Gardens and Gift Certificates

I hate to let gift cards or gift certificates sit around too long since it’s so easy to forget about them entirely. So thanks to the generosity of my brother-in-law and his wife, I ordered my first 2010 seeds today using a gift certificate to Renee’s Garden. Last year, I ordered seeds from Renee and was impressed with their quality, particularly her prolific and delicious French Duet beans.

This year, my vegetable gardening is going to be more targeted. I’m splitting a share in the Open Hands Farm, a community supported agriculture farm, with my friend, Penny, and her family. The Big Plan for this year is to grow at home those vegetables that I want to try for the first time, those that I love to eat when absolutely fresh, and those that I want to save for the winter.  I dried and froze some tomatoes and tomato sauce last year — which unfortunately are now long gone — and it was a revelation how much better that sauce was compared to the jarred sauce.  Here’s my order:

  • Squash, Delicata and Butternut This is a mixture of two of my favorite winter squashes. I’ve not grown squash in the past because it takes up so much room in the garden, but I’ve got just the spot for these to grow with room to ramble.
  • Beans, Tricolor Bush and Magic Beanstalk Runner — Tricolor bush is a mixture of Golden Roc d’Orr, Purple Queen, and Green Slenderette beans for even more colors in my salads. The Magic Beanstalk runner bean is a pole bean that grows 10 feet tall. It’s known for its lovely red flowers that are attractive to hummingbirds (another goal for next year: more hummingbirds), with an edible pod.
  • Beets, Baby Ball and Jewel-Toned Blend — I’m one of those strange people who adore beets.  The Baby Ball is an early mix for more beets sooner and the Jewel Toned Blend is another blend, this one with Red Sangria, Golden and the striped Chioggia beets.
  • Cucumbers, Baby Persian and Chelsea Prize — I enjoyed growing cucumbers last year, and my husband loved eating them,  so I bought two kinds for our home garden.  Baby Persian is a small variety for quick harvests; Chelsea Prize is an English style cucumber with slender fruits and fewer seeds.
  • Gourds, Crafter’s Mix — I’ve never grown gourds before, but I love the look of birdhouses and other decorations made with gourds. This mix gives several kinds of large gourds, perfect for craft projects.
  • Tomatoes, Sungold Cherry, Italian Pompeii, Chianti Rose — While I’m sure we’ll get plenty of tomatoes from the CSA, I want some right outside my door, too. I chose the Sungold Cherry because Penny raved about them last year, and it is recommended for containers. Italian Pompeii is a paste tomato and I’ll need plenty of those for my sauce. Chianti Rose was an impulse buy — I like the name.

Have you ordered your seeds yet?

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