One of the many joys of the "off-season for vegetable farmers is perusing the stacks of seed catalogs and making our purchases for the upcoming growing season. Quality seeds are critical to growing quality crops and so all our seed is certified organic except for the few flower, unusual herbs and heirloom vegetables that are not available in organic certified. Even the cover crop seed we use to nourish the soil is all certified organic. Every year I swear I'll reduce my number of varieties and every year,I do cull some varieties that did not do well for us. But alas, the artist in me cannot resist new tantalizing delicious and colorful varieties when I am "curating" my year's selection of beautiful vegetables. Sooo, I've finished up cataloging and listing the over 450 varieties of herbs, flowers, vegetables, and melons that we will be offering this year for our organic certification records and now I am working on our planting schedule for the growing season. Some of the new varieties that CSA members can look forward too are Macomber and Eastham turnips, Red Ruffled Kale, Silver Slicer Cucumbers, Bear Paw Popcorn, Boston Marrow Squash, Chartenais Melons, Saltwort, Shirofumi Soybean (endame), Parisian Carrots (they are round),Large Barred Boar Tomatoes, Balady Aswan Celtuce ( a whole new vegetable crop -sort of like buttery lettuce on top of a tasty celery stalk), and African Habenero Peppers from seeds given to us from JD's father, John Hutchison. In case you haven't gotten all you seeds for your garden yet. Here are the companies we use and recommend for quality seed:
Baker's Creek: These seeds are not certified organic but offer a great selection of rare heirlooms and open pollinated varieties. They also have the sexiest seed catalog. Their photos truly incite desire I call their catalog "vegie porn".
Fedco: A great Maine institution, that have an amazing selection of certified organic and sustainable seeds that will grow well in our New England Climate.
High Mowing: Our "go to" seed company. All certified organic vegetable seeds of excellent quality. This Vermont seed company has great varieties for New England
Horizon Herbs: An Oregon seed company that has the largest collection of herb seeds. Almost all are certified organic
Johnny's Selected Seeds: Another great Maine seed company that trails seeds for growing well in our climate. They offer some certified organic seed.
Seed Savers Exchange: This Iowa non-profit really was the pioneer of seed saving for maintaining biodiversity and saving vanishing heirlooms. While not all of their seed is organic. They have a safe seed pledge that guarantee that there is no GMOs (so do Johhnny's).
Turtle Tree Seed: A New York non-profit that offers all biodynamic certified seeds. Most are also certified organic.
Wild Garden Seeds: Another great Oregon seed company. All certified organic with a focus on greens.