Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hot and Bothered...

My 2011 SSE Yearbook (aka "Gardening Porn") arrived two days ago and I have been glued to it (like the addict that I am) ever since! For ANYONE interested in saving seeds and growing rare/heirloom varieties, THIS is the group you need to join. Yes, the annual fee is steep ($40), and the price per request a bit higher than commercially ($4 for small seeds, $5 for large/biennial seeds, $6 for scion and tubers - though members who list seeds get a discount on these prices), but you can find plant varieties here available no where else to the common gardener! Not to mention that you have access to an enormous network of fellow gardeners, all ready to share advice and experiences! And the fact that my personal hero, William Woys Weaver, is a member as well just puts the icing on the parfait! Long story short: this is my very own Mecca.

We've been really financially tight this month due to several factors (mainly illness-related work absences and other things that simply could not be helped), so I when I (hesitantly) asked my husband if there was any way I could mail off my SSE seed request this week (it has to reach headquarters by the 1st of March in order to get filled before April, since they only fill/mail orders once per month), and he gave me the ok, I was happily surprised! Ok, ok, I nearly wet myself with glee. In any case, I was finally able to send off my order for 5 rare and beautiful heirloom pepper varieties (focusing namely on ones provided to SSE by Mr. Weaver), and 1 equally rare and beautiful heirloom tomato variety (also provided to SSE by Mr. Weaver! Do you see a pattern here?).

Because this year we will be using homemade isolation cages to ensure seed purity, I will be able to grow a plethora of heirloom peppers! The main variety that I hope to be able to grow out and share seeds of is the extremely rare Chapeau de Frade. For at least the past two years, SSE is the only one to offer this variety in their yearbook. I'm hoping that in 2012, I can change that! Wish me luck!!

Here's the (newly updated) list of tomatoes and peppers scheduled to be planted in the garden this year:

Chapeau de Frade
Roberto's Cuban Seasoning
Aji Dulce
Aji Limon
Piment de Brasse
Chile Congo de Nicaragua

Gajo de Melon
Orange Flesh Purple Smudge
Applegate Valley Heirloom Tomato
Joya de Oaxaca

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