In spite of the snow that has been circulating in the air for the past few days, my mind is set on Spring! I finally placed my seed order last week and a box of seeds arrived in the mail a few days ago. Yay seeds!
I lusted over many exotic and new varieties of my favorite vegetables, but in the end, my 2012 garden will grow...
Chantenay Carrot - A stump carrot with deep orange center; very sweet. (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds)
Parisienne Carrot - A small, round carrot from France. (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds)
Tennis Ball Lettuce - A butterhead variety grown in the gardens of Thomas Jefferson at Monticello. (Seed Savers Exchange)
Merville des Quatre Saisons Lettuce - A French heirloom lettuce with beautiful reddish-tinted leaves. (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds)
Rainbow Swiss Chard - With beautiful colored stalks, this chard is showy and delicious. (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds)
Good Mother Stallard Pole Bean - A maroon/white dry bean; described as rich and meaty. (Seed Savers Exchange)
Contender Bean - A favorite from last year's garden, these beans are crisp, tasty, and produced by the bushel full! (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds)
Striata d'Italia Zucchini - A popular Italian heirloom. (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds)
Bush Slicer Cucumber - A container variety perfect for the patio. (Renee's Garden)
Bull's Blood Beet - A red beet with pink rings, described as sweet with delicious greens. (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds)
Chinese Red Meat Radish - With an amazing bright red interior, this radish is truly a show-stopper. (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds)
Bull Nose Pepper - This medium-sized sweet pepper can be picked green or red; a favorite from the 1800s. (Seed Savers Exchange)
I will be saving some room for tomatoes, potatoes, flowers, and herbs, but those decisions are yet to come. This year, I am opting to purchase my tomatoes as seedlings because of last year's disaster with wilting disease. I also purchase my herbs as seedlings from a favorite vendor at my local farmer's market.
If I could pinpoint the one thing that truly makes my efforts at heirloom gardening worthwhile, I would have to say that I love their connection with the past. Heirlooms have a rich history all their one, one that's as delicious and juicy as the harvest itself. Over the next few weeks, I will be exploring the origins and history of each variety in this year's garden. There's nothing better than a good story to prime those taste buds for spring planting!