It’s hard to believe the holidays are already upon us. Throughout the year as we travel I enjoy scouting out all the local shops in hopes of finding a few unique, handmade gifts for those I love.
We’ve been from sea to shining sea twice this year, covering thousands of miles in between with farmer’s markets and farms as our rest stops. We have met some amazing people who have an inspiring passion for growing their own food and sharing the harvest with hundreds of customers. Their enthusiasm is quite contagious as can be seen with all the new initiatives and farmer’s markets sprouting up from San Francisco to New York City and every small town in between. It’s an exciting time to be a gardener or small farmer! A new season of growing is knocking on our door. What will you do to be a part of it?
As a kid I remember one of my favorite things about winter was the never-ending supply of seed catalogs that flooded our mailbox on the heels of Christmas. They were the perfect prescription for cabin fever as the winter winds blew five-foot drifts around our home. I would often daydream of sunny days and the earthy smell of freshly tilled soil, combined with a sea of flowers, all the while my mouth watered for just one taste of a melon ripened by summer’s heat. Then, just to find myself rudely awakened by a nice chunk of snow in my boot as I shoveled my way out of the house. After we made our big purchases from Henry Fields, Gurneys, Johnny’s, et cetera, we started our seedlings in February and babied them through the end of winter. Since then, I married a seedsman and I don’t have too far to go any time of the year to be surrounded by seeds, seedlings, and myriad beautiful plants.
Working in a seed company we are frequently asked questions like: How do I start my seeds? Do I have to harden them off? How do I save specific seed varieties? And the classic “How many plants come from one seed?” At times it was rather frustrating that there wasn’t a go-to guide to thoroughly answer all the questions surrounding heirloom growing. As a response to those questions and more, we’ve authored a book, The Heirloom Life Gardener, which not only tells our story but profiles 50 types of heirloom vegetables and everything from how to start them, keep pests a bay, cook the produce, and save the seed. Our new hardcover book features full-color, mouthwatering images that might incite a few daydreams as you read it by your fireplace. Check out our website at rareseeds.com or visit your local bookstore to pick up your own copy or one for a friend.
We hope you enjoy this issue of the magazine! From Seed Starting 101 to Geese, we’ve got your garden and farm covered.
See you in the Spring,
Emilee Gettle: Wife of Jere and mother to Sasha, Emilee lives a full life of gardening, crafting and homesteading. She has the distinct pleasure of associating with some of America’s most interesting people–heirloom and organic farmers. Read her blog: heirloomgirl.com
Winter 2011-2012 Heirloom Gardener Magazine