Oh, how I love a good seed catalogue, and my favourite, a work of vegie catalogue art, landed in my letterbox yesterday. And while I haven't yet made up my mind what to order, as I have so little spare space left in my garden, I just had to do a blog on the catalogue itself. It's put out by Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds in Missouri, USA. I'm sure almost every North American grower already knows all about these people, but way down here on the sunniest side of the planet, in Oz, they're a discovery I made only last year.
Here's the cover of the 2010 catalogue. I thought it might be of interest to show you some pages, so here we go (click on all photos to make them bigger, for easier viewing).
Cute kids are exploited shamelessly throughout to make things cuter and more wholesome, but I am sure that a whole spread of squash and pumpkins on their own would have looked just fine.
Just thought I'd toss in a page of weirdos, such as African Wild Melons and knobbly Bitter Melons, to give you an idea of the amazing range they have here.
Following on from the fun I'm having with my golf ball sized, purple and white Asian eggplants, this page caught my eye. Wow, orange eggplants, I like that idea!
More cute kids! Oh, yes, there's also a good range of flower seeds to choose from, as well as herb seeds, too, plus books and other goodies. If you have both a shopping problem and a gardening problem, you probably shouldn't look at this catalogue. It will only cause more problems for you.
OK, that's the guided tour. If you missed the link at the top of the page they're at www.rareseeds.com and yes, you can order their catalogue from Australia. It's five bucks. Last year I believe they eventually ran out of catalogues, and I suspect half the people ordering the catalogue just wanted the catalogue and not any seeds.
Of course I do get a few other catalogues in the mail, including good old Diggers here in Australia, and they're a good mob, well worth a mention if we happen to be talking about cattle dogs.
The good thing about all these catalogues is that they're one of the best places to find heirloom vegies now. You can't find many heirlooms at your garden centre. These specialist seed suppliers are the keepers of the flame for the rich biological diversity within our food plants. That's why I like to support them and, yes, I know there are plenty of others doing the same thing, and good on all of them, too.
However, I'd better finish up now and spend the evening browsing, dreaming, getting real, then placing a small order... striped romas, orange eggplants, what else?