The kitchen table is covered in wooden boxes of seeds and a pile of seed catalogs. My idea of bliss. Most seeds stay viable longer than a year so I save leftover seeds from season to season. The Kitchen Garden seed catalog notes how long different flower and vegetable seeds stay viable, so I keep this catalog close at hand as I sort through my old seeds.
I like this catalog for its illustrations by Bobbi Angell.
She also illustrated one of my most beloved plant identification books, Flora of St John, US Virgin Islands.
During the years when my family camped at the now gone Maho Bay Campground, I would check out the campground’s copy of this book every afternoon to identify Flowers I had found during the day. This seemed to irritate the activity desk folk, because while no one else wanted the book, I was clearly hogging it. Finally I bought myself a copy, and I would lug it back and forth to St John from home. It remains one of my favorite books (and also one of my heaviest). What a wonderful adventure it must have been for Bobbi Angell to live on St John for a year and draw all the Flowers that botanists found for her.
I also like this catalog because Kitchen Garden carries seeds for extremely delicious varieties of vegetables. They really ARE thinking about the kitchen.
The catalogs I lean on are Seed Savers Exchange, Baker’s Creek Seeds and Johnny’s Selected Seeds, but I get seeds from a lot of companies including Burpees who carry things that no one else does. Mehera Marigolds for example.
Fifty years ago, Burpees sponsored a contest asking home gardeners to hybridize a White Marigold. When someone succeeded, many seed houses joined the bandwagon to offer these seeds. Now that the dust has settled on this creation, most seed houses have lost interest in White Marigolds. Not me and fortunately not Burpees. I can’t imagine our gardens without this Flower or our collection without Mehera Flower Essence.
Seed discontinuation is a frustration. Today’s mid afternoon rabbit hole happened when I discovered that Baker’s Creek Seeds no longer offers Kikinda Squash seeds. This was a bad moment. Not only is Kikinda Squash a gorgeous presence in the garden, it is a mainstay in our collection of Flower Essences for fertility concerns.
I found a company in Serbia and also one in the Ukraine offering seeds, but some dodgy things were going on with payment on their sites (Webmaster Ben blocks ALL Ukrainian traffic from our website because Ukranians have crashed our site many times. He would not have been pleased if I had opened that doorway in any way- and even naive me got the feeling all was not well on this site). Anyways, I was relieved to find a little old lady in Florida who had the seeds. I will do a better job of saving these seeds this year, so this doesn’t happen again.
I was also surprised to see that Baker’s Creek had temporarily shut down its website to cope with too many orders. They do wonderful work offering non hybrid, non GMO seed varieties so I shouldn’t be surprised they are already swamped….. but it is only January 5th!
I don’t actually know what I will need for seeds until after the Winter Solstice each year. This is when the designs for the year’s gardens are ready for me to receive from the Angels and Elementals. I’m reminded that not everyone is operating on our particular co-creative model of Angelic and Elemental input and get on with their garden plans earlier than me.
After the Solstice, I spend time in the dormant gardens, tuning into what the Angels have planned for each garden this season and drawing mandalas and other directions in a note book. The Venus Garden for 2021 was the first design they explained to me. Among other things the garden has a lot of verticality thanks to vines like Scarlet Runner Bean. There is also a beautiful spiral which includes a lot of Zinnias. In the wake of 2020, I relish a Venus Garden offering energies of Joy (Zinnias) and Fearlessness (Scarlet Runner Bean). We should even be able to plant in the ground this year as the construction that impacted the garden last year should be over by spring.
As I wander the vaguely snow covered gardens of the farm, I try not to freak out at how much work I have ahead of me come spring. Staffing in the office was limited in the key gardening months of 2020, so I was mostly inside looking out the windows at the weeds proliferating with abandon. I didn’t have time to reign them in (or Netflix binge), but hopefully this spring will be different.
The Angels and Elementals reassure me that the most important thing is that the vibration in the gardens is in good shape and that together we will come up with solutions for bringing the garden spots that didn’t get weeded back into the fold.
The topic of Zinnias and joyful vibrations reminds me of a quantum physics article Lizzie brought to my attention recently. It explained how those of us working to hold higher vibrations offset those vibrating at a lower rate not in a one to one ratio but in a surprising big way. One person vibrating a love and reverence vibration counterbalances 750,000 individuals in a lower ego frequency. One individual in the bliss vibration counterbalances 10 million people in a lower ego frequency and one enlightened God realized individual counterbalances 70 million in a lower ego frequency. Sometimes when I’ve let myself be pulled into a lower vibration fight and I’m trying to recover and “go high” as Michelle Obama calls it, I can feel like it’s a one to one ratio and my efforts no matter how successful or unsuccessful don’t make THAT much difference.
I found these actual ratios a wonderful reminder why working to raise our vibrations and keep them high really matters. Just as one candle can illuminate a pitch black room, our love, our reverence, our bliss helps us all. There is nothing selfish about trying to raise our vibrations and stay in a place of love, generosity, gratitude, happiness and joy. Your efforts to do so truly matter to us all and I thank you.