Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Seduced By Seeds

My favorite lettuce ever is no longer sold in the trade so I am sowing out what seed I have left for the specific purpose of saving seed to share with others and for fresh seed for my seed file.  My seed file is my personal seed bank...another geeky habit I have.  It tends to lean towards compulsion but with some restraint or as much restraint as I can muster in any given season and it’s girth ebbs and flows like the tides depending on how self controlled I am.
(pictured is my Bijou lettuce Baby!!!)

I have to really work at reigning myself in when it comes to seeds.  OK,I admit it!  I have a very hard time resisting the temptation to try the wonderful new or reintroduced varieties of seeds as I scan websites, catalogs and seed racks.  They all look so wonderful...so seductive...and I feel so hopeful when I read the descriptions and see the beautiful pictures of them in all their stunning glory.  I find food for hope that this year’s garden will be amazingly better than the last and in some small way even resemble those pictures.  And oh yes, hope springs eternal here...actually around here this time of year its more like a flood.  Every cell in my body reaches for those new varieties like a child reaching for sweets.

Because of this compulsion I have developed a series of questions that I have to ask myself before I dip into my pocket to purchase the seeds.  The old argument of "Oh, its only a couple dollars" or that fact the packet will produce plants far beyond the original cost of the seeds just isn't allowed...well most of the time anyway.  First...Do we need it...second...Will I use the food produced by it...and third...Will I hate myself if I miss out on getting this if I never see it again.

Today when I went out to shoot these pictures I realized that there is a mustard, or should I say mustards that are a good example of something I bought to sooth that grasping child in me.  I just had to have "BOTH" varieties...they were so cool sounding!  Red Streaks and Gold Streaks mustard.  I already grow Mizuna which we totally love but I love playing with color and texture in my garden and if its prettier and we can still eat it I can fall quickly into temptation. (Pictured here are the mustards...hmmm...maybe I can forgive myself for this one.)

So what are you growing this year?  What is your favorite lettuce variety?  What one variety can't you find anywhere that you would die to have again?  For me, hands down it would be my Bijou lettuce.  I have a list of reasons why too...color, form, taste, resists bitterness and holds its color.  Why the seedlings from last year even wintered over and tell me, are they not GORGEOUS!  It makes my mouth water just looking at it!  (This picture is of Bijou lettuce in all its glory)

In reality, unless God blesses the seeds I sow, this could be the last year I am able to grow my Bijou lettuce at all.  If it is the very last, I will be thankful for all the years I've been able to grow it and sad for its passing by the way of the Dodo bird.  All good things must come to and end...I'm just hoping the end for Bijou will not be in my lifetime.

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