America is Going To Seed

2009
02.27
Plum Tomato “Italian Pompeii” seed source:Renee’s Garden.
My container garden success story last summer. Started from seed. Grew in a five gallon bucket with parsley and basil. Because it was near by on the deck, this pot had plenty of water. The tomatoes were supposed to be for sauce, but they were so good fresh, there were none left for preserving.

Seed catalogs are more popular than ever. I read and reread them, dog ear pages, circle favorites and make notes on the page. One of my favorite seed sources is no longer a print catalog, I browse through Renee’s Seed online catalog as much as I did their beautiful paper catalogs in years past. The photos and the drawings tempt me to buy even more. I’m getting more questions about gardening from my friends and neighbors, so I asked Renee Shepherd what was going on.

“seed sales, particularly of vegetables and herbs, are up sharply this season. After years of declining veggie seed sales the whole cycle has completely reversed and we are experiencing tremendous interest from a new generation of gardeners who want to, for the first time, start a garden to grow food,” Renee said.

Many of her customers are growing food to help with the rising prices at the grocery store. People feel like this is a way to help support themselves in uncertain economic times.

The closer food grows to your table, the more control you have. Yes, it is tastier and Rodale Institute has proven it’s healthier. The simple act of growing food and buying locally produced food helps reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Trucking your fruits and vegetables from California or Florida means you are buying aging produce with diminishing flavor at the grocery. It takes a lot of fuel to drive a tomato from Homestead Florida to your front door.

Food scares worry everyone. Buying from the local farmer or growing your own produce means you do not have to worry about recent food safety threats. You can enjoy home grown salad greens and spinach while rest of the country is suffering from the mass market food scares and shortages of safe food.

I admit to feeling a bit smug last year when spinach was being pulled from restaurants and grocery stores while I enjoyed bountiful spinach salads grown by a local organic farmer. Growing safe food in our own backyard gardens reduces the risk of national disasters such as Salmonella-tainted tomatoes and E. coli-contaminated spinach and lettuce.

I’m ordering most of my seed from two sources that I know I can trust.

Oriental Giant Spinach from Renee’s Garden
Renee Shepherd offers the finest seeds of heirloom and cottage garden flowers,aromatic herbs, and gourmet vegetables from around the world.


Flame or Hillbilly tomato from Baker Creek.

We only offer open-pollinated seeds: pure, natural and non-GMO! We offer heirloom seeds from 70 countries, including many that we collected ourselves.

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