Snow fell from the sky for 8 days straight in early January. Sometimes accumulating, sometimes not, but always falling. Even when the sun was shining, the snow was falling. This summer girl can’t take much of that, people.
But, SoupAddict has a stack of seed catalogs thiiiis high, and enjoys reading each and every one of them, as though they were some Stephen King pot boiler.
SoupAddict is a full service soup-maker: she grows what goes in her soups. Of her passions, gardening was the first; soup came later. So, by this time of the brand new year, SoupAddict is pining terribly for her many vegetable and herb gardens, smiling bravely through the longing while making soup with substandard grocery store ingredients. Fortunately, marketers take pity on her and send relief through the mail in the form of seed catalogs. Nice marketers. Always looking out for my best interests, they are.
The arrival of the seed catalogs also signals garden planning. SoupAddict likes to incorporate a few new things into her gardens every year. Sometimes she knows what those things will be; sometimes she waits for the catalogs to see what’s new and interesting.
Seeds can keep for several years if stored properly, so SoupAddict already has on hand most of what she’ll grow. But she does need to pick up a few things. Let’s see what’s up for grabs this year:
SoupAddict has been curious about this hybrid cherry tomato from Burpee for a couple of years now. She simply adores its heirloom cousin, the Black Cherry tomato. Will this be the year she tries this hybrid?
Mmm, Cherokee Purple – definitely makes the cut this year.
Although not a particularly good storage onion, SoupAddict loves the Walla Walla Sweet. It’s a happy, happy week in July when SoupAddict pulls these onion plants for curing.
SoupAddict has never grown potatoes of any sort, but is dying to try. Sweet potatoes? Yes, please.
Every year, SoupAddict eyeballs the strawberries. So far, that’s all she’s done, but this year, she might step up her container gardening efforts and make room for these shortcake jewels.
Costa Rican Sweets are one of her favorite bell pepper plants, ever. She’s grown them two years in a row, and both times, all of the plants have grown so tall, they needed serious staking. And the peppers … oh, the peppers. Sweet and delicious, and were still producing when she reluctantly tore them out of the ground in November.
Actually a “poblano” in pepper form, and “ancho” in dried form, SoupAddict loves this veggie in all of its wonderfulness. It’s a keeper.
SoupAddict also [hearts] the Seed Savers Exchange for their efforts to preserve and share the seeds of heirloom plants and trees. Plus, being the total tomato-lovin’ nut that she is, SoupAddict is completely infatuated with this year’s catalog cover.
Black Krim? Oh yes. SoupAddict will be growing multiples of this tomato. It’s sweet smokey flavor is unparalleled, and last year, it was the first to produce a mature tomato by weeks. She’ll also be growing this variety in a container for the first time, as it maintains a reasonable stature (unlike her other heirloom tomatoes, most of which grew over 14 feet tall in 2009), but is very prone to the wilt diseases present in SoupAddict’s neighborhood. She’s hoping that isolating this plant from the pack will help it thrive past August. She’ll keep you apprised of that experiment as the year progresses.
There’s just nothing bad one can say about the Brandywine. Oh, beautiful Brandywine, SoupAddict does love thee so.
And how about some Flamme? Yes, please. This beautiful tomato is both attractive and positively yummy, and outgrew all of the other tomato varieties last year, producing both earlier and later.
Nyagous definitely makes the cut this year. It came down to Nyagous or Paul Robeson, but Nyagous won out for its size and tendency to be blemish-free.
SoupAddict is on the fence about the Purple Russian. If there’s room, she’ll likely grow it, and will buy the seeds regardless.
Did you know that the red thing stuffed inside a green olive is a sweet red pepper? SoupAddict loves the pimento pepper. She can eat them like apples.
SoupAddict generally doesn’t consume many radishes, but loves to grow them nonetheless. How could she not add a variety like “Cincinnati Market” to her Cincinnati garden?
This is the first year receiving this catalog … let’s see what they have in store ….
SoupAddict has special affection for the cherry tomato, and might clear out room for this hybrid variety. Or grow it from a hanging basket, which would be way cool.
Another delicious sweet onion. Candy matures faster than the Walla Walla, but stores better, giving SoupAddict a longer onion eating season (and readers know how SoupAddict loves da onions).
SoupAddict is very excited about availability of this leek. Many of the best leeks are long season varieties, requiring over 100 days to mature (that’s 100 days from being put in the ground, which does not count seed sowing and seedling development), but survive happily in the ground through winter, to be pulled as needed. This Roxton variety purports a mid-summer harvest, which extends SoupAddict’s leek-eating season by a good 4 to 5 months.
Three down … 12 to go. (SoupAddict loves seed catalog season!)