Gray Skies and Garden Plans


Juncos foraging for sunflower seeds.

We had freezing temperatures for the third night in a row. I went outside just long enough to pull some leeks for dinner tonight. Most of the soil in the garden beds is frozen, but my leeks are buried under a blanket of leaves.

I’m thinking of a leek-potato braise tonight.

The skies are gray with a constant dribble of slushy rain, but the juncos are too busy foraging for seeds to notice. I noticed, though…it’s cold outside! Today will an indoor day for me. It’s time I finished my garden plan and put together a seed order.

Last year, I grew potatoes, collard greens, swiss chard, lettuce, broccoli, leeks, basil, eggplants and tomatoes. I think Guitar Man will be much more enthusiastic about this whole gardening adventure if I grow more vegetables he actually likes to eat. It’s a short list…carrots, peas, lettuce, green beans, potatoes, and corn.

I won’t grow corn; the yields are too low for the amount of space and water it needs. Besides, we get excellent corn from Spooner Farms in Puyallup. However, I will devote a big part of the garden to peas, carrots, and green beans. I’ll also plant to grow delicata squash, and lots of greens—including multiple varieties of lettuce. There’ll be tomatoes and eggplant too. I plan to expand my herb garden to include cilantro, several varieties of  basil, and some chervil.

I order most of my seeds from Territorial Seed Company. There has been a lot of controversy on the internet about Territorial and their connection to Seminis since the Monsanto buyout. According to Erica at Northwest Edible Life, Territorial does not sell GMO seeds. (See “A Brief History of Monsanto and Seed Houses that Got Screwed.”) She researched this thoroughly, and found that Territorial has been systematically paring down its Seminis offerings since 2005 by breeding more varieties in house and finding new seed growing partners. As of 2012, Territorial no longer purchases any seed from Seminis.

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