“Anyone who thinks that gardening begins in the Spring and ends in the Fall is missing the best part of the whole year; for gardening begins in January with the dream.” — Josephine Nuese.
January is seed catalog season, and it’s when the dream of this year’s garden is born. Our last frost usually happens here around the first week of June…and that’s when our tomato seedlings will go in the ground, but there’s so much more that happens before that.
Onions are started about now, and then other crops that like a long slow runway. Many of our seeds are cold stratifying in the freezer, as some require a cold period to break dormancy before planting.
Our DIY seed starting lamps are already growing microgreens to keep our table bright even with snow outside, and they’ll be full of seedlings soon enough. We’ll be growing peas by march, along with half a dozen other cold hardy crops.
But right now, we’re buried in seed catalogs and almost assuredly about to bite off more than we can chew…
If you don’t know where to start, I’ve put together a list of more than 90 free seed catalogs and nursery catalogs, along with details about what they carry.
If you’re like me, and you have trouble keeping track of the seeds you’ve got, then I’d really recommend making your own seed organizer.
This thing has saved me so much money, as every year I break it out and look at each type of seed before placing my order…most of the time, I already have plenty of seed, and I can save my money…but it’s all about being organized, so I know where every packet is.
Things You Might Need This Week
30+ Medicinal Flowers (and How to Use Them) ~ If you plant it right, you can have a beautiful garden that’s good for your body, as well as a feast for your eyes.
27+ Tree Species to Tap for Syrup ~ Maples aren’t the only trees you can tap for syrup, and odds are, you have sugar waiting in your yard! Plan ahead now and be ready for sugaring season.
How to Make Homemade Pasta from Scratch ~ Pasta just takes a few ingredients, and it’s really satisfying to make at home.
Recipes to keep your larder full all year round…in season now:
Canning Sausage Potato and Kale Soup (Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana)
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Things I’m Loving
Earthbeat Seeds ~ A small medicinal herb seed supplier based right here in Vermont. She has many hard-to-find medicinal herb seeds, including things like Jewelweed and Marshmallows. This is also the best place to buy Ramp Seeds (wild leeks), as she’s all about sustainable harvesting and natural practices.
High Mowing Organic Seeds ~ One of the few sources for 100% organic seeds and growing supplies anywhere. They only sell organic seed, and they’re right here in Vermont.
All-American Pressure Canner ~ These are by far the best pressure canners on the market. We do a lot of pressure canning, and I actually have three of these beasts on hand. They’re worth every penny, especially mid-winter when canning meals in a jar ahead of time will really save you during the busy summer season.
What are you harvesting, preserving, building, or exploring on your homestead this week? I’d love to hear about it!
Leave me a note in the comments…
(Comments only, please. Emails tend to get lost in my inbox, and as much as I’d love to get back to each and everyone, my screen time is very limited…and things fall through the cracks, and emails get buried in my inbox. If you comment here, they’re all in one place, and it’s much easier to get back to every single one.)
Until Next Time,
Ashley at Practical Self Reliance
I'm thinking about planting a patch of barley. Before corn, the Europeans used barley for their animal feed. I have a scythe, know how to sharpen it, and will give it a go this year. Barley dreams!
Ashley, you are a blessing to me! You are a wealth of information and I tap into it often. I made orange marmalade and 3-fruit marmalade this past week. I will be planning my garden and looking to buy turkeys. I have chickens and I finally found success in breeding them so I don't have to buy them. I wish I had started when I was younger. I always feel like I'm trying to catch up ... but all is good!