If you were to ask a non-gardener when the busiest time in the garden would be, I would guess they would assume Spring. Perhaps thats the busiest time for some gardeners, but to me, September is a month of an overwhelming number of to-do’s. Not only does this month give us harvesting and the final stretch of preserving season, but you also have to get your winter veggies into the ground! Its hard to think about planting beets and broccoli when its 85 degrees out and your surrounded by tomatoes, but thats the way September works!
The first thing that I do when entering a new planting season is to go though my mess of seeds and determine what I need to buy. I missed the window of starting the brassicas from seed back in August, so I decided to get those from starts. Other things, like greens and roots can still be seeded though out the month.
So last weekend, I took a break from painting the kitchen and took a trip down to Petaluma to go to the Baker Creek Seed Bank. When we lived in Petaluma, we were only a few blocks away, and we frequented there quite regularly. Now, I usually only stop in once in the spring and once in the fall.
Most gardeners are familiar with Baker Creek and their heirloom seeds. I’ve written about them before. Lucky for those in Sonoma County, we can visit their beautiful store!
If you’ve never been there, its fun just to check out, regardless if you need seeds or not. Housed in an old bank building, it has sky high ceilings that are intricately carved and marble floors. The main floor is lined with reclaimed wood shelves with all the seed packs, organized alphabetically by type, just like in their catalogue. Downstairs, in what was originally the bank’s vault, they have gardening tools, homesteading supplies and lots of books.
Unlike past trips, I didn’t come prepared with a list of what varieties I wanted to get, just my list of “more beets, carrots, turnip, peas, red lettuces, bok choy and sweet peas”. We had plenty of arugula, kale, radishes, collard and chard seeds, and some peas, carrots and lettuces left from last year, but I wanted some new varieties. After wandering around with the little tin pail and tossing seed packs into it, I walked away $65 and well stocked for the next few years!