For some in America, at least in the North East, Imbolc is a perfect time to consider the rebirth of our gardens. It’s at this time of year that seed catalogs make their happy appearance in our mailboxes, and we begin to browse and dream of green. In the past, I simply dreaming. I put my garden planning off until the Spring Equinox. In Upstate NY, even that day is often quite cold… As my experience with gardening grew, and as I started to pay more attention to other local gardeners, I realized last year that I was waiting too late. The result has been a later harvest, and many plants that don’t tolerate summer heat bolt before I can truly enjoy their bounty. Last year, I resolved that I would get my seeds for 2015 by Imbolc.
I’m adding action to my dreaming. Yesterday, I ordered my seeds! I decided to go with my standby, Pinetree Seeds, and a new one for me, Victory Seeds. The last couple years, I’ve been disappointed with the success of my Pinetree seeds, but I wanted to give a few favorites another try. I’m still learning so much, so user error is probable. I’m excited to try Victory Seeds, though, and several small gardeners have recommended them.
The seeds I ordered for my container garden are:
- Bouquet Dill
- Lemon Balm
- Green Leaf Salad Bowl
- Parisian Carrot
- Tiny Tim Tomato
- Extreme Bush Tomato
- Dwarf Gray Sugar
- Alibi Cucumber
- Green Tiger Zucchini
- Jambalaya Okra
- Gecofure Basil
Some of these are old favorites, like the cucumber, zucchini, and lemon balm. Others are things I’ve been wanting to grow for some time, like calendula. Okra is a veggie my husband and I fell in love with recently as I’ve been making vegetarian gumbos. The variety I chose has a short germination time and is recommended for northern climates. Other veggies I plan to grow are eggplants (I saved some seeds from last year’s dwarf variety), sage, and potato. I may grow some more scarlet runner beans, since I saved some of those seeds, but I don’t like them for eating… They’re a better ornamental, I think. The humming birds and bees sure liked them, and we must keep the Nature Spirits happy, right?
My plan is to bless most of my seeds around Imbolc and start them around the Spring Equinox so that they’re big enough to slowly start hardening off around Bealtaine.
The wheel of the year is turning, and engaging in the food we eat is a great way to learn its mysteries and celebrate beyond the high days themselves.