Phew, whadda job. Just ask my husband who has had to live with the myriad of catalogs strewn over the kitchen table (and me bent over them muttering to myself while making copious notations on multitudinous pieces of paper) for the last solid week.
I thought you might appreciate
a little garden eye candy
However, the task is now completed, and I used the phone (much, much faster than ordering online) this morning to place my order from each of four different seed companies.
I do take my gardening responsibilities very seriously and locating and procuring the seeds I want is just the start of the process each season. Gardening is hard work, but I simply love it and feel very, very good that (most years) I can provide us with an ample supply of fruits and vegetables for our year 'round eating pleasure and satisfying our nutritional needs.
Right now, at the end of January, we still have a good supply of peas, cauliflower, beets, green and yellow beans and Brussels sprouts in the freezer. The broccoli was mostly consumed by the worms (again!) this year so what I did harvest is long gone. We have only one and a half servings of Stuffed Green Peppers left as I lost more than half of the pepper plants this past season to some weird, undiagnosed malady.
There is plenty of garlic and an abundance of onions cured and storing well in the basement.
Our root cellar still holds cabbages, carrots, beets and potatoes. Also some apples from our downright pitiful last harvest. They aren't the best eating out-of-hand apples by far (that's an understatement), but they do make good baked desserts and (amazingly) great applesauce.
Many jars of applesauce, sweet and dill pickles and pickled beets are squirreled away in the pantry.
I have several jars of still bright green dried parsley, but have run out of dried mint. Papa Pea drinks a mug of peppermint tea every morning and has declared the mint I grew and dried last summer the best tasting he's ever had. With a compliment like that, you can bet I'll be growing lots more this coming season.
Frozen chives (that I love and use so much) are holding out well, and I think we'll have enough until the little green shoots of that hardy perennial plant make an appearance this spring.
Our strawberry crop last year was nothing to write home about as our old bed of geriatric plants finally gave up the ghost, but the new plants I put in should be rarin' to go this season giving us (we're hope, hope, hoping) as many red, juicy berries as we'll need. For now I have only one lonely quart of mashed strawberries in the freezer that I don't seem to be able to use . . . because then I'd be totally O-U-T, wouldn't I? Happily, there are still many jars of strawberry jam in the pantry.
Still have plenty of frozen raspberries and rhubarb but the blueberries are to the point of being rationed out. (Remember the onslaught of blueberry-eating robins we were plagued with last year? We haven't forgotten them, that's for sure, and will be ready this year if they try another takeover of the blueberry patch. Yes, it may be a case of take no prisoners. Sorry, Robin Redbreast, but those are MY blueberries.)
Before I made myself delve into the catalogs and the official Ordering of the Seeds, I admit I was dragging my feet because I had absolutely no desire (despite my declaration of loving gardening so much) to even think about this coming season's garden yet. But rest assured it didn't take more than looking at two or three catalogs and I would have gone right outside to plant some seeds . . . if that had been possible. I guess you can take me out of the garden, but you can't take the urge to garden out of me. Not for long anyway.