Yesterday I ordered the seeds for this year’s garden. Here’s what I’m getting.

From Seeds of Change:

  • Black Seeded Blue Lake Pole Bean
  • Kurota Chantenay Carrot
  • Stowell’s Sweet Corn
  • Mideast Prolific Cucumber
  • Butterhead Buttercrunch Lettuce
  • Butterhead Four Seasons Lettuce
  • Looseleaf Thai Green Lettuce
  • Jericho Romaine Lettuce
  • Cal Wonder Bell Sweet Pepper
  • Ed’s Red Shallot
  • Chadwick Cherry Tomato
  • San Marzano Paste Tomato
  • Costaluto Genovese Slicing Tomato
  • Genovese Sweet Basil
  • Slow Bolt Cilantro
  • Greek Oregano
  • Italian Flat Leaf Parsley
  • Garden Sage

From Seed Savers Exchange:

  • Blue Solaize Leek
  • Yellow of Parma Onion
  • America Spinach
  • Calendula Mixture
  • Sunspots Morning Glory
  • Grandpa Ott’s Morning Glory
  • Starfire Signet Marigold
  • Golden Emperor Nasturtium
  • Johnny Jump-Up Viola
  • Benary’s Giant Zinnia
  • Sunflower Mixture

SSE is raising funds to purchase an additional 716-acre property and to “implement numerous projects involving genetic preservation and ecological restoration” (SSE 2007 catalog). Thus, they’ve raised the price of their seed packets by 25 cents. If you’re looking for heirloom and organic seeds, consider buying from SSE. The little bit of extra money you spend will be put to very good use helping SSE expand both their property and the scope of their activities.

It’s easy to get carried away ordering seeds, but I have to remember that I’m still a beginning gardener, so better to not get in over my head (plus, with a toddler around, I have limited amounts of time for concentrating on any one task). I’ve only planted a couple of very small gardens in the past. I’ve had success with sweet corn, tomatoes, and herbs. Lettuce is a cinch to grow, but I still manage to get it too bitter. I may try planting it in the shade this year, or just planting it in the spring and again in the fall to avoid the high heat that’s causing the bitterness. Ideally, though, I’d like to have it available continuously throughout the summer and fall, so I may just have to be religious about watering.

Husband holding the first fruits of last summer’s garden.

I’m looking forward to growing several of the ingredients for one of my favorite recipes for Fattoush, a Syrian salad. I got this recipe a couple years ago at a Community Kitchens workshop in Vancouver.

Fattoush (Pita Salad) – 4 servings

Toss together in a colander:
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into ½-inch cubes
1 teaspoon salt

Let stand to drain for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Open on a baking sheet and bake until crisp and lightly browned, about 10 minutes:
Two 7-inch pita breads
Break into bite-sized pieces. Press the excess water out of the cucumbers, rinse quickly, and blot dry.

Combine the cucumbers in a medium bowl with:
3 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, diced (optional)

6 scallions, white and tender green parts, finely chopped

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint

Whisk together in a small bowl:
1/3 cup olive oil, preferably extra virgin
juice of 1 large lemon (about ¼ cup)

1 clove garlic, crushed

¼ teaspoon salt

Pour dressing over the vegetables and toss well. Add the pita toasts, toss again, and serve immediately.


About EMH

Forty-something. South Dakotan. Mother to 11-year-old K.L. Wife to Cory. Lutheran pastor. Novice organic gardener. Sustainable living aspirer.
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