About this time last year someone was kind enough to give me a copy of “From the Cook’s Garden”,a cookbook compiled from recipes first published in The Cook’s Garden Catalogue. I have to say that
I was a bit embarrassed that I had never heard of The Cook’s Garden Catalogue. As soon as I got home
I went on line and ordered a copy. What a pleasant surprise. This catalog features many seeds from
Europe, especially France. Varieties are chosen primarily for their culinary appeal. I went on a seed
binge and ordered a dozen packets without reservation. For the most part, I have not been disappointed.
Over the last several years, my wife and I have been experimenting with growing beans for drying. Many
of the bean seeds we have planted have come from the Vermont Bean Seed Company from Randolf,
Wisconsin. We have tried Vermont Cranberry, Black Coco, Dixie Speckled Butter Pea and Peregion.
The Peregion has become a favorite. This year we are going to try Brown Dutch.
I’m not one to order plants from seed companies, but I had a very good experience ordering herb
seedlings from The Natural Gardening Company. They also sell seeds. However, they really get it
with regard to shipping tender seedlings across country. I have never had product arrive in such
good shape as I did from these folks. David Baldwin, the owner of The Natural Gardening Company
starts every catalog with a letter from him, sharing his philosophy and emphasizing his commitment to
quality products and service. I don’t purchase from this catalog as heavily as I do from Johnny’s, but
I try to support what this company stands for. One of the nice things about dealing with most seed
companies is that you are supporting a small business run by committed human beings.
Three other seed companies are worthy of mention: Park Seed, Jung Seeds and Plants and
Totally Tomatoes. Park Seeds will occasionally spark my interest with a unique cucumber or
melon variety. My wife has been known to order flower seeds from them as well. It is also noteworthy
that Parks Seed website now contains helpful gardening tips. In the past 3 years I have switched
from starting my own onion seeds to ordering plants from Jung Seeds and Plants. Their prices are
competitive and the results have been fine. Totally Tomatoes, yeah the name sort of gives them
away. Actually, they also have a comprehensive collection of pepper seeds and a smattering of other
vegetables. If you are a tomato lover, you should have this catalog.
I hope that you have found these comments helpful and wish you a very successful gardening year. The
growing season starts this week, at least for me. I will be starting leek seeds indoors, under the lights.
My next posts will cover this event and include information on how to build your own light stand.
Until next time, all the best: