All hail the Fedco seed order, finally. It took forever to work this out for 2011. Sometimes (actually every year since 1986 when we got married, bought a house, and I started gardening for real) I’ve had seeds started in the cellar before the end of February. Working smarter now, not harder? Time will tell, like it always does with gardening.
I held off long enough that Fedco was already out of Hopi Dye Sunflowers, which sound fascinating and will perhaps inspire me to get this done earlier in 2012. Here is the complete list with sporadic descriptions lifted from the Fedco online catalog:
204 – Provider Bush Green Bean ( A=2 oz)
247 – Masai Bush Haricots Verts ( A=1/2oz)
297 – Multicolored Pole Bean Mix ( A=1/2oz)
337 – Maine Sunset Bean ( A=2oz)
658 – Silver Queen White Sweet Corn ( A=2oz)
818 – Oregon Giant Snow Pea ( A=2oz)
916 – Oka Muskmelon ( A=1/16oz)
1059 – Arava Cantaloupe OG ( A=1g)
1388 – Painted Serpent Cucumber ( A=1/16oz)
Cucumis melo var. flexuosus Bite into the snake that doesn’t bite back. Also known as Armenian Cucumber or Snake Melon, native to Armenia and brought to Italy in the fifteenth century. William Woys Weaver says “this is one of the oldest of our heirlooms, yet one of the most neglected by our gardeners,” often relegated to exhibition rather than esculentus. Yet its flavor surpasses that of cucumbers, excelling in salads and stir fries without bitterness or burps. Slender slightly fuzzy flexuous fruits delicately coil like a serpent with alternate light and dark green stripes. Culture like the melon it is, starting indoors in individual pots and transplanting into a low tunnel. Will grow up to 30″ but best eaten at 8–18″. Straighter if trellised. I could never get it to grow well on my Central Maine clay, but it loved my sandy Colrain, MA, soil and was a prolific producer in the hot dry summer. First ripe fruit was July 26.
1457 – Costata Romanesca Zucchini OG ( A=1/8oz)
1605 – Carnival Acorn Winter Squash ( A=1/8oz)
1719 – New England Pie Pumpkin ( A=1/4oz)
2073 – Shin Kuroda 5" Carrot ( A=1/8oz)
2092 – Nelson Carrot ( A=1g)
2093 – Yaya Carrot OG ( A=1g)
2186 – Bulls Blood Beet ( A=1/8oz)
2257 – Zlata Radish ( A=1g) A new color in summer radishes! These shimmery yellow medium-sized beauties from Poland starred in our MA trial. Crunchy and crispy white interiors, spicy but not overwhelming, good fresh and even better braised. Did not bolt or split and held quality even in all the June 2009 rains. Perfect for bunching.
2376 – Gold Ball Turnip ( A=1/8oz)
2411 – King Sieg Leek OG ( A=1/16oz)
2512 – Olympia Spinach ( A=1/4oz)
2803 – Tom Thumb Lettuce ( A=2g)
2805 – Bronze Mignonette Lettuce ( A=2g)
2859 – Majestic Red Lettuce ( A=1g)
2919 – Pablo Lettuce ( A=1g) Open-pollinated. Pablo bears a superficial resemblance to a red iceberg with much the same allure, but is a batavian, not a crisphead. Its larger plants form loose heads of beautiful upright rosettes surrounded by wide wavy-edged flat leaves. Bronze coloration on the outside leaves contrasts strongly with the green interiors lending a striking metallic sheen. Very sweet and mild with some bitterness in the ribs, slow-growing and extremely heat resistant.
2983 – DeLuxe Lettuce Mix ( A=1g)
2992 – Mesclun ( A=1g)
2993 – Greens Mix OG ( A=1g)
3192 – Broad-Leaved Sorrel ( A=1/16 oz)
3209 – Maruba Santoh ( A=1/16oz) Open-pollinated. Brassica rapa (pekinensis group) With Maruba you get four vegetables in one. The loose round vibrant chartreuse leaves provide a mild piquant mustardy flavor while the flat white stems impart a juicy crisp pac choy taste. High-end chefs like to use the blossoms. Market grower Scott Howell finds the flavor more subtle and complex than that of other greens and cuts Maruba small for his mesclun. Fairly bolt tolerant, so plant after the early spring flea beetle invasion subsides.
3221 – Tatsoi ( A=1/16oz)
3326 – Broccoli Blend ( A=0.5g)
3327 – Piracicaba ( A=2g)
3380 – Frigga Savoy Cabbage
3466 – Rainbow Lacinato Kale OG
4060 – Paul Robeson Tomato OG ( A=0.2g) Open-pollinated. Ind. This Russian heirloom was named in honor of Paul Robeson (1898-1976) who befriended the Soviet Union. Athlete (15 varsity letters at Rutgers!), actor (played Othello in the longest-running Shakespearian production in Broadway history!), singer (world famous for his vibrant baritone renditions of Negro spirituals), orator, cultural scholar and linguist (fluent in at least 15 languages!), Robeson was an outspoken crusader for racial equality and social justice. Revered by the left, reviled by the right, he was blacklisted during the McCarthy Era and beyond, harassed by the FBI, his passport revoked for eight years, his career stifled. He died broken and almost forgotten, his life a testament to lost opportunities in twentieth-century American history. His namesake tomato has developed almost a cult following among seed savers, 12 of whom are listed in the Yearbook. The maroon-brick 6–12 oz. oblate often bi-lobed fruits with dark green shoulders come closest in flavor to Black Krim, but can claim their own distinctive sweet smoky taste. A sandwich tomato with a tang, an extraordinary tomato for an extraordinary man.
4119 – Peacevine Cherry Tomato OG ( A=0.2g)
4149 – Heirloom Tomato Mix OG ( A=0.2g) You’d love to be adventurous and try them all but you haven’t space for that many tomato plants? Or can’t make up your mind which ones to select? Here’s the solution: Skip the fuss and leave the choosing to us! We’ll mix together a bunch of varieties (all organically grown seed) in one packet. You’ll get different colors, sizes, shapes and flavors. All you’ll need is an open mind, a good sense of observation, unjaded taste buds and acute deductive faculties. Then you can figure out which ones you like and order them by name next year.
4207 – Juliet Tomato ( A=0.2g)
4418 – Genovese Basil ( A=2g)
4470 – Thai Basil ( A=0.5g)
5005 – Carpet of Snow Alyssum ( A=0.5g)
5141 – Sensation Mix Cosmos ( A=1.4g)
5460 – Torch Mexican Sunflower ( A=0.2g)
5467 – Benarys Giants Scarlet Coated Zinnia ( A=0.2g)
5470 – Cactus Bright Jewel Mix Zinnia ( A=1g)
5491 – State Fair Mix Zinnia ( A=0.5g)
5502 – Dyers Broom ( A=0.2g)
5504 – Dyers Coreopsis Mix ( A=0.3g)
6137 – Summer Sun Heliopsis ( A=1g)
6333 – Beneficials Mix ( B=7g)
It is snowing, sleeting and occasionally pouring rain with thunder and lightening out there right now, but soon, this –