I think we need to add a new term to the general lexicon. Stress-induced Seed Acquisition Syndrome. SSAS. We can pronounce it like sass.
SSAS is closely related to other Homestead acquisition and purchasing disorders, such as:
- Chicken Math Delusion Syndrome (CMDS) – the belief that your 4 x 8 foot chicken coop can totally handle 24 new chicks this spring.
- Mason Jar Hoarding Complex (MJHC) – the feeling of persecution that develops if someone suggests perhaps 1400 mason jars is too many.
- Fruit Gleaning Codependency (FGC) – the inability to say no to a free harvest, no matter how little time you have to tackle 400 pounds of someone else’s plums.
- Seedling Acquisition Overwhelm (SAO) – the realization that you went to the spring plant sale and bought 5 trays of seedlings and have nowhere to plant them because you’ve already started enough of your own plants to fill 125% of your available garden space.
I am a victim of Stress-induced Seed Acquisition Syndrome this year. I’ve asked myself hard questions like, “if I have to pick just one melon to try this year, should it be ‘Divergent’ cantaloupe which promises good performance even in regions with cool nights, or ‘Savor’ Charentais Melon which is not only super-sweet but, let’s be honest, French?”
This year the answer seems to be a slightly paralyzed… “I just don’t know….how about both?”
I think this is because my seed ordering mojo is a bit thrown off. For many years I was in the rhythm. I knew what my standards were and where to experiment. I knew what to pass on, and which seed houses I trusted for certain finicky vegetables.
And then I took a full year off, and then last year I pretty much just grew stuff from nursery starts or from seeds I already had.
So it’s been awhile since I’ve really wrestled with seed catalogs. This year, I think the seed catalogs may have won.
Here’s (gulp) my 2018 seed order, spread out among a few seed houses ala Margaret Roach. The bulk of my seed is coming from old favorites High Mowing and Johnny’s – with contributions from smaller local seed houses Adaptive and Uprising, plus Dixondale for onion plant starts.
This isn’t everything I’ll be planting of course – I still have a pretty sizable collection of seeds from past years that are still in good shape. Much of the 2018 garden will be planted in 2014-2017 era seed. Full details on my 2018 Garden Plan soon. I’m also going to hit up my local nursery for seed potatoes this year because I dropped the ball on pre-ordering my favorites from Irish Eyes and they are already out of many varieties.
- Cabbage, Winter King Savoy
- Onion, Lilia Red Bunching
- Lettuce: Adaptive Seeds Summer Mix
- Copra Onion Plant Starts
- Walla Walla Onion Plant Starts
- Lancelot Leek Plant Starts
- Traditional Shallots
High Mowing Organic Seeds
- Beet: Boro Red
- Cabbage: Farao
- Cucumber: Adam Gherkin Pickling (I love this cucumber!)
- Radish: D’avignon French
- Radish: Valentine’s Day Mix
- Tomato: Moskvich Early Slicer
Johnny’s Select Seeds
- Broccoli: Gypsy
- Melon: Savor Charentais
- Pepper: Carmen Sweet
- Pepper: Flaming Flare Fresno Hot
- Pepper: Mellow Star Shishito
- Herb, Cilantro ‘Pokey Joe’
- Herb, German Chamomile
I was reading this and trying to laugh/sympathize, etc but just became sad. Two weeks ago I went to the website of my absolute favorite seed company to find out why I hadn’t gotten my catalog and discovered that they’ve folded. Adding insult to injury, they announced the end back in November and I didn’t know so couldn’t stock up on precious rarities.
It’s supposed to be a happy end: as they stated in the notice, they started when most people didn’t know what heirloom seeds were, where to get them, why they were important or how to save seeds. These things are now common knowledge/ commonly available and they’ve decided that “Our Mission is accomplished” and they’ll be devoting full resources to their non-profit educational arm. They’ve even thoughtfully provided links to other companies we can trust.
But I’m sad. I mean really sad. Like a pet died. A coworker actually suggested that I watch that video of Keanu on the gun range in a continuous loop until I smile again. She wasn’t kidding.
Would somebody kindly tell me that I’m not nuts?
You aren’t nuts. We become attached – it’s human, it’s what we do. This is super normal. And you have both personal memories and things attached to this seed house, and also a practical attachment – you kinda were relying on them. It’s healthy to mourn, it’s like a friendship that has ended.
Site looks great! I would note on my iPad that the comment text is pretty light, would be easier to read if it was the same color as the article text or at least darker. Also, is there a way to subscribe to comments?
Last year my melons bombed (destroyed by slugs within a week of transplant) but I gave extra to my sister and she’s asking me to grow more for her, lol. My garden plan has changed drastically from what I drew out on paper, so I’m just waiting until everything thaws out so I can mark it with stakes.
If you like Carmen, take a look at FedCo’s variety Odessa Market. It’s even sweeter (almost too sweet for an ultra low carb guy like me) and the walls are easily double the thickness, and super high yielding too. FedCo is my personal favorite seed house. I order almost everything from them, though I still need to page through Johnny’s to see if anything catches my eye.
