Last night I sat down at the computer and wrote out my 2007 annual review. This includes goals for the new year, but I don’t consider it my New Year’s Resolutions list so much as a way of organizing my thoughts for the new year. (Though I’m introducing an innovation this year: print out the list of goals and put them somewhere that I can see them rather than leaving them in a file that I won’t check until January 1, 2009. Ahem.) Gardening was a new section this year. I listed several specific goals, but the gist of it was: learn more about gardening. I’m liking this new hobby; let’s run with it.

How did 2007 go for me, garden-wise? Very well. I started my first real garden: killed the grass, dug compost into the dirt, planted seeds and seedlings. I discovered the joys of starting seeds indoors. I planted more things than I’ve ever planted before, more than my parents used to plant in their garden. I learned what baby amaranth and cucumber and basil seedlings look like. I identified tomato hornworm, cabbage worms, box elder bugs, and red-banded leafhoppers. I learned what my local weeds look like, young and old. I ate lots of tender, tasty vegetables. I deduced the presence of rabbits in my backyard. I found out what happens when you put off harvest (moldy beans or zucchinis as big as your arm) and when you let tomatoes pile up in your kitchen (colorful photographs and hours of chopping). I fell completely in love with growing things. I found I was already eager for the next year, now this year, so that I could try again and try more.

Accordingly, I have pulled out my refined and re-refined list of seeds to purchase. I’m going to wait a few days to send in my orders because of a possible development I’m waiting on, but I’m pretty much set. This means I’m pretty much ignoring the seed catalogs that have come my way so far. This may be the main benefit of having so much I want to grow that I started my list in August or so: I already have things in mind and places to get them from, and I know I don’t have space for much more, so I’m charging head-down through the catalog flurry into what I planned my next seed-starting season to be.

I already have bunches. I have seeds left over from what I bought last year: Russian Gray sunflowers, nasturtium mix, thyme, hyssop, Green Goliath broccoli, Little Finger carrot, Snow Crown cauliflower, compact Romaine and Black-Seeded Simpson lettuce, spinach, chard. I have seeds that I saved: Brandywine, Roma, Garden Peach, and Purple Cherokee tomato; jalapeno peppers; Irish Cobbler potatoes; butternut squash; cantaloupe; Straight 8 cucumber; Genovese basil; cilantro; Hutterite and Kentucky Wonder beans. I have seeds I traded for: shasta daisy; morning glory; butterfly weed; more sunflowers; feverfew; Cherokee Wax, Scarlet Runner, Royal Burgundy, and Blue Lake Bush beans; Red Russian kale; Rosa Bianca eggplant; bush pickle cucumber; Black from Tula and San Marzano tomatoes; Purple Top turnips; Beaver Dam peppers. And I have seeds I got for free. And I have seeds I already bought for this year from Seed Savers. And I need more? It does seem a bit crazy. But I’ve got land and time and a whole year’s worth of digging, weeding, learning, admiring, and eating to do.

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