Have I mentioned that I’m already thinking about next year’s seeds? I was thinking about them while still raising my seedlings this year. Now that I have the prospect of brassicas sprouting from the ground soon (it would be too early today, but you can bet I’ll be moving the severely bolted cilantro–now I’m really growing coriander–out of the way to check anyway), I’m thinking about it even more.

It doesn’t help that I keep hearing about how the price of food is going up, partly due to corn being used as a replacement for oil, and the price thereby going up. So I can’t help indulging in survivalist fantasies and wondering whether I should be planning on growing more of my own food, and maybe getting my husband to like winter squash a little better. Also my circle of family and friends are the type of people who talk about who would do what if we moved onto a fifty-acre commune, against the end of civilization or otherwise. (Aside from being an amateur gardener, I can also spin, knit, sew–somewhat–and do basic things like cooking and simple carpentry. We also have, among other things, a nurse, a hunter, and a leatherworker. We still need a metalsmith, a woodworker, an animal husbander, a…)

And then there’s the simple fact that this growing food thing is a lot of fun. And I was a biology major for a reason. And my husband is a total enabler because he knows it’s not a complete money drain, since I keep running out to the garden at dinnertime and bringing food back (“We don’t have any carrots,” I said when we were discussing dinnertime yesterday, then, “Oh, wait, I have some in the garden,” and he laughed) and it makes me happy.

So in my spare time at work, I’ve been going through online seed catalogs and reading about other people’s gardens and thinking about what I would grow, if I were in charge of the garden on that fifty-acre commune, or what I should be saving for if the economy does go to hell and I get laid off (because my job is not what I’d call essential) and we’re poor. In the winter, when the new stuff has come out (changing my plans, I’m sure) and it’s time to actually order, I’ll pare it down to what interests me most, and try to remember that I have plenty more years in which to try other things.

The current full list would cost about $150. My first pass at a paring-down brings me to $80. None of this includes shipping or taxes. I have currently spent around $250 this year on garden stuff, but some of that was one-time costs (stakes, dirt, a rake). I would like to keep the total cost below $75, preferably below $50, especially since we’re getting paving stones and more dirt for the new garden.

In other words, I’m going to have to clamp down on my magpie desire to pick up anything that looks interesting. (It’s a purple bean! It may be the pea Mendel used in his experiments! A tincture of it acts as cold medicine! The Hopis used it for dye!) Either that, or do some serious swapping and sharing with other seed buyers. Any takers? I can’t be alone in this. Maybe in the elaborate survivalist planning, but not in the desire to grow everything.