Looking for heirloom vegetable and flower seeds? Organic seeds? Untreated seeds? New varieties? Detailed information on the history of a particular variety? It’s growth rate, taste, texture, viability compared to other similar varieties? Fedco is a seed cooperative (one of few seed cooperatives in the U.S.) located in northern Maine who sells cold-hardy varieties adapted to the northeast growing conditions. If you’re an avid gardener and have never seen this catalog, you’re in for a treat!
Submerging myself in the Fedco Seed catalog is without a doubt one of my very favorite wintertime activities! The catalog is a novel – there is so much information contained on its newsprint pages I once took a copy on a flight to Hawaii and back and didn’t finish reading it! I love reading the history on the heirloom varieties and the details and comparisons to other similar varieties. Fedco does not knowingly carry genetically engineered seed (GMO’s) and tests all of the corn varieties they sell for GMO’s. The catalog has a key telling what type of company grows each and every variety of seeds Fedco sells so you will not knowingly support a large conglomerate participating in genetic engineering. Another great feature – Fedco Seeds are not sold as “trendy designer seeds” – they’re sold in plain white paper envelopes without glossy pictures and are extremely reasonably priced even if you don’t buy in bulk. One of the packets of seeds I ordered this year cost a mere .70, before my volume discount!
Fedco encourages group orders to meet their generous volume discounts, which I did for the first time this year. I met with members of the Walpole Community Garden and our group total enabled everyone to get a 15% discount and free shipping. Meeting with fellow local gardeners gave us a chance to share left over seed from last year, stories of our past garden trials and tribulations and hopes and dreams for the upcoming growing season. The group order also gave me a deadline resulting in my earliest seed order on record! And a sense of accomplishment by checking off yet another thing off of my winter “to do” list!
You might wonder what seed catalogs, heirloom and organic seeds have to do with an Inn blog, but for those of you that have stayed with us during the growing season you know first hand we have extensive gardens. These gardens are a big part of the foundation of what we offer to our guests and absolutely add to their experience here even if they never walk through our many gardens. During the quieter, colder months of the year we plan and conspire to grow as much as we possibly can to use in our decadent three course candlelight breakfasts served in the inn. Our garden bounty is also available to our cottage guests if they choose to cook during their stay with us.
Many of our guests, although they appreciate and may even regularly purchase local and/or organic foods, have never pulled carrots right from the ground let alone seen a purple, white, yellow or red carrot. They have never tasted Swiss chard or kale or an heirloom tomato much less had a taste test right in the middle of a garden – you can’t get any fresher or delicious than that! An experience you’ll not soon forget. We encourage you to visit us throughout the growing season to enjoy our gardens at their many stages. We look forward to seeing you and sharing our wonderful bounty with you.
The Inn at Valley Farms