Coast to coast seed exchange - And a seed search tool
This week I received a much anticipated delivery in the mail: Seeds sent to me by Christina from A Thinking Stomach in Pasadena, California. Christina contacted me about trading seeds, and I was more than happy to oblige. She offered to share some of the wonderful and intriguing seeds from her collection. I chose: Nigella flowers (for their fabulous seed pods), Red Ruffled pimiento, Black Krim tomatoes, Lebanese Cousa summer squash, 3-Root Grex Beet, Blue Coco pole beans, and Aurora orach.
The last one on the list, orach, was something I'd never heard of before. If you're scratching your head too, orach is said to be similar in many ways to spinach. In The Washington Post, Barbara Damrosch wrote about her experience discovering orach (Spinach's Brilliant Cousin). Not only is the plant edible, she wrote, but it is also beautiful in flower arrangements. Perfect.
Another attractive attribute of orach is that it, supposedly, is a little more bolt-resistant than regular spinach. I decided not to plant spinach this spring specifically for that reason; it always bolts on me before I really get anything out of it.
So, I thought I would plant my new orach seeds out in the garden next to the strawberries. What I failed to do initially, though, was read the fine print about this plant. Some descriptions of orach say it can grow as high as 6 feet tall! Oops! That's not going to work next to the strawberries, which are right in the center of our garden bed. I'll need to re-think this and find another location that would be more suitable. More planning is in the works.
On a related note about seeds, I found a Custom Seed Search over at Mother Earth News. Type in any variety of plant you're looking for and their search engine will scour the catalogs of over 150 seed companies. It's a seed shopper's dream! Type in "aurora orach" and you will find sources that offer the very seeds of which I speak. Pretty cool, eh?
Of course, finding seeds from a fellow garden blogger is even more fun. Thanks, Christina!