At least on paper and that requires some sorting through seed catalogues, a review of last year’s crops – successes and otherwise, a map of your garden so you can rotate the crops and a trip to the Jackson County Farmers Market on Jan. 14th for the annual Group Seed Order.*
Each year, the Market sponsors a seed order day for our customers and friends to select from Fedco and Johnny’s Selected Seeds as well as order onion sets, organic seed potatoes, sweet potato slips and even some garden supplies. Because of the volume created by a bulk order, you get a great discount plus free shipping. What a deal! We may not get all the varieties available but everyone who orders will benefit from not paying the higher prices for individual packets. We have catalogues and folks there to help answer some of your questions as well. Plus what’s better than a trip to the Farmers Market to remind you of all the great produce you’ll be growing in just a few months.
Our Market also supports a seed bank, a truly subversive enterprise meant to ensure a consistent and sustainable supply of local, heirloom, staple seeds. Here’s the info from our seed saving mistress extraordinaire, Megan Eberly.
I am sure that many of you, like myself, have spent many winter afternoons in our warm and cozy houses dreaming of spring as we peruse our stack of seed catalogues and build fantasy gardens in our minds. The variety is endless, and the large scale preservation of seed diversity stewarded by these company’s is vital (after all how many tomato varieties can one community consistently steward).
Our community is however lacking in local sources of staple seed. Heirloom varieties adapted to local conditions of basic food crops could easily be maintained by a group of willing seed stewards.
I propose a Tuckaseegee Valley Seed Bank, which I will happily volunteer to organize. Grain crops such as non-GMO corn, barley and other grains along with standards such as mountain half-runners, summer squash, beets, cushaws and candy roasters would be very beneficial to our local foodscape.
This could be as simple as saving a few pods from your normal crop and returning them to me. As coordinator I can help each steward choose a variety of seed to grow and replenish according to their skill level and available space.
If you are interested please contact me at email@example.com or come visit my table at the Glorious Jackson County Farmer’s Market.
Looking forward to working with you!
Orchard Slope Family Farm
Come down to the Market and talk with Megan about how to participate in a seed saving bank throughout the season. Don’t have a garden space? No problem! Jackson County has two amazing community gardens and you can learn about them as well this Saturday from Adam Bigelow, community garden manager for the Sylva and Cullowhee Community Gardens.
Spring is just around the corner….
Questions about the seed order? Contact Ron Arps: firstname.lastname@example.org
*NOTE: Seed pick up date is Feb. 11th at the Market. Onion sets and seed potatoes will be March 4; sweet potato slips will arrive May 6.