How to Start a Backyard Veggie Garden - Part 2
The second in a series of posts about creating your own organic backyard vegetable garden.
BUYING ORGANIC SEEDS
Where to Purchase Organic Seeds
If you are just starting your organic food garden for the first time you may be wondering where to find certified organic seeds. The first place to look is to friends and family that may harvest seeds from their own organic garden each year. Next, you could try local farmers markets however many of these are not year long and you want to have seeds on hand early in the season. When we started our first food patch we ordered wonderful organic seeds from two places; Seed Savers Exchange and Territorial Seed Company.
Seed Savers Exchange is an amazing organization that not only has a diverse selection of organic seed but also promotes the saving of seed at a grassroots level in order to maintain seed diversity in the world. Their website and free catalog often times tells the story of the seeds and where they came from and what family saved them for generations.
Territorial Seed Company is another excellent source of organic seed with a wide variety to choose from including a winter catalog, one of the few in the United States. Their story is also fun and inspiring.
So check these two places out in addition to friends, family, and farmers markets and try to pick 8-10 different types of vegetables and herbs that you really enjoy eating. Then pick 2-3 new kinds of seeds to experience something fresh and new. This is really only going to cost you maybe $15-$25 with shipping. You will be amazed that even in your first season you could end up saving a solid amount of money at the store and are obtaining a much higher quality product at the same time. Just one example of this: We ended up with 7-8 organic heirloom cucumber plants doing really well this last summer. Each plant produced 40-50+ cucumbers through the season. That's around 400 organic cucumbers at $1-1.25 a piece from the store. So with cucumbers alone we saved around $400.00. Don't be fooled by advertising bullshit that says that it is still cheaper to buy from grocery stores than producing your own food. Not to say you shouldn't support local farm stands, farmers, and quality grocery stores.
Side note: we have found that if you pick cucumbers when they are about 4-6 inches long they are at their most sweet and crunchy. You can also pick them when they get much larger but their skin is more tough, better for pickling purposes.
So here's to starting your first garden! Hopefully you have soil ready to go, full of organic content, and your seed soon to be ordered!