It might look like I’ve been inactive online lately, but offline I feel like I’ve barely stopped moving for two months. It’s been overall a slow spring here, but with occasional quick jumps in weather. March was snowy and windy and then almost overnight it was 70°F and the snow had all melted. I jumped into bed prep and planting my cold-hardy crops, then it was time to harden off my seedlings and plant my warm-weather annuals, and now it’s over 90 and the weeds are waist high in some places!
Even though I’ve been rushing and harried for so many weeks, the slower pace of the spring compared to the last few years has meant that I’ve felt less behind on my gardening tasks than I usually do, and I feel great about what I’ve accomplished since the spring equinox.
I’ve planted seeds from Fedco, Hudson Valley, Truelove, Seed Savers Exchange, and best of all, from our friends who save and share seeds. I’ve planted seeds packed for this year, and planted out the last few seeds lingering in packets going back to 2022, 2021, 2019… even 2017! Every seed wants to grow and it feels amazing to get these ones in the ground. I’ve planted heritage crops that my own ancestors would have tended, harvested, and eaten (or worn!) in northern Europe hundreds and thousands of years ago, and I’ve planted fruits and vegetables that co-evolved with the land I live on and the people who belong here.
My complete planting list, organized by bed:
back garden – west bed
- garlic sampler from Harris Seeds (first year I’ve gotten anything from them)
- snap peas, two varieties: Magnolia Blossom that I’ve saved, and Sugar Magnolia purchased from Hudson Valley
- Delaway Kale (volunteer from SSE seeds planted a few years back)
- Canary Creeper from Fedco
- Hopi Red Dye Amaranth from Fedco
- Golden Amaranth from Truelove
back garden – center bed
- Lemon Cucumber from saved seed
- Cucuzzi Gourd from Hudson Valley
- Blue Jade Dwarf sweet corn from Hudson Valley
- Butternut Squash from Truelove
- Frijol de Ceda El Savador bush beans from Maxx’s friends Janet and Juan
- Hopi Black Dye sunflowers from Fedco
- Principe Borghese Sun-Dried tomatoes from saved seed
- Sweet Basil seedlings (green and purple) from local organic farm Wiley Farms
- mix of basil seeds from Toby’s friend Rox
- three watermelon varieties: Siberian from Hudson Valley, Sugar Baby from Fedco, and Sunsweet from Fedco
- Matchbox Hot Peppers from Hudson Valley
- Pippen’s Golden Honey Peppers from Hudson Valley
- Sacred Basil from Hudson Valley
- German Thyme from Hudson Valley
- Creeping Thyme from Fedco
- Edible Flower Mix from Fedco
- Purple Tomatillo from Hudson Valley
- Tillage Radish & Magic Carpet Mix both from Fedco
back garden – east bed
- Red Tail Bush Beans from Fedco
- Lauki Bottle gourd from Truelove
- Moonflowers from Hudson Valley
- variegated blue flint corn from Maxx’s friend Spice Rack
- Oien’kwahón:we/Kanienkehaka (Mohawk) Tobacco from Maxx’s friend Gray
Most of the front garden is strawberries, blackberries, and perennial flowers which is why the list there is so short! In addition to all of the above, we planted ramp seeds from Fedco along our local crick.
About our seed sources:
Clearly we get the bulk of our seeds from Hudson Valley. This is because they’re located only a few hours’ drive from us, and many of their seed farmers are located near them, and seed grown close to us are more likely to do well in our garden. Fedco is located a bit further away but north of us (where HVS is downstate NY and I’m in upstate, Fedco is in Maine) and distributes seed grown across the northeast, and I treasure their seed for the cold-hardiness I need (we had a very late frost this year, after weeks of warm weather). Truelove is a seed company I’ve only recently learned of, but I love their approach and am excited to see how the seed I’ve planted does this year. They’re in Philadelphia—not too far to drive, but a very difference environment than mine, one that is a lot warmer, but also distribute seed grown around the northeast, including the Resin Calendula I have yet to plant grown at nearby Soulfire Farm. Seed Savers Exchange is a national organization doing invaluable work, and in the past a much greater quantity of my seed has come from them. More recently I’ve been trying to swap or save seeds, or purchase closer to home (they’re based in Iowa, quite a way from me) but I would recommend them to anyone looking to get into open-pollinated varieties or seedsaving.
There will be midsummer plantings for fall crops, fall plantings for cover crops, and one more planting in the front yard to keep the corn company, but for the most part, from here on out, it’s going to be all weeding and watering. A lot of exciting firsts are happening in the garden this year that I’m so excited to share as the summer goes on!