Fedco Seed Order 2012

Just finished my order over at Fedco Seeds, Maine’s agricultural co-op seed house specializing in cold hardy varieties for the unforgiving climate of the New England growing season. Fedco has five orders: Seeds, Moose Tubers, Organic Growers Supply, Trees, and Bulbs, and sends out three catalogs. The seed division alone does about $3mm annually.

Completing the seed order is the way I mark my own personal start of the new year. Yes, the canning cupboard is full of glass jars of produce, the Rubbermaid boxes of potatoes and carrots sit ready to eat on the cold cellar floor, the garden is still holding parsnips, kale, and leeks, but all of that is just so 2011. Selecting seed varieties is my first foray into the new year and a snapshot of Garden 2012.  Here’s the list (in no particular order) and some highlights of my favorites from the catalog:

225 – Royal Burgundy Bush Bean OG ( A=2oz) 1 x $1.90 = $1.90
297 – Multicolored Pole Bean Mix ( A=1/2oz) 1 x $1.50 = $1.50
338 – Marfax Bean ( A=2oz) 1 x $1.50 = $1.50
658 – Silver Queen White Sweet Corn ( B=8oz) 1 x $7.50 = $7.50
678 – Dakota Black Popcorn OG ( A=2oz) 1 x $2.60 = $2.60
818 – Oregon Giant Snow Pea ( A=2oz) 1 x $1.50 = $1.50
842 – Mammoth Melting Sugar Snow Pea ( A=2oz) 1 x $1.50 = $1.50
1035 – Halona Muskmelon ( A=1g) 1 x $1.90 = $1.90
1311 – Boothbys Blonde Slicing Cucumber OG ( A=0.5g) 1 x $1.00 = $1.00
1409 – Raven Zucchini ( A=1/8oz) 1 x $1.90 = $1.90
1457 – Costata Romanesca Zucchini OG ( A=1/8oz) 1 x $1.40 = $1.40
1635 – Sunshine Winter Squash ( A=1/8oz) 1 x $2.50 = $2.50
1718 – Winter Luxury Pumpkin OG ( A=1/8oz) 1 x $1.60 = $1.60
2058 – Red Cored Chantenay Carrot ( A=1/8oz) 1 x $0.80 = $0.80
2068 – Atomic Red Carrot OG ( A=1g) 1 x $1.80 = $1.80
2073 – Shin Kuroda 5" Carrot ( A=1/8oz) 1 x $0.80 = $0.80
2099 – Over the Rainbow Carrot Mix ( A=1g) 1 x $2.40 = $2.40
2186 – Bulls Blood Beet ( A=1/8oz) 1 x $1.00 = $1.00
2267 – Green Meat Radish ( A=1/8oz) 1 x $1.50 = $1.50
2306 – Andover Parsnip OG ( A=1/8oz) 1 x $1.60 = $1.60
2376 – Gold Ball Turnip ( B=1/2oz) 1 x $1.50 = $1.50
2425 – Bleu de Solaize Leek ( A=1/16oz) 1 x $1.70 = $1.70
2504 – Bordeaux Spinach ( A=1/4oz) 1 x $1.20 = $1.20
2555 – Giant Winter Spinach ( A=1/4oz) 1 x $1.30 = $1.30
2738 – Antares Lettuce OG ( A=1g) 1 x $1.50 = $1.50
2983 – DeLuxe Lettuce Mix OG ( A=1g) 1 x $1.60 = $1.60
2984 – Freedom Lettuce Mix OG ( A=1g) 1 x $2.20 = $2.20
2992 – Mesclun ( A=1g) 1 x $1.10 = $1.10
2993 – Greens Mix OG ( A=1g) 1 x $1.20 = $1.20
3034 – Perpetual Spinach or Leaf Beet ( A=1/16oz) 1 x $0.90 = $0.90
3075 – Speckled Friz Chickendive OG ( A=1/16oz) 1 x $2.30 = $2.30
3122 – Minutina ( A=1/16oz) 1 x $1.30 = $1.30
3740 – Sweet Pimiento Sweet Pepper ECO ( A=0.2g) 1 x $1.20 = $1.20
5210 – Tanagra Lavatera ( A=1g) 1 x $1.10 = $1.10
5263 – Mignonette ( A=1g) 1 x $1.00 = $1.00
5280 – Alaska Nasturtium Mix ( A=2g) 1 x $1.00 = $1.00
5320 – Ziar Breadseed Poppy OG ( B=0.3g) 1 x $3.00 = $3.00
5331 – Flemish Antique Poppy OG ( A=0.2g) 1 x $1.10 = $1.10
5421 – Selma Suns Mix Sunflower OG ( A=1g) 1 x $1.10 = $1.10
5441 – April in Paris Sweet Pea OG ( A=2g) 1 x $1.20 = $1.20
5455 – Mrs. Collier Sweet Pea ( A=2g) 1 x $1.00 = $1.00
5506 – Hopi Dye Sunflower OG ( A=1g) 1 x $1.10 = $1.10
5960 – Purple Majesty Millet ( A=0.05g) 1 x $2.30 = $2.30
5970 – Duborskian Rice OG ( A=1g) 1 x $1.60 = $1.60
6333 – Beneficials Mix ( B=7g) 1 x $7.50 = $7.50

Subtotal: = $80.20
Maine Sales Tax: + $4.01
Adjusted Total: = $84.21
Shipping: + $0.00
Grand Total: = $84.21

I did not include the prices last year and had to field a lot of budget questions later. My biggest costs in the garden are seeds and trees, and the seed portion averages right around $80.00. Trees/shrubs/perennials go about twice as much (in a good year when I can afford that), and equipment costs are another $50.00. This year I have to replace my 20 year-old shovel for instance, and in 2010 I replaced my sprayer.

Two items that I think will be fascinating additions to Garden 2012:

3075CO Speckled Friz Chickendive OG (70-90 days) Open-pollinated. Chicorium intybus x C. endivia Unique, chic greens from master breeder Frank Morton who crossed Wild Garden chicories with frisée, curly endive and escarole to develop this colorful flock of individuals, more tender than chicory, more cold hardy and ornamental than endive, with a mixture and flavor range that goes well beyond either and the sweet bitterness of a good endive. This gene-pool has variation, some plants open, others semi-headed, others with full heads. Has overwintered and been permutating at the MOFGA garden for the past six years.

2984FO Freedom Lettuce Mix OG An inspiring mix with plenty of surprises, this gene pool was created by Morton in what he called the “Hell’s Half-Acre lettuce trial” identifying those varieties most disease resistant and crossing them with his best-tasting varieties to select and recombine for excellent traits. Contains exceptional material including some experimental forms that would stand on their own as named varieties. Morton invites growers and breeders to work with this mix to create new varieties for their farms or for the general public, while stipulating that nothing derived from it may be patented or protected from others’ use in any way. This strategy, originated by software developers, is now known as copyleft (as opposed to traditional copyright). Morton has adopted it to keep his varieties and their derivatives in the public domain as a protected commons. Seeds as nature’s software! See wwwgnu.org/philosophy/philosophy.html. for more information on copyleft. These days freedom is a rather slippery concept and many things are being done in its name that I don’t approve, but copyleft has the potential to return to free use such shared resources as our plant heritage that rightfully belong to all of us. As Morton proclaims, “Adaptive breeding cannot occur under a system of restrictive ownership.” Open-pollinated.

And finally, today’s garden photo: Fedco Harris Model parsnips still green on January second.

 

2984FO Freedom Lettuce Mix OG An inspiring mix with plenty of surprises, this gene pool was created by Morton in what he called the “Hell’s Half-Acre lettuce trial” identifying those varieties most disease resistant and crossing them with his best-tasting varieties to select and recombine for excellent traits. Contains exceptional material including some experimental forms that would stand on their own as named varieties. Morton invites growers and breeders to work with this mix to create new varieties for their farms or for the general public, while stipulating that nothing derived from it may be patented or protected from others’ use in any way. This strategy, originated by software developers, is now known as copyleft (as opposed to traditional copyright). Morton has adopted it to keep his varieties and their derivatives in the public domain as a protected commons. Seeds as nature’s software! See wwwgnu.org/philosophy/philosophy.html. for more information on copyleft. These days freedom is a rather slippery concept and many things are being done in its name that I don’t approve, but copyleft has the potential to return to free use such shared resources as our plant heritage that rightfully belong to all of us. As Morton proclaims, “Adaptive breeding cannot occur under a system of restrictive ownership.” Open-pollinated.

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