Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Garden rant and cute goats

Still no baby rabbits and no sign of impending labor.

I am, however, excited about the upcoming gardening season. Yesterday, I inventoried the seeds in my seed basket. As usual, I was surprised by how many there are! I think some are probably getting too old to be viable though. There are a couple packets from 2002 still! I was surprised that I couldn't find any tomato seeds. I recall finishing off a couple packets of tomato seeds last year, but I also know that last year was the first time I planted several of the tomatoes, so there should have been some seeds left. When I went to town today, I looked over the seed selection and purchased a few heirlooms that they had in stock. It's a great savings if you can find heirloom seeds locally. I paid 10 to 25 cents for most seed packets. The rest will be ordered from Heirloom Seeds and Baker Creek Seeds at a price of $1-2 a packet, although it is only fair to note that most of their packets contain a lot more seeds that the store-bought brands.

It is important to me to buy heirloom seeds for the same reason I want to raise heritage animals -- to continue the biodiversity that we have on this planet. You can also save seeds from the plants if they are heirlooms, so you don't have to keep buying seeds every year. I admit I've not been very good at saving seeds, but it is on my "to do" list. It was either George Washington or Thomas Jefferson who said that any man who had to buy seeds after his first year farming was not much of a farmer. Of course, Jefferson and Washington are probably spinning in their graves if they've caught wind of the rules of modern agriculture. I had heard that many of the modern ag companies are requiring farmers to sign a document stating that they will not save seeds from the plants they grow, and now I can say I've actually seen one of those documents. We received a seed catalog this year that had such a contract. Needless to say, I will not be buying any seed from them. That would be like a goat breeder telling me that even though I'm buying this goat, I'm not allowed to breed any of her kids. That's just nuts!

In addition to promoting biodiversity, heirloom vegetables also provide a diverse assortment of food on our table. Last year, we grew every color tomato imaginable .... green striped was my favorite, but the orange tomatoes were also delicious! I'm not a big cherry tomato fan, but my husband and oldest daughter loved the black cherry tomatoes. All those colors also provided us with some very snazzy-looking salsa! I can't believe it's already Feb. 8 -- I need to get my gardening supplies together and get these seeds started!

As I'm writing this, I am also looking out the window, watching the baby goats -- they're not exactly babies anymore, but we have this habit of calling them babies until they give birth themselves. Esther and Shirley, two of last year's babies, keep bouncing around on their hind legs and butting heads with each other. I have no idea what disagreement has caused them to be so aggressive with each other, but it provides an amusing show for us humans. Who needs reality television when you've got real farm animals to entertain you?

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails