Seed Order, Trades and Seedy Saturday

March 10, 2009

My William Dam order came in last week on March 5th, a month and a half after I placed the order on January 19th. It took a long time and at one point I even called them to ask when it was shipping out. Apparently, they wait until they have received the bulk of their fresh seeds before filling out orders and you have to ask them to send your order sooner if you need your seeds earlier, i.e., seeds with early sow dates. The only thing for me was the peas and the trellis netting, the rest was for my family: corn and yellow pole beans for the in-laws, hybrid carrots and cauliflower for my mom and cucumbers for my sister. It’s all direct sow (except for the cauliflower) and I didn’t mind waiting.

In preparation for my yearly seed swaps, trades and round robins I like to get all my extra seeds packaged up and ready to go ahead of time. This year, I decided to add lots of information on each packet. Writing all the information by hand seemed like a drag so I created a bunch of 2” x 2 ¾” labels (finally, a use for obsolete floppy disk labels!) with fun clip art. I included the name, seed source, year, my website address and notes on each seed package. How handy, how organized!

Apparently I wasn’t organized enough as I completely forgot my list of things to look for at Seedy Saturday. Yikes! Thankfully, I got my partner to email me the list to my Blackberry, which I kept re-reading while maneuvering through the throngs of people at the event. It’s great that there are many people interested in gardening and starting seeds, however, this year the number of attendees seemed somewhat ridiculous. Last year there was freezing rain, wet snow and icy roads, which may have kept people at bay. Here’s how things looked at 11:30 AM:

We walked in at 9:45 AM and the first stop was the seed swap table where I dropped off all of my nicely (and some not so nicely) packaged seeds. Seriously, it must have been somewhere between 30 – 40 packets of stuff, mostly seeds I’d saved and a few things I no longer wanted (goodbye Sensation squash from Stokes!). In turn, I picked up a packet of daisy petit pom pom mix, green apple eggplant, Roma tomato, striped butternut, yellow submarine cucumber, bouquet dill, patio pickles, Thai basil, snow peas and purple pole beans.

I also went a little crazy with the seed purchases and bought some Vegetable Spaghetti squash; Yellow and Black Brandywine, Old German, Opalka and Break O’Day tomato; Ailsa Craig onion; Chantenay Red-cored and mixed carrot; Provider bush bean; Lolla Rosa, Freckles Speckled Trout and Red Deer Tongue lettuce; California Wonder sweet pepper and Cherokee Trail of Tears pole bean seeds. My 8-year-old nephew wanted to start some seeds so we got him some packets of carrot and sunflower. My mom had a great time and said that she could spend all day there!

I ran into some familiar faces: Bernie from La Vie En Rose (I helped her dig up her iris bed a couple of years ago), Mary from the Cottage Gardener (we visited her farm last year and did a bit of impromptu throat singing), another Kemptville area gardener as crazy about tomatoes as me and Telsing from The Veggie Patch Re-imagined.  Here she is with her two kids at the seed swap table:

The one thing I wish I had done last year was to make a list of all the vendors who had attended – I had contacted the organizer after Seedy Saturday 2008 who lamented that there were too many and didn’t have the paperwork handy.  So I decided to make my own list this year.  Here are the majority of the attendees for this year’s Seedy Saturday in Ottawa (in no particular order, * denotes a seed vendor):

If you’re in the Ottawa area, have missed Seedy Saturday and don’t mind driving, you can go to the Seedy Saturday being held in Kingston this weekend, Saturday March 14, from 10 AM to 3 PM at Kingston’s Central Branch Library, 130 Johnson Street.  Admission is $1.  I’ve called ahead and found out that the following seed vendors will be there:

  • Seed Savers Exchange
  • Eternal Seed
  • the Cottage Gardener
  • Greta’s Organics
  • Heritage Seeds
  • Terra Edibles

If the roads are good, I can get to Kingston in an hour.  Hmm, something to think about.  Happy seed hunting!

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5 Responses to “Seed Order, Trades and Seedy Saturday”

  1. Dan Says:

    Sounds like you had a good seed swap. I also received my William Dam order today. After freaking out about my pinetree order taking ages I order all the early stuff again from William Dam. Then e-mailed to get them shipped asap, They thankfully obliged so I can plant on time.

    I see a Romanesco Broccoli, I am growing that as well and the deer tongue lettuce although I am growing the green one.


  2. Wow! That is a lot of work you put into those seed packets- they look great! I’ve often thought of going to a seed swap. Maybe this is the year to look for one. Happy almost spring!


  3. Your not making me do it. No I am not driving to Kingston. I’m restraining my inner (who’s kidding, outer gardener).

    It was great seeing you and your fantastic seed packs there by the way! That skinny lady with the bob is me? My picture of you came out slightly out of focus which is a shame because you guys looked great (your nephew has the cutest smile).

    Looking forward to spring descending on us and starting some seeds in the ground.

  4. Catt Says:

    So nice to see the photos!

    Does anyone recognize themselves?

  5. keewee Says:

    I’m impressed with all the work you did. A seed swap is a great idea.


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