Monday, January 18, 2010

Seed Buying 2010-style

It's that time of year again, folks: Time to purchase seeds! As a reminder, this is my current plan for my 2010 garden.

Admittedly, I'm a bit early at the start but I'm always paranoid that my favorite seeds will be sold out (and I do believe the tomato & arugula seeds I wanted to buy-- very specific varieties-- are sold out). This year I am all over Southern Exposure Seeds & Seed Saver's Exchange. I heard about Southern Exposure when I attended a "Raising Winter Greens" seminar. It's awesome because many of the seeds they carry are known to thrive in my area, plus many are organic and come from small farmers and seed savers. I wanted to buy from Seed Saver's Exchange last year but, um, I couldn't figure out how to buy from them. I must have been tired or something because their website is quite easy to use...I have no idea what my problem was last year!

Here's what's on tap for this year. From Southern Exposure Seeds:
Eggplant: Early Black Egg & Ping Tung Long
Mustard greens: New Star Mustard
Swiss chard: Ruby Red
Sweet Peppers: Tequila Sunrise
Zucchini: Dark Green
Ground cherries: Cossack Pineapple
Pickling cucumber: Edmonson
Total: $24.10

From Seed Saver's Exchange:
Cucumber: Mexican Sour Gherkin
Tomatoes: Sheboygan & Stupice
Total: $8.25

Plus...a garlic mix I bought in the fall ($22.50...I know, pricey but I should have to buy garlic "seed" again! Just replant cloves I've grown!) brings my grand total on seeds this year to




This doesn't even include the Yellow Potato Onion multiplier onion I want to order in the fall (at $11+ but I won't need to buy onion "seeds" again either). I'm not sure my thyme is doing so well so I'll probably need to buy more of that again...another expense.

Clearly, seeds really add up. I'm rather confident I'll get at least $54.85 worth of organic veggies out of the garden this year; I mean, it's easy to get $20 worth of herbs out of the garden! The initial outlay is not cheap. This is why, for me, gardening is much more of a hobby than a way to really save money on groceries. Even buy starting most of my vegetables from seed, it's still not cheap!

I am also going to attempt to use the rest of the following seeds I bought last year. Perhaps unfairly, I am going to exempt this cost from this year's garden. For one thing, it would be too time consuming to figure out how much I used last year and for another, I don't want to hunt down the original prices I paid:

Sungold Cherry Tomatoes
Thai Dragon Hot Peppers
Thai Basil
Red Rubin Basil
Unwin's Dalhias
a few kinds of kohlrabi
French Breakfast Radish
and several kinds of marigolds & nasturtiums

However, there are lots of seed (an embarrassing amount actually) I either bought & never used or used but didn't quite work out. I will be handing these out to friends to hope they can find a good home!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for including information about Southern Exposure Seed Exchange in your blog, we hope this growing season is proving a fruitful one for you. We are again involved in hosting the annual Heritage Harvest Festival and thought you and your subscribers would be interested in this event…… HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE---IRA

    The 4th annual Heritage Harvest Festival, hosted by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation in partnership with Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, is a fun, family-oriented, educational event promoting organic gardening, sustainable living, local food and the preservation of heritage plants. The 2010 Heritage Harvest Festival will be held on Saturday, September 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the West Lawn of Monticello in Charlottesville.
    At the heart of the Heritage Harvest Festival are over 40 educational programs, lectures, cooking demonstrations, and food tastings that include the ever popular Tomato Tasting. Including workshops from two members of Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, “Heirloom Garlic and Onions: How to Grow These Culinary Essentials with Ira Wallace” and “Fall and Winter Veggies: Zero-Degree Gardening” with Ken Bezilla.
    To kick off the event, Rosalind Creasy, founder of the edible landscape movement, will host a Preview Lecture and Local Food dinner on Friday, September 10 at the Monticello Visitor Center. For more information on the Festival, visit or call 434-984-981 for tickets.