It looks like we are going to have an early spring this year, so its time for us gardeners to get ready for the spring push. The first thing I do is get out my copy of Nick Routledge’s spring seeding guide. This is an invaluable chart specifically for our region in western Oregon. Looking at all the listed vegetables will remind you which seeds you need to get. Nick has all the seeding times laid out and has insightful comments for each crop. The earliest things to go in the garden outside are garlic (if you missed the fall planting time), peas, and fava beans. There are many more things that you can start in a greenhouse or sunny window for later transplant. I just planted a few onions, leeks and spinach in six packs and placed them in a window.
For seeds, I save seed from several crops, find seeds at seed swaps, and buy the rest of what I need. The next big seed swap is the Eugene Permaculture Guild’s Spring Propagation Fair scheduled for Saturday March 13th at Lane Community College. If you need to buy seed, why not try one of our local producers. Brand new is Adaptive Seeds, from Sarah and Andrew of the Seed Ambassadors Project. They have a great seed collection and produce all of the seed they sell. So does long time seed producer Alan Kapuler of Peace Seeds in Corvallis. A small, more traditional local seed house is Victory Seeds in Molalla, OR. Then there is Territorial Seed Company, a major regional seed producer – but they don’t produce all of their seed locally. Territorial grows about 20% of the seed it sells; the rest it buys from other seed companies – including Seminis, a large seed company owned by Monsanto. This has tainted Territorial’s reputation with many of us, so buy from Territorial after you have tried other sources first, and let them know you do not want Seminis seed.