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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ordering some Seeds

I had a mental list of seeds I wanted to try this year and I have tried to find most of them locally. I didn't have luck with some of the more unusual things and I wanted to find an "heirloom" variety for them. I decided to get some of my seeds today from a company called Baker Creek. They specialize in rare heirloom seeds. I like heirloom seeds because you can save seeds from what you grow and then have extra to trade with other gardeners and grow your own again without making another investment. As you can see by my little order below the cost of seeds adds up. Seeds are still the best bargain going however as you pay far less for them than for produce or plants at a nursery. My order today ended up totalling $15.50 including shipping.

Some of what I ordered are 'substitutes' for celery. I use alot of celery. I'm planning to grow some of my own, but I'm not sure how well it will do--its not the easiest plant to grow. I got seeds for Celeriac which is a root celery. Its not 'really' celery but has a similar taste and is yummy in soup. A seed packet is less money than one celeriac at the grocery store, and will produce many of them, plus if I let one or two go to seed I'll have more seeds than I will ever be able to use. Zwolsche Krul is a sort of cutting celery herb. You cut the leaves and stems and use them in cooking for a celery flavor. It will keep growing after you give it trims and it will be pretty in an herb garden. Eventually it will produce seed too and there will be more than I'll need. Lovage is another herb that has a celery-ish taste and can be used in salads and such like.

Italian Pepperoncini is something I want to pickle and use in my Italian Beef recipe. I usually pay a couple dollars for one small jar of pickled pepperoncini. I'd like to pickle and can my own. I'm not sure if the italian variety will taste right, I think I might want the greek but this year I will try the italian. Its a mildly hot pepper. I can use it for other dishes as well.

Money Maker and Amish Paste are both tomatoes. Amish Paste is a paste tomatoe--similar to Romas. I like to try at least a couple new Heirloom tomatoes each year.

Slo-bolt Cilantro is something new. Its not so easy to get cilantro to grow here in summer as we are too hot. I like to have some ready when the tomatoes are ready--so I'm going to try this one. We'll see. Cilantro grows better here in cool seasons but then the tomatoes and peppers aren't growing--so that's kind of frustrating. I love fresh cilantro, tomatoes and peppers in salsa. Hopefully the slo-bolt won't go to seed as quick as the regular cilantro does.


CE103 $1.50 1 - Celeriac - Giant Prague
CE104 $1.50 1 - Zwolsche Krul
HB143 $2.00 1 - Slo-Bolt Cilantro
HB153 $1.50 1 - Lovage
PP111 $2.50 1 - Italian Pepperoncini
TM116 $1.50 1 - Moneymaker
TM126 $2.00 1 - Amish Paste

Well my kids are off at the new house working on finishing up dry-walling the upstairs ceiling. I think they will get it done today--except for an area just above the staircase. We'll have to figure out a safe way to reach that area. It is a quiet day here, I leave for work in a couple hours but for now I'm just puttering about the house and taking care of little odd jobs, like putting in that seed order.

I guess if I'm not working this summer I will have more time to work in my garden and to do canning.

New garden ideas I have--I've decided that the area over the septic field will be a good spot to plant my bird seed garden. I have stopped buying the pricey Parrot seed mixes. The same size bag of bird seed packaged for parrots is about $10 higher than seed packaged for wild birds. The difference is in the mix. They both start with similar seeds but Parrot mixes have lots of other ingredients like dry fruits and various odd colorful shaped cereal things and sometimes nuts. Well I think I can just give Sweet Pea and Bubba chopped up bits of veggies and fruits and starches etc and use a less pricey seed mix.

My bird seed garden will probably help even more--plus it should attract lots of song birds to my new yard! I plan to plant millet and sunflower --both large and small sunflowers and perhaps some other seeds. I'll also be giving the birds fresh garden veggies. Maybe next year my bird seed budget can be far smaller with garden grown seeds. It is certainly worth giving it a try. It will also be pretty to look out the kitchen window and see a field of sunflowers between the house and the woods.

So far, Bubba is very intrigued by the new diet, as is Sweet Pea. As soon as I fill up the fresh food cup they both come to investigate and 'sort'. Generally parrots toss some of their food on the cage floor--for no reason I have ever been able to figure out. They just like to do that. They also like to soak some of thier food in the water dish--which is messy and makes the water seem pretty disgusting by the end of a day. They don't have the best manners, they're sort of like monkeys with wings.
Which is why they need to be watched whenever they are not locked in the cage.

Well.. off I go now to do some laundering and maybe eventually a nap.

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