~ is this a hawk? ~Do you ever stop to think that as deep as the roots grow, the fruit, vegetable or plant develops accordingly?
It's January and the seed catalogs are coming in the mail; thank God for snail mail although I'm not home to cast a longing eye upon those catalogs, it makes me happy knowing they await. I hate looking at web sites when I'm trying to decide what to purchase by way of seeds, vines, brambles, seedlings, etc. Do you enjoy looking at catalogs, circling what looks enticing, deciding what new to you or heritage seed you want to plunk into the ground come spring; the hope that springs eternal with seed catalogs, seeds and spring?
Here are a few websites you might enjoy; they all offer heritage, or vintage, if you will, seeds collected from all over the world. I've met some of the folks at Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and they are good people. Jere Gettle, the founder, started gardening when he was three and when he was 17, in 1998, he printed his first Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds Catalog. Every time I think about Jere, his focus, his knowing at such a tender age what made him happy, his striving to make his life his own and the world a better place in the process, there's also a tad bit of green involved. And, no, I don't perxactly mean the growing kind of green but being kindly envious of someone who so firmly knew, and then claimed, their place in the world. Most of us struggle through life, making our mistakes, scraping our knees and, eventually, being one of those, as Milton said, "who also serves by standing and waiting". Or, as First Thessalonians 4:11 says, "Also, make it your goal to live quietly, do your work, and earn your own living, as we ordered you." Truth be told, I'm better some days than others at "living quietly" -smile-.
The Heirloom Gardner focuses strictly on heirloom seeds both fruit and vegetable. At $12 a year, it's a grand buy and no, I'm not being paid to say these things -smile-.
Seed Savers is in Iowa, I believe, and is another, so I'm told, fine resource for heritage seeds. I don't know much about them so no warm, fuzzy words of faith and inspiration.
Southern Exposure is in Mineral, VA and just up the road a few miles from where we're currently living. I've never visited them but have heard good things but, again, no personal recommendation.
The Amishland Heirloom Seeds is owned, operated and managed by one woman, Lisa Von Saunders and is in the midst of Pennsylvania Dutch country. She specializes in rare varieties grown in her area and only sells seeds from her own small plot of land. She also offers seeds from plants grown on her land from seeds exchanged with others around the globe. There's a wealth of information on her site and she looks like the kind of woman you'd love to sit down with a cuppa at the kitchen table.
El Dorado Heirloom Seeds, in Kansas, offers a package containing sixty-seven seeds that looks interesting but again, no personal recommendation.
Down the road from me, in Bristol, VA, the Urban Homestead offers heirloom apple trees from Virginia. I've never met this family but have known of them for decades; one of these days, I'm going to order a tree or three from them.
This site has a listing of NC farms growing heirloom apples but the one I'm familiar with is Big Horse Creek Farm.
The Cloudforest Gardner has a wealth of information, the most recent, Jan 5, being an introduction to sourdough starter. Sourdough starter fascinates me as it's basically, a mixture set out to rot so it can turn into yeast, a one cell plant that's, essentially, a fungus. Yep, and I adore sourdough bread and cakes and anything else that uses a starter so, please, read more about a fascinating and tasty topic.
Heirloom Seeds, and their sibling site, Heirloom Tomatoes, are both in Pennsylvania and offer, as do the others listed, open pollinated, non hybrid, non GMO seeds.
For those who don't know, GMO is corporate's way of taking over and controlling the world which is just my not so humble opinion, mind, but think about it. Genetically modified seeds means only a few companies...Monsanto, DuPont, Archer Daniels Midland, etc., will own seeds and that means...whoever owns the seeds, owns the food supply and whoever owns the food supplies controls the people. So much research is being done in India where there's a population that's, for the most part, poor, rural and relatively powerless.
The WSJ article states, in part, "...As for India, its $1.5 billion seed industry is the fifth largest in the world, with the private sector accounting for three quarters of it, of which Missouri-based Monsanto controls more than 60%. ..." Hmmmm...
Ah, you think I'm being paranoid, do ye? As Winston Churchill said, "Even a paranoid has real enemies" and he was right then and he's right today. Seeds of Deception tells more of the GMO story; read it and be concerned; be very concerned.
So, what's your favorite heirloom seed company? Why? Let's get a list going so we can be better informed and take a more active role in our food production. And, while you're at it, make a few loaves of bread...one to eat, one to freeze and one to give away. Share your blessings and pass the joy along.
Finally, for your enjoyment, click on The Beauty of Mathematics. I love this, really!
