December 21st, the winter solstice: equal parts uplifting and discouraging. We rejoice in the fact that the longest night of the year is behind us and yet it also signifies the start of winter. As the dreaded cold dark days of a midwest winter looms ahead of us, most of us retreat indoors and make copious amounts of soup (to cope). It’s hard to imagine gardening at this time of year, for what is to be done during our deep winter slumber months?
We find ourselves inside, sitting in our kitchen, soaking up the sun that blesses us for most of the “day”, through our south-facing window. It has been in this spot that we have organized, cataloged, and categorized over 250+ seeds. We have added more than 160 new seeds to our inventory, practically tripling our offerings from last year! This process of organizing, and uploading them to our online store front has taken us over 3 weeks already. Not to mention the time it took to locate these seeds, which we are super excited about!
We are members of a few different facebook groups for gardeners and once we had our seeds organized, we posted, asking if anyone wanted to do seed trades. And that is how we met Bethany from The Egg Plants and Cherish, an avid homesteader/seed collector in Bemidji, MN.
Just by sheer luck, Bethany responded to our call for seed trades and she was the perfect person to find! She owns and operates a seed business out of Brooklyn Center, MN. Like us, she is passionate about growing food, and sharing her resources to help others grow their own food. It was a delight to meet, share, and collaborate with Bethany. Her seeds are all organic, heirloom and non-GMO and she supplied us with most of our native plants, herbs, and a few rare varieties. We are super excited about this connection as it builds on our mission to support local businesses. We will definitely be sourcing a majority of our seeds from Bethany’s company and if you ever need seeds, check her out! https://www.theeggplants.com/
Cherish also responded to our request. She was coming through the cities for Thanksgiving, and we tried to meet up, but to no avail. So we scheduled a FaceTime meeting to walk each other through our extensive seed collections. Cherish is working on starting a seed library in her town, and learning about soil management through her PhD program. She also volunteers at the local food bank, which focuses on sourcing local veggies to share with her community. Needless to say, we had a lot to talk about. She had an abundance of seeds to trade; most of them self-harvested. Why is this exciting for us? Because it means that these seeds came from fruit that not only grows in our cold climates but also thrives! Meeting and sharing with both of these women was a bright ray of sunshine during an otherwise cold and frigid hibernation.
We are super excited about our offerings for next year. We have been working for weeks now, putting all these options online for you to choose from, and we are very excited to start growing these new seeds. We love that we are able to meet new people, share ideas, and support each other through growing food!