My pal, Susan Jordan, asked me to recommend seed catalogs for heirloom corn or maize. That’s a more complicated request than it seems. Let me share a passage about seed catalogs from one of my favorite books, Michael Pollan’s Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education. The quote comes from Chapter 11 “Made Wild by Pompous Catalogs.”
“After you’ve read a dozen or so catalogs, you start to realize that the differences between them are not so much in the varieties of plants and seeds they offer, for there is a great deal of overlap, as in the distinctive way each of them chooses to imagine the garden. Among other things, a garden is a form of self-expression, and we page through the various catalogs looking for the elements of a vocabulary that suits us, that can give body to our wishes. From White Flower Farm or Wayside Gardens we can have a perennial border that fairly bristles with class distinctions, floral testimony to our sophistication; from Harris or Park or Gurney’s we can order a middle-class garden that proudly announces to the neighbors our family’s enterprise, independence, and togetherness; from Johnny’s Selected Seeds or Pinetree Garden Seeds we can get a garden that reflects our environmental consciousness; from Seeds Blum or J. L. Hudson one that reflects our political convictions, in particular our zeal to protect the planet’s genetic diversity from the depredations of big business. Spend a few quiet winter nights with these not-so-quiet catalogs, and you begin to see that, just beneath its placid surface, the garden is buzzing with social and political controversy.”
Here are your links:
Seeds Blum (out of business)
And in our neck of the woods, the catalog from Peaceful Valley Farm and Garden Supply
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