In order to eat locally and organically you can’t do any better than growing your own. You know exactly what was involved in growing your food when you do that. There are a multitude of resources for seeds and plants. If you have ever gardened, you probably get a whole boxful of catalogs every January. Some have already started coming in at our house. Here are some sources for seeds and plants that are located in the Southeast, and which therefore, may have plants more adapted to this area. I will also list some others on the Grow Your Own links that are located outside the Southeast, and which I have used for organic seeds and plants.
Southern Seed Legacy
This is an amazing organization affiliated with the University of Georgia. They collect, save and distribute seeds grown in Georgia. Along with the seeds they also collect the stories of the people who grew these seeds. These are varieties adapted to the humid hot summers of Georgia and other areas in the south. You only have to become a member to be eligible to receive seeds to plant in your garden.
The Tasteful Garden
This great company is located in Alabama. They offer transplants that are grown organically. All the plants that I have received from them have been large and very healthy. They also have roots for asparagus and garlic bulbs and many other fun things for cooking up all your tasty produce.
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
They sponsor a Heritage Harvest Festival in September every year at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello garden. I would love to go to that some day. Here is what they say about themselves, “Southern Exposure Seed Exchange is a wonderful source for heirloom seeds and other open-pollinated (non-hybrid) seeds with an emphasis on vegetables, flowers, and herbs that grow well in the Mid-Atlantic region. We support seed saving and traditional seed breeding. Seed savers and breeders are to thank for our rich selection and we will do whatever we can to support our customers and associates to carry on this noble tradition.”
Try these and some of the others that I add to the links list. I will try others and add them to the list as I find out more about them.
Now that you have some seeds or plants, you’ve got to actually get them in the ground. If you want to grow your own food but need some help getting started or if you have some questions about things that aren’t going right, there are also some great sites out there with information on how to grow sustainably in your own back yard. Here are just a few.
The Garden Girl lives up north near Boston, and has raised beds and chickens and goats and does it all organically and sustainably and makes videos to show others how to garden in small areas. She has a great website with lots of fun stuff to see. She even works in cooperation with Mel Bartholomew in getting out the word about Square Foot Gardening.
The Easy Garden
This is mostly a forum where you can go to ask questions about gardening, show off your garden to other gardeners, and just peruse the wealth of information that has already been posted for your education and entertainment.
Square Foot Gardening
Mel’s been around for a long time. My copy of the old square foot garden book is dirty and raggedy from many years of use in and around the garden. Now he has a new book and a website. If you want to garden intensively, he has some good information for you.
Start poring through those catalogs as they come. Take a look at some of these websites and plan, plan, plan for a really great garden next year and some healthy eating for you and your family.