Wednesday, December 17, 2008

more on loyalty--- seed catalogs

When speaking of pollinators and flowers in my classroom we ended up making an analogy. Flowers want loyalty in much the same way as chain restaurants --- look the same, smell the same, and the menu items are consistent and taste the same.

Inconsistency destroys loyalty.

My table space at Pathway has been encroached by seed catalogs and old seeds. Two of those catalogs have been favored for ten years. When they arrive in my mailbox (always after the first really hard frost) my eyes light up like a bee seeing the ultraviolet light reflecting off a dahlia.

So what traits bring upon loyalty...

  • early to arrive (I am far into my planning of a seed order and I am lacking one I used last year)
  • a desire to preserve heirloom varieties ( such as... Riesentraube Cherry Tomatoes from my ancestors-- PA Germans)
  • support of organic seed farmers
  • diversity
  • seeds that germinate at high %'s
  • information that helps to make wise purchases
  • fine customer service
  • plants that do what the catalog promises

Off to the left you can find links to my favored catalogs, here are the two that have earned my loyalty...


Chandramouli S said...

Good luck with shopping! Looking forward to all your yet-to-arrive-seeds grow, thrive, and bear flowers/fruits.

Kylee said...

This is a great post about seed catalogs!

Wayne Stratz said...

Chandramouli--- first comment on my blog. Thanks for the visit. The seed shopping list is getting close to being finished.

Kylee--- thanks. I love handing them out to the students and saying... "Let me know what appeals to you."

TC said...

When do you start your seeds? And I'm very interested in those heirloom cherry tomato seeds you have from Germany.

Wayne Stratz said...

TC--- just checked and those tomato seeds are still being sold by seed savers (link is on the left of my blog). By the way they are not German, but Pennsylvanian German. starting seeds--I count weeks backwards from the last frost date then add a few weeks since I have space. I am going to start keeping better records this year.

George Africa said...

Hello Wayne;

I just found your blog and I am am enjoying your comments. Gardening and students work well together and lets face it, we need to teach everyone about raising food and using our environment more wisely. Many years ago I started a couple gardening projects with a prison population and a youth-in-trouble group.I found those to be two of the most rewarding programs I have ever done. Thanks for the work you do.

You have a picture of a bumble bee pollinating a flower. Students might be intrested in the decline of the bumble bee and also the use of artificial hives they could construct and then poulate in spring beginning with finding a queen. There is a lot of info on the Internet. Just a though.

Best New Year Wishes,

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Gardens
Vermont Flower Farm

Wayne Stratz said...

George-- We have talked about the bee situation. Many would like your idea, but some who are afraid of bees may not want to hear it. ;') I will keep it in mind.

Sue said...

I haven't shopped from a seed catalog in years. I live in a town that sells a pretty good variety. I have found some Seed Saver seeds from a local food coop. When I first started gardening, I ordered seeds from Johnny's Selected Seeds. The catalog was like a little booklet. I kept that for a long time. I may even have it still, as I do not let go of things so easily. Your post makes me think I'd like to see if they have an online catalog.

Thanks for commenting on my post about herbs. I grow bay in a pot. It is in my east facing garden window. I sometimes use fresh leaves from it, but it had a rough summer because we had it in too much sun for awhile. Also, I want to use up the leaves I dried a little over a year ago.

I hope you have figured out what kind of tomatoes to plant.


Wayne Stratz said...

Sue--- did you grow the bay plant from seed?