Saturday, January 23, 2010

It's Seed-Time Again

The Deseret News for February 5, 1853 posted the following advertisement:

"Garden Seeds For Sale
100 LBS. sugar-beet; also rutabaga or Swedish turnip, carrot, parsnip, onion, radish, lettuce, early June pea, cucumber, melon, cabbage, with a variety of other garden seeds.

The above were raised last year, and are warranted of good quality, and will be sold at moderate prices for cash, or exchange for grain, flour, or any other country produce.

12th ward"

Well, I guess it is time to order garden seeds. Last year I shared my favorite seed source with you: Seed Savers Exchange. Their seed catalogue has arrived in the mail and I'm leafing through the pages and thinking about what I'll plant. Here is a link to last year's post, with subsequent links to the SSE website and online catalogue.

Several thoughts come to mind as I think about last year's gardening experience. Most prominent is the seasonality of life, which has largely been lost from modern existence. Though we did shovel snow the last couple of days, other daily rhythms are largely unaffected by the seasons. We go to work in the office the same regardless. Gardening creates a division to the seasons, with plowing, planting, irrigating and harvesting. Gardening gives a pulse to the seasons.

Gardening also gets us personally involved with our food. Food philosopher Michael Pollan suggests that the further removed we are from the production of our food, the more likely we will be to feel apathy toward unethical and unsustainable farming practices. If you have never seen the field that grows the corn you eat, you'll have no concern about whether or not it is laden with pesticides, or whether it is contributing to erosion and subsequent deterioration in water quality. Likewise with meat producers: do you know if the cows you eat live their lives knee-deep in manure? Do your chickens live confined in a cage barely big enough for their body? Gardening lets you take some personal ownership and involvement in your food. It just feels better to eat something you've grown from a seed.

Best go get your seeds ordered... only a month until its time to plant peas!


Tawna said...

Huh. I guess that means it's probably time for me to plant peas now, huh? We have pretty nice weather, and are on average 10 degrees warmer than you. I love fresh peas.

Brock said...

We tried selling some produce on the highway last year, and peas (in the shell, $2.50/lb) were the best seller overall, cherries next. We're planting more peas this year.