I do not remember ever not having a garden. My mother talks about being 41 weeks pregnant with me and gathering rocks out of the garden in Texas. Both grandparents have always had gardens. My dad's mother raised beautiful irises and coleus that was to die for. And it was always important for my Grandaddy to get his tomatoes and green beans in every year. My Grammer and Papaw even had a peach orchard when I was little. I remember sitting next to the peach sorter catching the "little ones". They were discards, but my favorites.
When I rented my first little house in Oklahoma after graduating college, I could not wait to get my fingers dirty and plant some tomatoes. And every house we have lived in since, has had a little bit of tilled earth with sunflowers, peppers, tomatoes, green beans, and more. An addiction to having your fingers in the soil must be genetic.
Last year we had a bumper crop of squash, peas, carrots and okra (yes, okra will grow in Wisconsin). But this year is a little bit different. We are moving in late May/June so I will only get a Spring crop and then have to leave whatever else is here to the new owners. So with that in mind, I am planning on a full early Spring with broccoli, spinach, onions, garlic, lettuce and other greens, and peas (mmm...we love peas) for sure. Followed by a salsa garden. Who wouldn't buy a house that comes with its own salsa garden. Right?
Last fall sometime my Papaw turned me on to Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. They have an amazing catalog and website with an equally wonderful forum area. They feature the most unusual and most beautiful varieties of fruits, veggies and flowers that I have seen anywhere. This gentleman and his new wife are on a one couple mission to preserve heirloom seeds and plants that might altogether disappear. They even traveled to Central and South America visiting roadside markets and collecting seeds to bring back to offer here in the US. How great is that! And for anyone needing information on how to garden from seeds, I would recommend visiting thier planting guide. It is extremely comprehensive and will answer almost any questions you might have including when to start your seeds indoors for transplanting later. Check it out!
Oh, so back to my garden. Here it is right now in its sad state. But it is almost time to start planting seedlings indoors. Most of you in the South can start them right now. But give me a few more weeks and we will be planting as well...the compost is ready and waiting. Here in Wisconsin we can still get a nasty freeze in April. So until then, I have ordered way too many seeds for our small little plot from Baker Creek and will be watching the mail in anticipation.