Deep Freeze? Seed Catalogue Therapy

I am having the loveliest of lazy weekends. We are in the grip of another polar vortex and being outside entails wrapping one’s face. I thought it might be an opportunity to spend some quality time with the Territorial Seed catalogue!


Doesn’t this just make you want to plant the best garden ever?

Other people have begun talking about starting seeds in their house and the community garden is having its meeting this Wednesday to set forth the rules of the season and collect fees. It will be nice to see everyone again after a few months off.


We have a long enough growing season that I rarely start seeds inside.

Seed catalogues are such receptacles for garden fantasy. I try not to get too caught up in the cool tools, trellises, row covers, mini-greenhouses and assorted other offerings. Occasionally, I do see something that looks really useful and snatch it up.


I hope the garlic weathered the 20 inches of snow so that it looks like this come May.

I have only made one pass through the catalogue and marked those things I want, mostly seeds. I will also be purchasing some plants this year.


Ah, I’ll be getting seeds for okra, among other things.

Tomatoes are a continuing disappointment to me, as the ones that survive various diseases and fungal wilts are either tasteless or tart. Territorial Seed, and others have now begun to offer heirloom tomatoes, such as Brandywine and Cherokee Purple grafted onto resistant root stock. I plan to buy one each of those mentioned and a San Marzano as well.


Fresh radishes! In a salad of fresh greens!

I also noted that they sold eggplants and plan to buy a few different kinds of those. One was noted as coming back strongly from attacks of flea beetle. I noted that one on the plant form immediately. I was also looking for eggplant that set fruit in a shorter time.


An eggplant ravaged by flea beetle…

I will buy cucumber seed again, as I and everyone in my family love bread and butter pickles and I have a great recipe.


Cukes, beautiful cukes…

I’m planting lettuces and radishes again, and looking for some prolific pole beans. My favorites, Kentucky Wonder and Blue Lake, have not done well the past few years.


Ah, lovely beans…

As I looked through the catalogue, I thought about what grows well and what I haven’t had luck with. I also thought about what I’d like to pickle and can if I have a good year. There’s nothing like going to your own pantry and pulling last summer out of it!


Don’t underrate grabbing dilly beans, sweet pickles, and tomato sauce from the pantry in February…

Lest you think I lolled about all day with a seed catalogue, I also did some cooking. Among other things, I was out of granola and tried a new recipe. I think, given the results, I will experiment some more with it to make it a bit less sweet. This is the first time I got good browning and clumping, though, and I think it was due to the milk powder. I’d never seen that called for. In any event it will be delicious this week with plain yogurt for breakfast.


Does that look good or what? And so much less sugar and fat when you make it yourself!

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41 Responses to Deep Freeze? Seed Catalogue Therapy

  1. What a wonderful way to spend a weekend! My idea of heaven! I buy heirloom whenever possible – I don’t go near all the GM seeds – not least because you don’t know what you are eating but in terms of flavour and healthy plants I simply prefer to stay with heirloom………… My heirloom tomatoes last year were tasty, bountiful and had I been a bit more on the ball, able to have their seed saved! I used to make my own granola too Lisa and it clumped beautifully – it was made with olive oil and I always put the superior clumping ability down to that. Mmmm – you’ve made me look about and wonder if I would like to have some in the pantry again πŸ™‚ I love the sight of all your pickles sitting waiting for you – we have been talking of getting on and doing some of that too, DJ thinks its time she learnt the skill πŸ™‚

    Will your weather warm up soon? Do you know this time last year we were making plans to meet up in Georgetown …………. ❀

    Liked by 2 people

    • arlingwoman says:

      Girl, I almost commented on your new picture in Derrick’s blog, but refrained. The new haircut is so nice!!! I do love my own granola. It is so much less sweet and I can put my own nuts and dried fruits in. I was just looking at pictures of us with Einstein (who has made the news again with the detectable gravity waves) today as I trolled through my photos looking for something that said POLAR VORTEX!!!!! Obviously I didn’t find it, though I might have used the frozen Potomac from last year…Do indeed do some canning. The thing with the GMO/hybrid seeds is they may not create seeds that are useable or true to the plant you saved them from. Regular plant breeding and cross-breeding (Kentucky blue beans, for example, crossed with my two favorites) I don’t mind. The weird stuff, where fish genes wind up in a tomato, not my thing…but those are the things you have to avoid in the store, as usually there’s something beneficial to commercial growers in whatever Frankenstein fruit has been developed.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve grown organic or heirloom tomatoes for a few years and love them. The flavor is superior to anything else.

    I too love thumbing through garden and seed catalogs and I love the catalogs with bulbs. How exciting that you’re already planning next season’s garden. I didn’t plant vegetables last summer due to the drought, but I’m in the process of planning rain catchment so I can garden water-guilt free.


    • arlingwoman says:

      Ooh, the guilt free gardening sounds good! The heirlooms are just so much better. Once I bought a tomato plant that was mislabeled and it was an Early Girl, one of those perfectly round, mealy, tart tomatoes. I couldn’t believe I’d hosted it in my own garden. Cooked with them.