My favorite cucumber here has been Marketmore. I’m also trying those “Mexican sour gherkins” this year. I don’t grow much in the way of alliums, just a few pots of chives, a bed of garlic, and some random walking onions a neighbor gave me that continue despite my utter neglect of them
I think I just fixed the super light comments. Subscribe to comments is still in the works. I think it’s just getting the jetpack configuration thing sorted. Thanks David!
The site looks really gorgeous! I’m afraid I have all the afflictions mentioned above. There are worse things to be addicted to, right? Most of my seeds came from Fedco this year, with a small order from High Mowing. I still need to get some shallots and the herbs will be starts this year. There just isn’t enough room under the lights. The garden will look pretty different this year. I’ve been battling a very bad case of blight and will take at least one year but probably more off from tomatoes in the actual garden. They will all be planted in 5 gallon buckets in a separate space. Now I have a pretty substantial area of the garden to fill. I’m afraid that after this, I’ll end up trying to squeeze more beds in somewhere else to expand the already too large garden. Delusional much?
Sigh. Yes, I have all the disorders. Just 3 days ago, I didn’t bat an eye when a person offered 11 organically raised young roosters… Too noisy for her neighborhood. Too noisy for my neighborhood – how can you say no? My husband just shook his head. He didn’t complain, however, about the chicken tacos we had last night…
(congrats on the new website!)
The site redesign is beautiful! The only seeds I’ve purchased are these cool disease resistant tomatoes from the Klee Lab at the University of Florida. http://hos.ufl.edu/kleeweb/newcultivars.html to read about it. I heard about it on the GardenFork podcast.
I love Johnny’s Seeds, and Fedco, and I feel like I should order more from West coast suppliers now that I live in Portland, but I’ve done nothing. Maybe this post will inspire me!
Dale Coykendall says
Redesign is beautiful will comment later after I’ve looked around and searched for favorite posts if I see something amiss Thank you ! Dale
Melon charentais is delish on its own, but it’s even better with prosciutto. And if you want to be Charentais, cut the melon in half, scoop out the seeds, and fill the hole with pineau des Charentes.
Can we be friends? I mean, that sounds simply merveilleux, and I wouldn’t have thought of that on my own.
Can you do a post on growing leeks? I haven’t been successful in that endeavor, although it’s been years since I’ve tried. I use very few onions any more because of reasons, and leeks from the supermarket are very disappointing.
SSAS, oh goodness, yes!
Last November I went to the Holiday Open House at Territorial Seed, and bought all the things that seem like a good idea in the winter. Now I’m sitting here with my graph paper, planning this years garden, and wondering what I was thinking ????
Hello. Can you tell me why you love the Adams gerkhins? I am thinking about ordering. Are they good for pickles? I do dill. Thanks
GREAT for pickles – they are definitely a European pickling type – highly productive, excellent texture, spines are tiny and not bothersome, they are fab small for cornichon type teeny pickles, but hold well to 4 or 5 inches, no issue with hollowness, and I don’t remember having any issues with powdery mildew.
May I ask, how do you cook/eat the Shishito peppers? I grew them two years ago and thought they were unusually delicious but such a pain to prep–lots of seeding just to get a tiny bite of a thin-walled pepper. Is there a trick? Thanks!
I’ve never grown them, this will be my first season – but my favorite way of eating them is whole, grilled or tempura deep fried. When I’ve had them they’ve been nearly seedless so basically no prep! I’ll try to remember to report back and let you know how seedy these are.
I wondered if that was it. Thanks, Erica!
Erica, how do you come up with this stuff? My husband would laugh heartily at my longstanding cases of MJHC and FGC. My best “get” was pounds and pounds of quince, from freecycle. Mind you I had never even handled a quince when I picked these up… Families may groan and roll their eyes, but my son was pretty happy enjoying quince paste with his cheese for quite some time…. There must be some kind of 5th syndrome that has to do with foraging. My case of this isn’t fully developed (b/c I took a foraging class which scared me a bit) but I have the fully-foraged dinner on my bucket list.
Hello, I clicked on a link titled “Johnny’s Seeds, Territorial Seeds and Monsanto: a 2018 Update” … although this is a great article I didn’t read anything regarding a connection between Johnny’s, Territorial Seeds or Monsanto’s. Was this an incorrectly labeled link or am I missing something to the story? I buy from Territorial Seeds too, so if they are linked to Monsanto’s I would appreciate knowing that (as well as Johnny’s for that matter). Thank you!
Hi, Nik, sorry but there was an incorrect link in the newsletter mailing. Here’s the article about Johnny’s and all: http://nwedible.com/johnnys-seeds-territorial-seeds-monsanto-update/
Awesome, thanks for the correction!
Toduochwn! That’s a really cool way of putting it!
Farmer Phyl says
Sounds like you’re talking about Bountiful Gardens. I feel your pain. Not only did I order from there, also took classes, and visited their gardens in CA. It’s a real loss.