I placed my first garden supply order a couple of days ago. I am really excited about the upcoming gardening season. As usual, I'm ordering lots of heirloom seeds. We don't need to buy any soldier beans though because we've been saving those for two years now. The soldier beans we'll plant this year are the grandchildren of beans I bought two years ago. That means they're totally organic seeds, which is exciting.
I placed the order with Landreth's, which is the oldest seed company in the United States, and they still have real human beings answering their phones and taking your order. They were the seed suppliers for George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. I get those two mens' gardens mixed up because I visited them one day apart in 1999, but I do recall that one of them said that a farmer who has to buy seeds more than once isn't really a farmer. They were, of course, big proponents of seed saving. It's funny to think that the concept of seed saving is actually illegal with today's patented seeds. If I receive a catalog that includes even one type of patented seed, I throw it away. I refuse to support a company that supports the idea of owning nature. You know there are patented seeds in the catalog if it includes an affidavit that you have to sign, promising to not save any seeds for future planting. It's hard for me to believe that today's modern commercial farmers fall for that garbage. But they're lured by the promise of big yields and bigger profits. I wonder if any of them have ever sat down to see how much money they'd save by purchasing old-fashioned seeds and saving some to plant next year, rather than having to buy new seeds every year.
Mike doesn't know it yet, but I ordered 100 asparagus roots. He's the head planter around here, and that should keep him busy for an afternoon. Five years ago, we planted a dozen asparagus roots, thinking that within a couple of years, we'd have more than we could eat. Unfortunately, we still get so few that we just pick them and eat them in the yard. We never get enough at one time to cook any. They are the Mary Washington strain, which is an older one. I am ordering the Jersey Knight this time, because it is supposed to be more prolific.
I plan to order more seeds from Jung's, which is a family owned company that's been around for 100 years. They have a centennial heirloom seed collection that I'm buying this year. I'm also excited about their collection of gladiolus. I've been planting glads in my garden for several years now. I love the beautiful cut flowers I get in the middle of summer.
We are going to be experimenting more with isolated garden beds and a permaculture system of growing things. To save seeds from squash plants, they have to be isolated from each other because they will cross pollinate, so if you have a butternut and an acorn squash next to each other, and you save the seeds, who knows what you'll get from those seeds next year! We have four garden areas around the house, and we're going to be planting things under trees and in flower beds, so it's going to look like the Garden of Eden around here if we're successful this year.