Wednesday, January 20, 2010

seed stories part 2

Nine packets of seeds were going for 99 cents at the 99 Cent Store on Monday. My purpose was to buy insoles to use as guides for the soles of some crocheted slippers I want to make, but who can leave the store without seeing what's in each aisle?

Indeed, three cardboard racks of seed packets are blocking the hardware aisle. How could I not buy nine? In retrospect I wonder: could I have bought four or five for eleven cents each? Do I save more money by buying more, as the 99 Cent Store always seems to promise?

After laboriously selecting nine packets and queuing up at the cash register, I notice that I have a packet of bush lima beans. OOPS! All my beans must grow up the fence, so I go back and trade them for a second packet of lettuce.

I had thought I would not try any root vegetables this year, but eleven-cent radishes and carrots are just too tempting, along with two varieties of summer squash -- surely bigger bushes than the lima beans would have been. Maybe I can start a row along the north fence. Meanwhile, a scarlet runner bean has already sprouted from the seed I saved last fall. What will happen to the expensive rattlesnake bean seeds I bought in Solana Beach?

Strawflower (helicrysum) seeds raise the most difficult questions. I've tried them unsuccessfully a couple of times, yet my mother, Charlotte, was proud to have grown multitudes of them one summer when I was in junior high. Maybe this will be the year of the strawflower for me, and maybe they will penetrate Charlotte's dementia as nasturtiums and violets do when I take them to her.

Seed-buying time is fraught with "visions and revisions," questions, maybes, gambles. Mostly, though, it's a time of hope, and nine for 99 cents is a good deal.

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POSToccupations by Frances Talbott-White is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License