Just a small problem…

Well, to me it seems like a big problem, but that’s because I’m obsessing about it. I have executive control over our garden this year and I’m determined to do it right. The past several years, my grandfather has been the only one gardening and, as he’s getting older, has only planted the essentials (well, his essentials): tomatoes, okra, and peppers. He was more than happy to hand over the reins to someone else, but you can bet he’s going to be watching me like a hawk. It is his garden after all, even if he’s not working it.

This being my first chance to do things my way, I’ve been doing a lot of research, aided rather nicely by 3 superb seed catalogs (aka, garden porn): Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Seed Savers Exchange, and Sand Hill Preservation Heirloom Seeds. Just take a peek at these websites and you will see the problem… THEY HAVE TONS OF SEEDS! How does anyone EVER make a decision?

The biggest roadblock is my lack of knowledge. I mean, how many people actually know that specific tomatoes are better for sauces than they are for slicing? Damn industrial agriculture and grocery stores have made so many of us vegetable illiterate. And I, passionate supporter of sustainability and heirlooms, am almost completely illiterate. THE SHAME!

So, I’ve spent hours pouring over these catalogs, drooling over pictures and descriptions and have come to some (small) decisions. I will freely admit that I am easily swayed by the garden porn. I see a picture of a particularly beautiful eggplant and know I just have to have it. And it’s probably total crap. (Ok, that’s a bit dramatic as I can’t imagine anything from these companies being crap) Given my lack of knowledge and the garden porn, my list of desired seeds is, um, extensive… 171 varieties to be exact.

  • Asparagus- 2 varieties
  • Beans- 10 varieties
  • Broccoli- 5 varieties
  • Cabbage- 7 varieties
  • Carrots- 9 varieties
  • Cauliflower- 4 varieties
  • Celery-3 varieties
  • Corn- 6 varieties
  • Cucumbers- 11 varieties
  • Eggplant- 8 varieties
  • Garlic-2 varieties
  • Grains- 3 varieties
  • Greens- 12 varieties (including Arugula, Collards, Sorrel, Swiss Chard, and Radicchio)
  • Herbs- 16 varieties
  • Kale- 3 varieties
  • Leeks- 2 varieties
  • Lettuce- 6 varieties
  • Okra- 4 varieties
  • Onions- 6 varieties
  • Peanuts- 2 varieties
  • Peas-9 varieties
  • Pumpkins-5 varieties
  • Potatoes- 4 varieties
  • Spinach- 3 varieties
  • Tomatoes- 19 varieties (2 green, 2 orange, 1 pink, 4 purple, 6 red, 4 yellow)
  • Watermelon- 9 varieties
  • and a Kiwi
  • (notice that peppers and melons are missing? I really don’t know squat about those, so I’m leaving that decision up to someone else)

After hours and hours of looking over these, I’ve only narrowed it down to 171?!?! How does that make things better? At an average of $2/packet of seeds (and then the ones that don’t come by the packet and therefore cost a lot more) that’s over $400. On seeds. It’s seriously not being helped by the fact that I should have already placed the orders… I think I’m losing my mind.

Somewhere in my head, I know that I don’t actually need to grow ALL of these (peanuts! seriously?), at least not this year. And in that same part of my head, I know it’s completely unreasonable to want 19 varieties of tomatoes. I do really, really like tomatoes though…

The only thing left to do, the only thing that can possibly save me, is to make a spreadsheet. God, I am such a dork.

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