Organic Garden 2012 – Step One: Seeds!

I was so excited when I went to the mailbox this morning and found a nice, fluffy envelope full of seeds!  I can’t wait to start my indoor plantings, but I know it’s far too early.  I get so excited when I think about this growing season because I am taking things more seriously than ever before.  I am going to try really hard to keep a “farmer’s journal” so that I can learn from mistakes I make and really know what’s going on in my garden.

The first step for me was planning what I would grow and then ordering the seeds.  I used a fantastic online tool called growveg to plan my garden (they even have a 30 day trial for free). I really like it for the crop rotation features.  I used to keep track of everything on paper, but I didn’t like having to redo everything when I made one small change, nor did I like the fact that paper is easy to lose. 😦  What I really like about the growveg planner though is that I can keep track of succession planting, giving me a great fall and winter harvest.

Once I planned my garden, it was time to order seeds. Here I was faced with a challenge – do I want organic seeds, heirloom seeds or both? In a nutshell, organic seeds are grown organically by a USDA certified farm. Heirloom seeds are open pollenated, hence you can save your own seed.  Both of these things are very important to me, but finding seed that fits both criteria with varieties that grow well in my region can result in a lot of time, money and frustration.

Historically, I ordered all my seeds from Seeds of Change.  All of their seeds are organic, and they carry some heirloom seeds as well. This is the first year heirloom seeds have really mattered to me, and I was sad to see that their heirloom selection seemed to be less than ever. As I searched for other companies that had the heirloom seeds I wanted, Sustainable Seed Company came up over and over again. All of their seeds are heirloom, but I found the opposite problem from Seeds of Change in that their organic selection was slim. As I poked around the website, I became more impressed with the seed they sell.  While not all of their seed is certified organic, it is all organically and sustainably produced. (It can take years for some places to gain USDA Organic status due to the nature of organic farming.) This was good enough for me. I made my order and my seeds are here.

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