Sunday, January 20, 2013

Seeds and Citrus

I put in my Fedco seed order last week. It feels nice to cross something off the list.

In case you might wonder how I pick out which seeds I will purchase this year out of the thousands of varieties that Fedco offers, this is my process:
1) Leaf through the Fedco catalog while watching television and circle or star anything that looks interesting - this is the longest part because I like to read ALL the descriptions, even of plants I know I will never grow in my garden.
2) Look through my box of seed packets from past years, and identify which seeds of staple plants I still have and jot down which I need to order.
3) Go back through the Fedco catalog and put together a list of the varieties of staple plants as well as a short list of new plants I'd like to try.
4) Cull my list by half.
5) Cull my list again until it's down to one column on the Fedco order sheet.

Note that 4 and 5 are repetitions of each other - with a small garden, it takes time to whittle down the list to something that is manageable. If you are buying a whole set of new seeds or have a larger garden, your order may likely be larger. Having a small and diverse garden means that I only plant a small number of seeds out of most packets each year - so a packet of tomato seeds lasts me several years. Two notable exceptions to this rule are lettuce and cucumbers - we plant lettuce rather densely and in multiple successions, and it seems that we have to re-plant our cucumbers a few times each year due to bad weather or pests.

January's Can It Up Challenge was to make something featuring citrus as the star ingredient. I figured this would be a good time to try something new - and then I thought about it for a while -- I've really never canned anything featuring citrus as the star ingredient. Just think, I've been canning for most of my life, and haven't done a marmalade, a citrus jelly or a citrus curd. Oh, how limited I have been.

So, I tried out a Meyer lemon curd - it was excellent with one exception. Quick to prepare, quick to cook, tastes fantastic, but somewhat long to clean up. You have to strain the curd through a fine mesh sieve to take out the lemon zest and any cooked egg - the recipe doesn't tell you that the lemon zest then gets severely stuck to the fine mesh. In case you are interested, the recipe is over at Food In Jars.


  1. wow, you are not kidding around with your garden. unfortunately, i have a black thumb -- mostly because i forget to water and then over-water. this is why i love the farmers market.

  2. Bought a little greenhouse for $25 from Home Depot...going to try and start some seedlings in there. Will keep you posted on my progress (or lack there of).