“Stars” and Stripes!

Now that we’re halfway through January, the planting catalogues are arriving fast and furious!!  Although I’ve ordered flowers from Vesey’s, Michigan Bulb, Farmer’s Seed and Nursery, my bias is toward different seed houses when considering vegetables!  Let me tell you about two who rate 5 stars for quality, product, and business philosophy;

First on my list of resources is The Brown Envelope Seed Company.  Owner/operators Ruth Bullough, Mike Sweeney and Madeline McKeever run the company from their farm in West Cork, Ireland; it is certified by The Organic Trust, meaning no chemicals are applied to anything they grow. In addition, every seed in the catalogue is open source, and has been harvested at this ONE farm….Amazing!  I like everything about the place!   From amaranth and aubergine to tomatoes and turnips–the Brown Envelope Seed Company has it all….well…..everything except potatoes…..but I kind of like that lack of cliché, too!!  😉  FYI–for an interesting update on growing onions from seed, check out their blog.

Since the other 50% of my heritage is Italian,  I’m partial to Seeds from Italy, the exclusive U.S.mail order distributor of Franchi seeds. Owned by 7 generations of the Sementi family, Franchi boasts 400 plant varieties! 70% are certified organic, and nearly all are open source heirlooms passing unchanged through 200 years.  Great care has been taken to preserve the regional purity of tomatoes and zucchinis, essential when creating authentic Italian cuisine .  As a side note, Seeds from Italy was purchased last summer by Dan Nagengast,. a family farm owner himself, and former executive director of the Kansas Rural Center. Obviously Dan is someone who knows seeds and cares about their integrity. The 2012 catalogue carries the seal of the Safe Seed Initiative, pledging to never knowingly buy or sell genetically modified seeds or plants….And that’s a good thing!  🙂

Back at the Ranchero……

It’s been awhile since anything new or unusual has bloomed, but then Friday the 13th brought this:

Oxalis Versicolor

Yikes!! Stripes!!!

Oxalis Versicolor: I planted ALOT of these little bulbs exactly 2yrs ago, in an area that’s developed into a back cutting garden.  Strange that these two should emerge for the first time now!!  Makes me wonder what they’ve been doing under there all this time..and where are the other 18?  sleeping?  🙂

Until next time……








6 thoughts on ““Stars” and Stripes!

  1. that’s interesting you picked these 2 companies. I love them both, and have used them lots. The Franchi seeds are great value as well, you can buy a packet of seeds from them and easily split/share it with gardening friends 🙂

  2. Hi, Thank you so much for your kind comments. I was just going through your previous posts and l am fascinated that you should be living on the flight path of NASA space launches! I was a small boy of 11 when NASA sent up Mr Armstrong & Co to make history and the thrill of space travel has never left me. One objective in my life is to visit Cape Canaveral. One day!
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    Best wishes,

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