seed, in part because we are able to get very reasonably priced organic plant sets from our local farmers’ market. We also have begun to save some of our own seeds, especially sunflowers and pole beans, and there’s tremendous satisfaction from doing that. Still, seed catalogs provide us with inspiration and ideas, even if we don’t buy anything from them. They remind us too that, in the grand scheme of things, spring isn’t so far away.

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