Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Commies Under The Garden Bed?

Have you ever had a seed catalog that prints letters from customers warning that it is too leftist?

“When you stick to facts and seeds, I am in your camp.... but when you run babbling off into the leftist dogma wilderness... you are close to losing me as a customer,” Customer from Shrewsbury, VT

But the response isn’t all that way. Right below that they printed: “ I love Fedco. The cooperative. The politics. The information. The prices. The catalog!” Customer from Plainfield, VT
You can look at page 55 of the Fedco 2007 Seed catalog to see.

The Fedco Cooperative is my favorite source for seeds and growing supplies. Its catalog is, well, to quote another customer: “This catalog is more engaging than most novels: all those intriguing characters. Who should I root for???” (Page 40)

There are a few other seed catalogs that come close to matching the number of varieties but none that match the Fedco catalog for its informative and entertaining descriptions and boundless asides.

Here, from a sidebar on it’s essay on global warming, Top ten reasons for not curbing global warming:
8. Does evolution really work? - we’ll soon find out.
5. No more Florida election surprises.
1. Maine-grown coffee at MOFGA’s Common Ground fair.*
All joking aside, the essay on page 6 is serious and worth reading.

The pictures, all black and white on newsprint, are funny and beautiful and make wonderful coloring books. It is one of the few seed catalogs that I’ve seen children who are uninterested in gardening leaf through.

Other than being a customer and an admirer, I have no financial interest in Fedco Seeds, Moose Tubers or Organic Grower’s Supply. If you are interested they have a website but the paper catalog that carries the mystique. There is nothing like picking it up on a snowy January day when the power is out and imagining the garden in August. To conserve paper, you can download it. All seed is untreated, many heirloom and open varieties are sold and all of them are worth considering if you have a garden.

* The Maine Organic Farmer’s and Gardener’s Assoc. fair’s “no coffee because it’s not a Maine grown product” fight is one of the most enduring controversies up here. Ok, so it’s an inside joke, unless you get stuck at the fair with caffeine withdrawal.

Have you checked out Seed Savers? They produce all heirloom seeds and do a pretty good business as a local organization.
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