It starts with a seed
One industry that’s beating the Great Recession is the business of selling seeds, specifically vegetable seeds. As I’ve written in this blog before, growing numbers of families are starting gardens, learning to grow their own food to save money and eat healthier, more trustworthy fare.
And to grow our own food, we all start with the seeds. Sales at some seed companies are as much as 75 percent higher than last year, according to this Washington Post article. And community gardens are popping up everywhere, many with long waiting lists, such as the Reston, Va., garden cited in the same article, which has 250 plots available and a waiting list with at least 140 names on it.
These days, there are plenty of good places to buy seeds online, but I love the experience of actually going to a seed store and choosing the seeds we’ll put in the dirt, feeling them in your hands. The best ones are the old-fashioned seed stores where the seeds aren’t just hidden in packets, but you can see them, in color, behind the little glass windows. I remember going to seed stores like this with my dad when I was a kid, smelling the sawdust and the animal feed, and watching him choose the right seeds from all the shades of pink and brown and light green.
Buying seeds is unlike buying a shovel or a skillet (both of which can be purchased at a true seed and feed store). You’re not buying something in its final form; instead, you’re getting something with the potential to become much greater. Buying seeds is almost like leaving the hospital with your new baby — you’re taking the responsibility to nurture something into its full potential. The seeds just grow up faster (and you can eat them later).
The only old-time seed and feed store I’ve been to in recent years is Coldwater Seed and Supply in Tuscumbia, Ala., and being there brings back the same feelings I had as a kid: The smells, the colors, the dusty countertops are all there. And of course, there’s the anticipation of starting something new, something delicious.
Where do you purchase seeds for your garden? What do seeds symbolize for you?
Photo credits: Nancy Mann Jackson