Seed catalogs have been showing up in our mailbox since before the beginning of the new year. Most of the catalogs that we regularly order from have arrived. We’re still getting a few duplicates and reminders from impatient seed sellers and some catalogs from new outfits.
I’d rather go to mailbox and see what catalog came that day than check my email and go to an online link. I realize that seed companies are so big nowadays that it’s hard for them to list everything they offer in their paper catalogs. Printed catalogs seem to get me more enthused than virtual catalogs, but that may be a generational thing.
Before finalizing our seed orders, we first like to take an inventory of what we have in storage. It’s very easy to get carried away looking through the catalogs and order things we already have on hand. Since there’s nothing much happening gardening wise and we’re still itching to do something, taking inventory seems to help fill that gardening urge we have right now. Maybe that’s where the expression “bean counters” came from.
Judy and I spent some time going through our pile of seed packets left over from last year. Some were not even opened, we either ran out of room or time and they never got planted. Most of the packets are partially used and contain seeds that are still viable and can planted in the garden this year. We always make sure the leftover seeds go into an air-tight container right away after we’re done planting.
While we were at it, we took the time to reduce the sheer volume of seeds that we had squirreled away. It wasn’t long ago that I had two large storage tubs of seeds that had accumulated from various people, places and projects — I’m talking about 15 or 20 pounds of seeds in each tub. Fortunately it doesn’t get that far out of hand anymore now that I’m culling seeds every winter.
We also have a sizable collection of heirloom seeds that were passed down to use through the years. Most of those are not available anywhere, we are part of a small handful of people keeping those varieties going. Those seeds are included in our inventory as well. We’re slowly building up the number of those rare heirloom seeds we have. The word “rare” is often used as a marketing ploy to get folks to buy things but in this case these seeds truly are rare.
We may not be able to get into the garden yet but physically handling seeds and seed packets is a satisfying, temporary antidote to the mid-winter gardening lull.