Friday, January 29, 2010

Seed ordering

Rain in 24 hours: 3.5 inches
Outside work done: 1 very wet hour

The best place to be was inside, warm and dry. We have been working away at our seed order for 2010. A seed order might sound like a simple event, and for a home garden it mostly is. With a backyard or community garden plot physical space limits your ability to go wild with vegetable varieties. But on a farm scale, a seed order is a different beast. And unfortunately, the most fun part is the easiest.

It is wonderful to receive seed catalogs this time of year and ogle at all the bright colors and descriptions of flavors. Choosing appealing varieties is a fun game of finding beautiful looking vegetables with good flavor that are adapted to your growing region.

But, then the work sets in. We can't simple order a packet of each thing, then on the recommended planting date, go toss the seeds in the field. More than likely we would get nothing, and what we did get would come all at once and in all the wrong quantities. So the past few days more farming has taken place on the computer than in the field.

The spreadsheets must be cultivated!

I have been studiously entering planting dates, days to maturity, spacing, and a host of other information related to vegetable culture. Each of the 101 vegetable varieties we have selected is different. And don't forget about the herbs and flowers! The results of the computer work will be a well-planned planting and harvest calender. This calender will allow us to smoothly (at least in theory) go through the spring planting varieties and successions to ensure a bounty of wonderful food all season long.

As our eyes begin to cross from looking at the screen too long we dream of the colorful, good smelling, tasty, fresh food that awaits us all. We look forward to sharing!

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