Get down and dirty in the garden
Do you buy your garden seeds, or are you lucky enough to know lots of people who are willing to share? For those of us who choose to buy, there are lots of options, and it can be difficult to choose a source. My own hesitance to start my little container garden largely stems from my need to research obsessively (to ensure I don’t kill everything), and to pull the project off with a minimum of cost. I've barely started thinking about where to get seeds.
The constructing and planting still needs a bit of research (though I would welcome any advice you have to offer!), but I may have found a potential seed source. We’ve received two packets of herb seeds from Urban Farmer, a sustainably-minded seeds company based out of Indianapolis. We received Italian plain leaf parsley (100 seeds) and Italian large leaf basil (500 seeds), and I’m hoping to coax just a few of them out of my coworkers for my own garden. Of special interest: each packet is made out of pages from old magazines, giving the paper at least one more step in the world before it ends up in a landfill. The practice was started by Urban Farmer’s founder, Noah Herron, in his quest to combine two of his passions: gardening and magazines. In addition to the recycling aspect, we found the stories and pictures that make up the packets entertaining, and the simple cartoon labels are a cute way to give growing tips.
Visit Urban Farmer Seeds to request your seed catalog.
Intrigued, I did a little more research. The Urban Farmer’s website is full of useful information, covering everything from planting advice to guides for preserving and cooking with your harvest. They offer a wide variety of vegetable, flower and herb seeds, and many of their seeds are heirloom, organic or both. Check out the Urban Farmer philosophy and safe seed pledge.
I'm hoping to plant a tiny container kitchen garden with herb and vegetable seeds.
Photo by CocteauBoy/Courtesy Flickr
Organic seeds, although they do cost a bit more than the supermarket packages, won’t have the chemical fungicides that are sometimes injected into non-organic seeds. If you’re choosing to grow your own food for more reasons than just stretching your budget, you can also be assured that organic seeds aren’t produced by big agricultural companies like Monsanto, which control much of the U.S. seed market. I’m personally a little torn on the issue (my budget is still recovering from some surprise costs due to snow and ice this winter), but I’m slowly trying to figure out ways I can buy organic produce and humanely-raised animal products. My plans for a kitchen garden are certainly a place to pay a little more attention—I want to start well, so that I’m already in the habit when I get more space to grow more food.
How do you choose your seeds each year? Where do you get them? (And do you have any advice for a novice interested in container gardening?)