Growing a more local garden

Ah, it’s glorious when you open the mailbox and find a package this full of possibility:

Our seed order! Woo hoo! There needs to be a holiday called Seed Day. In fact, according to the "Every Day Is a Holiday" 2010 calendar I have (locally produced by Eliza Evans and Virginia Rieley), Sunday is Land Day. That is perfect, because that’s the day we’re planning to get a bunch of these little guys started. And all the energy and nourishment contained in that box and those envelopes will begin to manifest. If you think that sounds flaky, leave me alone and go eat a processed beef patty.

We’ve used Maine-based Johnny’s Selected Seeds for a number of years, and have always had good luck with them. They have lots of organic seeds and some varieties we love (Diva cukes = best food on planet). But I’m also intrigued by the local company Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, based in Louisa. They’re specialists in organic seeds and heirloom varieties. And if we can get more of our garden supplies from groovy local providers, so much the better. So yesterday I picked up one SESE packet at IY—a small gesture for now, but perhaps it will lead to bigger things.


Meanwhile, I’m hardly the only one with gardening on the brain. There are not one but two new local companies that offer garden design and installation for folks who’ve got the yard, and want the garden, but aren’t sure where to start. Take your pick: Blue Ridge Backyard Harvest or C’ville Foodscapes. The latter is having an open house on, yes, Land Day (that’s Sunday, March 7) at Random Row Books, 2-5pm.

Who else is getting their garden started? Any tips for local garden supplies?

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