This is becoming one of my favorite times of year. I have permission to stay inside and dream of things to come. A time to slow down and just be. This is also the time of year that the colorful seed catalogs land in our mailbox, full of endless possibilities. I just love looking through all of the varieties and envisioning what we want our garden to look like. All of our seeds MUST be Non-GMO and organic, and we also like to support the family owned and operated businesses.
A lot of thought and planning goes into the process before we can even begin to think about ordering seeds. What medicine do we want to bring to people in the coming year? What do we have room to grow? And it is important to remember that we are gardening on borrowed land (https://www.myherbalapothecary.com/post/new-frontier ), so we are going to only plant annuals in this space. When we first went to really look at our neighbor's property, my heart broke......it was filled with black walnut trees. Somewhere in the back of my mind I remembered learning that black walnut trees send out an underground poison that kills everything around it. I went home and did some research. Black walnuts secrete a chemical called juglone. It is an allelopathic compound, a substance that is produced by a plant to stunt the growth of another. Upon further research I discovered that all hope was not lost. It turns out that while some plant's growth is inhibited by juglone (peppers, tomatoes potatoes and eggplant) other plants are able to survive and even thrive near the "bully" tree (corn, squash, beans and onions). We just have to plot and plan our garden accordingly. I had the thought to give a "3 Sisters" (corn, beans and squash) planting a try, and it looks like all three of these plants can tolerate what the black walnut dishes out.
I usually order from Strictly Medicinal because I know and trust that their seeds are going to germinate. Another long time favorite is Thyme Garden out of Oregon. My good friend, Nancy, spends every Mother's day in their amazing garden with her daughters for brunch. The family that owns Thyme Garden harvests all their organic seeds by hand each year! It just feels right to be able to support such a lovely, dedicated business. This year we added a new catalog to our list.....Baker Creek Heirloom seed company. This family owned and operated business focuses on seeds of the past. Some of their seed varieties date back to the early 1800's! The catalog also highlights each of their employees, giving you the feeling that everyone is treated like family and it feels good to give our money to such a farm. With options like Ring of Fire pepper (our fire cider), Death Spiral pepper (our own hot sauce) and Non-GMO sweet corn seeds that date back to 1843, it is hard not to get EXCITED about this up coming season. We can't wait to put all this energy into the soil and see what sprouts up!
I have come to think of January as the "seed time" of the year. Even if you are not a gardener, what ideas are you seeding right now? What do you want to grow in your life this year? Think about what "seeds" need to be planted to make your dreams come to fruition. Comment below and speak your intention for the coming year out loud to give it more energy.
We hope that you follow along with us on this year's journey. We plan to share our trials and tribulations of trying to sow our energy into the process from seed to medicine.