      • Last year an entire crop of tomatoes grew out of our compost, not from anything I had planted, but a commercial tomato. They were beautiful and flavorless. The squirrels ate them, no doubt for the water as anything else. I cleared them away, didn’t add them to the compost, and now I’m a stealth weeder, combing the area with my eyes every few days to be sure they don’t come back. It took farmers 70 years to cultivate the “perfect looking” tomato, at the expense of flavor. Sad.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. PS Your granola looks yummy.


  4. Seed Catalogue – the very thing for a polar vortex. I’m gravitating more these days into purchasing seedlings unless it’s something out of the ordinary like the fish genes in the tomatoes! or Pauline’s heirlooms…

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      I pretty much plant seeds, except for things where there’s trouble, like heirloom tomatoes or eggplants…Partly it’s thrifty and we do have a long growing season. But sometimes buying plants gives you the benefit of the longer season, longer (so to speak!).

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Maria F. says:

    I love the photograph of all the vegetables together.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. One of the great delights of February-March, for us northern hemisphere types, is musing with the seed catalogues. I have always loved dreaming over all those veggies and flowers. Now that I do not do gardening, I can enjoy the chat of you lovelies who are getting all excited about it. Here in New England, we usually bought tomato plants rather than starting them from seed—the season is just too short…although I did do it, one year, just to see if I could, and it involved an unbearable amount of running around seeking the sun here and there, to various windows, so the poor little guys wouldn’t get too leggy before it was time to plant them outdoors. I discovered, as an adult trying eggplant for the first time, that it would land me in the emergency room, unable to breathe, so I do avoid that particular member of the nightshade family. Canning is nice if you do it for pleasure and not because you HAVE TO in the heat of late summer, sweating over gazillions of jars. I think garlic is one of my favorite things. I used to cultivate many types, both hard and soft necked, and make those wonderful braids of garlic to hang in the kitchen. Onward and upward, ye gardeners. I am vicariously enjoying what you do!

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      When I was younger and had fantasies of one day owning some acreage and a house, I drooled over the White Flower Farm catalogue. It was very pleasant and I learned a lot. Now I’m still learning, but from Territorial Seed and Johnnie’s. Love the info they give. Garlic I learned about from Angelo Pellegrini’s A Food Lover’s Garden and I’ve been growing to his recommendations since. I love having my own big garlic bulbs and have made a few attempts at the braid, but it never lasts long as the bulbs go fast. It’s a miracle I have two left in mid February! Fear not, Cynthia. I can probably keep your garden cravings sated all by myself! Just keep writing poetry and visiting our blogs.


  7. Mary Tang says:

    It’s nice to have time to let the land lie fallow and dream.


  8. jennypellett says:

    I’m a big fan of granola – and yours looks delicious. Also your wonderful produce in jars looks like something from our deli counter. Hats off to you, Lisa!


  9. That does sound cold. As you know, we don’t do veg, but it is good seeing yours, with photos of what you have preserved and are looking forward to. I hope it warms up soon, Lisa


  10. KerryCan says:

    You sure do know how to make the best of a cold weekend! This is exactly the right time of year to start fantasizing with seed catalogues. I have NEVER grown anything from seed successfully but it doesn’t stop me from dreaming!


  11. Sylvie G says:

    Your gardening skills seem endless arlingwoman and only equal to your preserving skills. The photos are great. This is the great thing about winter. It is followed by spring.


  12. Robin says:

    Your weekend sounds wonderful, and that granola looks so yummy. I’ve been perusing the seed catalogs, too, and dreaming about the garden. My dreams are always much bigger than what I can actually accomplish.


  13. LB says:

    A perfect snow day!
    I’ll be following along this summer to see if you have success with a better tasting tomato. I was going to ask if you would share your pickle recipe but then remembered … I don;t have a garden!
    Some day …
    Enjoy your meeting tomorrow.
    I’m heading out to shovel πŸ™‚


  14. Oh yes!!! When I had my big garden in Canada, I loved doing that: pooring over seed catalogues, drawing out the veggie plots, ordering too much…nowadays I get this ‘cannot-wait-for-spring-fix’ by reading posts like yours ;o) Thank you xoxoxo just what I needed on this grey cold day!! xo Johanna


  15. BunKaryudo says:

    It sounds like you made good use of your time over the weekend. I hope you made some stellar selections. πŸ™‚


  16. pagedogs says:

    Not much beats quality time with a seed catalog!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. badfish says:

    it’s funny…canning scares me. I’m afraid I’ll do it wrong and kill myself. Your granola does look yummy!!!! pass the yogurt and fresh fruit

    Liked by 1 person

  18. reocochran says:

    Homemade granola and dilly beans are what really jumped out at me and had me salivating. Sweet and sour go together!


    • arlingwoman says:

      I am soooo hoping to be able to do dilly beans this year. And that granola is nearly gone. I will have to make more next weekend! Thanks for coming out for some seed catalogue therapy!


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