Update on our situation: Dave was admitted to hospital this past Sunday but they couldn't find anything wrong...other than the already known although there were some distressing symptoms. He was released Thursday at 5:00, with a high fever and that worried me enormously, then and now. At 5:00 Friday, early evening, I was told to take him back to the ER where we were until 7:00 this morning, fourteen hours later! until I left to drive to our RIC home and have some "me" time, meaning four hours sleep and some food. Dave is still in ER, the diagnosis is now "pneumonia" and they are waiting for a bed somewhere not in ER. I'm not going back to the hospital today; I'm not in a good mood and am pretty darn upset at the whole debacle that's passing for "quality care". Dave has a maxim: "any thing that's repeated a lot is, more than likely, going to be a lie." And I add...a big fat lie.
Dave is in the largest teaching hospital in the Commonwealth of VA and that means they receive, mostly, indigent patients. That means, those not even on Medicare or Medicade and no insurance but those who have absolutely no resources, no power, no voice and who are told to "go there, sit there, wait here" by people who have, just about, no possibility of ever losing their jobs for any reason. I mean, they'd have to do something pretty darn incredible to lose their job and then would, probably, sue so, as with a lot of government employees everywhere, Job Security reigns...securely.Yes, I do know government employees who are doing their jobs but, it seems, those who spend their...tax dollar!...time surfing the i-net, chatting on the phone, etc. are in the vast majority.
Yet, among all this manure are still bright spots of RN's and docs who do their best to render assistance, "environmental specialists" who clean up the vomit, feces, urine, blood and other gross bodily ejections that happen constantly in a hospital and ER setting and who, mostly, keep their compassion and care level tuned high. I try to focus on those folks, the folks doing their best in a situation that's sometimes frantic and all the time stressful.
I have many, many concerns with the top most being Dave is not receiving his meds in a timely fashion. When I spoke with one of the ER resident physicians, and yes, thank you, I do have his name, he told me, "your husband's meds have been ordered." "Wonderful!" said I, "because he was due them four and a half hours ago.
I try to remember that because my roots go deep with God that my fruits should be love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Truly, I am trying but I am also confessing, it's terribly, terribly difficult when confronted with someone who is doing their dead level best, and generally succeeding, to get me out of their face. Oh, I hear a LOT about "you are to be your husband's advocate" and "you're to look after your husband and see he gets the care he deserves and we promised" but when I do those things...the looks I receive are dark, very dark, indeed. Today, I've been holding on the phone more than twenty minutes because...because...my guess is, someone didn't want to be bothered with getting me more information than they had at their fingertips. They wanted me to be satisfied with the pittance of information they gave me and, not only, be happy they took time out of their horribly busy schedule to be bothered with me. Oh yeah. I called back and got name, rank and serial numbers...okay, maybe not serial numbers but I did ask for names and ranks.
HELLO! If there weren't patients...like Dave and all the other poor sods lying in their beds...hospital staff would NOT have a job. The only reason you have a job and some self perceived sense of power is there's a sick person who needs your "TLC". So get up off your "blessed assurance" and do your stinkin' job...please!
Oh my. Perhaps I shouldn't be so open about what's going on, I don't know. I do know Dave still has more than three weeks of treatments and that's the carrot dangling in front of my face. In three weeks, God willing, we can go home and, if need be, he can get the chemo treatment he needs at home. The radiation treatment is specialized and can only be gotten here but the radiation department is spot on! Most of those people not only know their stuff, they are compassionate, kind, caring, and doing their job with a smile on their faces. Bless you, Radiation Department, bless you!
Yes, there have been other folks who are kind, caring, compassionate and, just as importantly, have walked us through this maze and done so with a smile and joy. Bless you as well; if Mrs. S.A. hadn't met me that first day, if she had not put me in touch with the wonderful people who are full of knowledge and information, I'm quite sure I'd have crashed and burned by now. When days, and staff, are dark and dreary, I focus on those beautiful souls who have been guiding lights on our path. I focus on them and pray for them and their families and, the most powerful thing I can do for them is call upon God to bless them and their offspring...I call upon God to reward them in kind for their goodness, kindness, caring, love.
As for those folks who aren't so chipper, helpful and do their dead level best to throw me off track, I pray for them also...just like Paul prayed for Alexander.I also try not to think of myself as the hawk pictured above and them as the prey. I do try, really hard, to be considerate of them and keep in mind that none of us ever know what personal hell someone else is going through. Let's face it though, some days I'm just trying.
Blessings ~ caring and compassionate medical staff ~ Dave has been diagnosed and is now being treated accordingly ~ four hours of sleep ~ some me time on the computer ~ folks saving heritage seeds and plants ~ God's beautiful Nature ~
Soli Deo Gloria,